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bigronnies

BBQ Signs of our times

You can always get an idea of the character of a BBQ joint by the sign out front. The more down home the sign, the more amazing your meal will likely be. Here are some signs from our recent North Texas BBQ Tour. Also a couple from posse member Irwin Thompson, shot as he drove though east Texas last week. Big Ronnie’s Texas Pit Bar-B-Que, Whitesboro The Bone on the Grill, Sherman OO Smokehouse, Sherman Clark’s Outpost, Tioga Pitt Stop Bar-B-Que, Lufkin Lindsey’s BBQ, Alto (Photos by Chris Wilkins, Mike Gibson & Irwin Thompson)
 - 06/30/2010
00smoke

OO Smokehouse – The end of the BBQ trail

Editor’s note: This joint is now closed. Our marathon five-stop North Texas BBQ Tour a couple of Saturdays ago ended at OO Smokehouse in Sherman. We cruised into the lot a little before 7pm, hoping to make closing time. The OO had gotten a top 50 ranking in Texas Monthly magazine, so expectations were high among the nine surviving posse members. Despite the fact they were sold out of ribs, we were impressed. Here’s some feedback from a couple of posse members. Marshall Cooper: “This place was an icon of an authentic Texas BBQ Stand; no dining room or restrooms,…
 - 06/29/2010
boneext

Unplanned stop on the BBQ trail

Since our North Texas BBQ Tour last weekend, I’ve had a hard time explaining the discovery of The Bone on the Grill, located on Hwy. 82, around six miles west of Sherman. I turn to Texas BBQ Posse expert Marshall Cooper to describe this inspiring stop on the BBQ trail, as follows: “This place deserves first place in sexy Texas drive-up appeal for all roadside BBQ joints! The two attached trailers with the attached spongy deck had outstanding views of bordering ranches with vast spreads of producing cornfields and oil wells. A Texas Classic! The BBQ pit was nothing more…
 - 06/26/2010
truckcan

How the sausage is made…

Sometimes it isn’t pretty. See that crumpled Nestea can at the lip of the truck bed in the photo above? On a barbecue tour, after five stops, eight hours of eating, and an occasional beer, that can is called a tripod. Give Barbecue Posse founder Chris Wilkins credit for innovative thinking under stress, even if he loses a few style points for agility. At OO Smokehouse in Sherman, Wilkins, a photo editor at The Dallas Morning News, was composing a souvenir keepsake for posse members. He eventually used the crushed can to support his camera. We’re not even going to…
 - 06/23/2010
groupclarks

North Texas BBQ Tour – 5 joints in 8 hours

Here’s a sneak peak at our North Texas BBQ Tour this Saturday, the first five-stops-in-one-day tour for the Texas BBQ Posse. The itinerary was as follows:11am Clark’s Outpost, Hwy. 377, Tioga 1:30pm Smokehouse Barbecue, E. Hwy 82, Lindsay 3:00pm Big Ronnie’s Texas Pit Bar-B-Que, Hwy. 377 north of Whitesboro3:30pm Horseshoes and beer break at Cedar Mills Marina on Lake Texoma6:00pm The Bone on the Grill BBQ, Hwy. 82 west of Sherman7:00pm OO Smokehouse, 200 S. Montgomery, Sherman The posse lines up outside of Clark’s Outpost in Tioga, waiting for the doors to open at 11am. We had 14 folks join…
 - 06/20/2010
clarks3

Posse favorites: Clark’s french fried corn on the cob

Editor’s note: this joint is now closed. Clark’s Outpost BBQ in Tioga offers a unique side dish to go with your ribs and brisket. And no, we aren’t talking about their world-famous lamb fries, aka the cowboy’s favorite. We took a road trip to Clark’s last month, to do our posse duty of sampling various smoked meats while passing on the sides. Our waitress mentioned we should try their french fried corn on the cob, it was something special. We gave up without a fight and ordered one each. The deep-fried corn cob arrives at your table warm and covered…
 - 05/11/2010
yumyum2

