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Stellar preview for the new Pecan Lodge in Deep Ellum, Dallas

Owners Diane & Justin Fourton address the crowd at Pecan Lodge’s preview party. (Photo by Jim Rossman) All right. The new Pecan Lodge will open Friday, May 23, ending nearly a couple weeks of Dallas barbecue drought since the original joint last served at the Farmers Market on May 11. That’s the grand opening target for the new place on Main Street in Deep Ellum, according to owner/pitmaster Justin Fourton, who with his wife, Diane, hosted a preview party Thursday attended by about 200 guests. The new space is wonderful. And the food won’t miss a beat, according to many…
 - 05/16/2014
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Killens’ BBQ in Pearland is going to crash everyone’s top 10 list.

Killen’s BBQ in Pearland. (All photos by Jim Rossman) I had lunch at Killen’s BBQ in Pearland today and the meats were spectacular. I have no doubt Killen’s is the best BBQ in Pearland, and likely the best BBQ in the Houston-area. The Posse will double-check my thoughts as we head down to Houston for a BBQ tour at the end of June and Killen’s is a highly-anticipated stop. I figured Mother’s Day would be a light day at a BBQ joint, but then I remembered this is Texas. Killen’s opens at 11 a.m., and at 10:05 a.m. I was…
 - 05/12/2014
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Some great BBQ joint names, and some great food, too

Clockwise from top left, our stops included Buck Snort BBQ, The First Baptist Church of Bells, Cackle & Oink BBQ and Bull Hollar BBQ.  (Photos ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Had this been an official Posse outing, we would have called it the All-Time Best BBQ Name Tour. Covering 180 miles over 7 hours last Saturday, we ate at Buck Snort BBQ in Van Alstyne, Bull Hollar BBQ in Bells and Cackle & Oink BBQ in Sherman. As names for Texas joints go, that’s a whole lot spicier than Franklin, Pecan Lodge and Kreuz Market. Mid-trip, we also ate at the First…
 - 04/23/2014
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Check out our South of Fort Worth BBQ Tour story in this weekend’s Dallas Morning News

Here’s the latest Texas BBQ Posse tour story in the pages of The Dallas Morning News. The story written by Posse co-founder Gary Jacobson tells about our recent trip to four joints located south of Dallas/Fort Worth. Award-winning DMN staff photographer and Posse member Tom Fox takes you on visual journey of our tour. You can click here to read Gary’s story online on dallasnews.com. Click here to see a slideshow of Tom’s photos from the tour. The South of DFW BBQ Tour 9am: Leave Dallas. 10am: BBQ on the Brazos, 9001 E Hwy 377, Cresson, TX. Open Mon-Fri 6:30am-3pm, Sat…
 - 04/20/2014
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Some barbecue bracketology: The Posse picks the best of the best in Dallas-Fort Worth for the Final Four

Pecan Lodge had a strong showing on the Posse’s Best of the Best DFW BBQ list. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BB Posse) While compiling our list for Final Four fans of the best Dallas-Forth Worth area barbecue joints, we also engaged in some smoked meat bracketology. We rated the best-of-the-best individual menu items — and some other categories — from the field of North Texas competitors. For this task, we relied on the opinions of 6 veteran Posse members. All have eaten a lot of barbecue since we started going on tours in 2009. All have strong opinions. There was just one…
 - 04/02/2014
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Hey, Final Four fans! Here’s the Posse’s guide to the best BBQ in Dallas-Fort Worth

Over the years, readers have asked the Posse for barbecue joint recommendations. Those requests have increased recently with the Final Four of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament headed to North Texas. So, here is our list of best places in the Dallas-Forth Worth area. None of them is more than an hour’s drive from AT&T Stadium. The closest is right across the street. One reader asked what may be the ultimate question this year for barbecue fans who also enjoy a little college basketball: Pecan Lodge or Hutchins? Our answer: Figure out how to eat at both. These are probably…
 - 03/31/2014
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Give customers what they want, says Pit Stop BBQ boss