The secret is out: It’s Yum Yum wood

Every pit master has secrets. Eddie Brown at Off The Bone in Forest Hill, the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s top-ranked barbecue joint, is no different. What kind of wood do you use in your smoker, we asked Brown on our recent Tarrant County tour. “Yum Yum,” he said. What’s that? “Can’t tell you, it’s a secret,” he said. “But it starts with a ‘P.’” Pecan. Brown smiled and nodded his head. He said he mixes pecan with oak. And he kept that proportion to himself. Off the Bone BBQ, 5144 Mansfield Hwy, Forest Hill. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to…
 - 05/10/2010
Franklins3

Franklin BBQ: The little trailer that could

Dallas Morning News colleague Michael Ainsworth was recently on assignment in Austin when he asked advice on which barbeque joint to visit on his way back to Dallas. I directed him to Franklin BBQ, a little place in Austin that’s been generating big buzz lately on the Texas BBQ trail. Michael arrived at the auqa blue and white trailer located in a parking lot beside I-35 around 2pm on a Wednesday. They were about to close but still had brisket left. Franklins is a “til the meat runs” out place when it comes to a closing time. He messaged me…
 - 05/04/2010
broinlaw

Posse favorites: Stanley’s Brother-in-Law sandwich

One of the great discoveries on our recent East Texas BBQ Tour was the brother-in-law sandwich at Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q in Tyler, the first stop on our four-joint tour. Several of us went directly for the 4-meat sampler, no sides, as a way to quickly judge the long-time barbeque joint. Fortunately, a couple of our posse members ordered and loved the brother-in-law sandwich, not your everyday BBQ sandwich. Author David Gelin writes a great description of the infamous sandwich in his book, “BBQ Joints: Stories and Secret Recipes from the Barbeque Belt.” “STANLEY’S FAMOUS BROTHER-IN-LAW HOT LINK, BUTTERFLIED. Grill…
 - 04/30/2010
pats1

Pat Gee’s: BBQ palace in the piney woods of East Texas

Pat Gee’s Barbecue is a few miles east of Tyler, nestled under towering pine trees near the small community of Chapel Hill. Dallas Morning News writer and Texas BBQ Posse founding member Gary Jacobson set the stage for the joint perfectly in his story, “The barbecue chronicles: One day, four pit stops in East Texas.” Gary writes, “The small, wood-frame building sits on a small lot notched between pine trees and pasture. An outhouse is out back. Inside the main room, near the front door, is a fridge. Once, it was white. Four fly swatters hang from the counter, under…
 - 04/29/2010
macsFritoPieweb

Posse favorites: Frito Pie at Mac’s Bar-B-Que

Between our weekly trips to the Baby Back Shak, the Texas BBQ Posse has been heading just east of Deep Ellum to Mac’s Bar-B-Que, 3933 Main St. in Dallas. For some strange reason, really good barbeque isn’t always easy to find in Big D, but Mac’s delivers consistently well-cooked meats and good sides from their lunch menu. Speaking of sides, the french fries cooked in soybean oil have to be among the best in DFW. Several of us have become addicted to Mac’s Frito Pie, a dish not offered at most BBQ joints. They start with a layer of ranch-style…
 - 04/24/2010
longorias7

Longoria’s BBQ: It’s like family

Longoria’s BBQ was ranked number three on D Magazine’s Best BBQ in DFW list. The Texas BBQ Posse pulled into the gravel lot in Everman and headed to the back of the building to check out the smoker area, of course. Pitmaster David Longoria invited us in to check out the place, not even knowing we were on tour. Have to say I took an immediate liking to this place. David showed us the finer points of his family’s cooking techniques, then gave us a VIP tour of his dad’s “James Dean Room” before heading to the small but comfortable…
 - 04/17/2010
offthe-bone2web

Ft. Worth tour begins at Off the Bone

Number one on D Magazine’s Best of DFW BBQ list. Quite a target for the Texas BBQ Posse. We peaked early and pulled in the parking lot at 10:30am. They opened at 11am, so we gravitated toward the smoker for some BBQ 101. We were greeted by pitmaster and owner Eddie Brown and peppered him with questions as he loaded racks of ribs into the smoker. Our BBQ posse was 21-strong when we ordered at Off the Bone, which is housed in an old Dairy Queen. The service was pretty good, around 10-15 minutes between ordering and eating. This was…
 - 04/15/2010
door

Kreuz Market – The Real Deal…..

We arrived at Kreuz Market with some preconceptions, none of which were good. We heard along the BBQ trail that Kreuz was “overrated,” they were the Wal-Mart of BBQ due to their huge restaurant that resembled a honky tonk not unlike Billy Bob’s in Ft. Worth. As we walked through the swinging screen door with a cow and a pig on them, I gathered the Texas BBQ Posse team and pleaded with them to keep an open mind. “Let the meat speak for itself, it doesn’t matter what we heard earlier today.” We walked back to the smokers and it…
 - 04/08/2010
clarks1

Clark’s Outpost BBQ – A trip into horse country

Editor’s note: This joint is now closed. We loaded up the truck and headed north to Clark’s Outpost BBQ in Tioga on Saturday. We’d heard a lot about Clark’s and wanted to investigate, they’ve been featured in both Bon Appetit and Gourmet magazines. In the past I’ve been known to say, “The words barbeque and gourmet should never be used in the same sentence,” so I was a little suspicious. The drive from Plano took almost an hour, a little longer than we expected. The distance was almost 50 miles door-to-door. We rolled through beautiful rolling horse country and the…
 - 04/03/2010
Shakpig

Support your local Shak: Part Deux

D Magazine is soliciting readers for their Best of Big D Readers’ Choice Poll, which will be published in the August 2010 issue. From their website: “Every August, D Magazine publishes its Best of Big D issue in which the editors name their favorites in food and drink, nightlife, shopping, goods and services, and culture and media. This year, we’re giving our readers a chance to vote for their favorites in each of the above categories.” Needless to say, the Baby Back Shak is among the favorites for best BBQ in Dallas. After all, it’s the unofficial headquarters of the…
 - 03/30/2010
smittys

Historic Smitty’s Market

We arrived in downtown Lockhart and stumbled out of the car for an afternoon snack, meat drunk but ready for more BBQ. This was our third stop on the Central Texas BBQ Tour. We entered the screen door with a sign proclaiming “BARBEQUE” over it and walked down the long corridor into something out of the1890’s. Smitty’s Market was established in 1999 by Nina Schmidt Sells in the building that housed her father’s Kreuz Market for more than 50 years. The market sits in the same location where barbecue has been sold in Lockhart since the turn of the last…
 - 03/25/2010
HICKORYHILL1

Unexpected stop on the East Texas BBQ Tour

We spotted the smoke while cruising eastward down Hwy. 31 toward the Country Tavern in Kilgore. Since we were in no particular hurry, the BBQ posse hooked a u-turn and headed back to Hickory Hill BBQ. It turned out to be a great stop on the journey. Like Pat Gee’s, they are open Friday through Sunday, closing when the meat runs out. Husband and wife team Kelly and Kerry Shaw opened the joint seven months ago, after years of preparation by Kerry. “I’ve been cooking BBQ all my life,” he said. We ordered up some ribs for the crew and…
 - 03/20/2010
LOUIES

Road trip to Louie Mueller Barbecue

Shortly after 11am, we pulled into the Louie Mueller Barbecue parking lot in Taylor, a storefront in an old downtown that had seen better days. The smoke clung to the walls and windows like paint. It was immediately apparent this place was like a Hollywood set for the classic Texas BBQ joint. The line was almost to the door already, giving us time to soak in our surroundings. Unlike Snow’s, where the pits were outside under a steel awning, these folks were smoking meat inside the restaurant. The smells and the memories they evoked were unforgettable. Twenty minutes later we…
 - 03/18/2010
church

Attending church can be good for your soul

A quick post from our friend and fellow posse member Gary “G” Barber, who’s on the road today. He just made a lunch stop at the New Zion Missionary Baptist Church Barbeque in Huntsville and felt compelled to send us a short email and a great iPhone photo of his plate. We were all surprised last month when Daniel Vaughn, aka the BBQ Snob, wrote his review about a disappointing trip to New Zion, giving them a 2-star rating (out of a possible 6). Click here to see the review of his journey to the church. He wrote, “After all…
 - 03/13/2010
snowscmbo

Breakfast at Snow’s

We had a full tank of gas, two big coolers, a set of horseshoes and an big appetite for central Texas BBQ. Our bags were packed with the consummate BBQ tour attire: sandals, extremely comfortable shorts & our favorite Hawaiian shirt. Why two coolers? One for the ice-cold beer, a necessity on any BBQ Tour, and one with the capacity to bring home 20 pounds of smokin meat. We overnighted in Rockdale, north of Lexington, and arrived at a foggy Snow’s BBQ in Lexington before 8am, beating the crowd by 15 minutes. They’re only open on Saturdays and the meat…
 - 03/12/2010
GaryBrandys

Road trip to Randy’s Bar-B-Que in Red Oak

Texas BBQ Posse members loaded up a couple of cars on Tuesday and headed down to Red Oak to check out lunch at Randy’s Bar-B-Que. Daniel Vaughn had named Randy’s the number 2 BBQ joint in DFW in his recent D Magazine rankings, so we had to check it out for ourselves. We were wheels up at 11:10 or so from downtown Dallas. Posse member Irwin Thompson warned that we better get there by before noon or risk a long line. We pulled in the lot a little bit after 11:30 and barely beat the crowd. It’s a nondescript building…
 - 03/11/2010
2stanleysOLD-1

Flashback at Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q

We started our recent East Texas BBQ Tour at Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q in Tyler. It’s been around since the 1950s, when W.G. Watson owned the joint. J.D. Stanley, a former oil field worker, bought and renamed it in 1960. Nick & Jen Pencis now own Stanley’s, with deep respect to a 50-plus years of the history within. I grew up in Tyler and some of my earliest dining memories are from Stanley’s. Much to my surprise, the place is almost exactly how I remember it 40 years ago, when Mr. Stanley was taking orders at the counter. I always…
 - 03/09/2010
PATGEES-1

Coming soon: Tales from the East Texas BBQ Tour

A couple of weeks ago, the Texas BBQ Posse headed to east Texas in search of the best BBQ in the area. Posse founding member Gary Jacobson will once again be writing a story on the road trip for The Dallas Morning News, but you can click here for a sneak peek at the slideshow from our journey to the piney woods. We’ll let you know when the story is published in two weeks or so. The posse was made up of three of our members from the central Texas tour and five newbies. My dad James Wilkins, a Tyler…
 - 03/07/2010
meshackscombo

Speaking of BBQ and Shacks

Another great BBQ joint in the Dallas area is Meshack’s Bar-B-Que Shack in Garland, some of the best brisket you’ll find north of Snow’s BBQ in Lexington, Texas. Meshack’s opened in May 2009 in a small building east of old downtown Garland. It was discovered by Daniel Vaughn, the BBQ Snob, later in August and the rest is history. Daniel blogged about Meshack’s on his Full Custom Gospel BBQ blog, assigning it his first 4-star ranking in the Dallas area, outside of a few in Ft. Worth. He recently ranked DFW BBQ joints for D Magazine, in his story titled…
 - 03/07/2010
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