Award-winning pitmaster Steve Graham and his primary smoker at Pit Stop BBQ. (Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) An experienced competition cook, Steve Graham has filled his Pit Stop BBQ restaurant outside Waxahachie with trophies and plaques. He knows how to cook for a tough audience, judges, even different sets of judges. For example, he said, he always tried to get a look at the judges before he started preparing his meat. Older judges like salt, he said. “In a competition, that first taste is everything,” Graham said. So the flavor has to be bold and great. If you read our posts…
 - 03/25/2014
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A second opinion on the Posse’s South of DFW BBQ Tour

Michael Meadows, left, and the Posse dig in at Pit Stop BBQ in Waxahachie. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Maybe there was a time, long ago, when I was surprised at how seriously people take barbecue. But certainly not anymore. Take Michael Meadows, one of the Posse’s newest members. He and his family were in Colorado skiing last week. They drove 900 miles Friday arriving back in Dallas just before midnight. And yet Meadows made the starting gate with the rest of us Saturday morning at the first stop of our South of DFW Tour. During the day, we ate at…
 - 03/21/2014
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On the barbecue trail, the Posse crosses an historic past and meets again one of its favorite dishes, the Jambo Texan

The legendary Jambo Texan sandwich was one of the highlights of our BBQ tour. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins) On the way to Lazy S&M BBQ in Joshua, the second stop of our recent South of DFW Tour, we crossed the Chisholm Trail Parkway. The 27-mile toll road, which runs from Fort Worth to Cleburne, is scheduled to open later this year. It was an interesting moment of synchronicity. Our modern barbecue trail intersected — symbolically anyway — part of the historic route that Texas cowboys used a century and a half ago to drive their cattle to the railroads. Some might…
 - 03/18/2014
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Rave reviews for BBQ on the Brazos from the Posse

Pitmaster John Sanford works the cutting board at BBQ on the Brazos. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Too bad Posse member Bruce Tomaso didn’t make our tour last weekend. We could have renewed our recent wood-versus-gas debate when our first stop, BBQ on the Brazos in Cresson, got rave reviews from everyone present. BBQ on the Brazos uses a gas-fired Ole Hickory smoker. “How many of our tours have started off with barbecue better than this?” said Posse member Phil Lamb. Technically, it was a question. But like all good attorneys, Lamb knew the answer before he asked: Very, very…
 - 03/16/2014
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Poll: What are your top 5 Texas BBQ joints?

A father and son wait to order at a Texas barbecue joint. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) It’s hard to say what’s a more emotional subject for Texans, barbecue or politics. Over the years we’ve tried to keep the Posse blog free of partisan politics, there are plenty of other places on the web where you can endlessly argue that subject. But when it comes the BBQ, strong loyalties and opinions have been shared between writers and readers on the Posse blog over the past five years. Nothing gets BBQ fanatics going like a list of the “top” BBQ joints…
 - 03/05/2014
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The Posse Shows a Tolerant Side: Rethinking the ‘No-Sides’ Rule at Bull Hollar BBQ in Bells

Jim and Jan Worsham opened Bull Hollar BBQ in Bells in early February. (Photos @Daniel Goncalves & Chris Wilkins) Editor’s note: Bull Hollar BBQ is now closed. By Bruce Tomaso/Texas BBQ Posse A few days ago, I disagreed with fellow Posse member Gary Jacobson, who said we might have been wrong in the past for condemning gas-fired smokers. Call me an extremist, but I say the only way to cook fine barbecue is with wood. There’s no need to revisit that argument. I’m right. Gary’s wrong. Fin de conversación. However, as we discovered on a recent North Texas tour, the…
 - 03/03/2014
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Hutchins BBQ in McKinney can hang with Austin’s best and it’s open all day

(L-R) Jim Rossman, Kathy and Steve Hunt, Gary Jacobson, Michael Landauer, Bruce Tomaso and Gary Barber at Hutchins BBQ. (Photo by Tom Fox) For quality, the barbecue benchmarks are clear for Tim Hutchins, owner of Hutchins BBQ in McKinney. “We’re shooting for those guys in Austin,” Hutchins said during the Posse’s recent visit to his joint. He said he and his crew regularly travel to the new BBQ Capital of Texas to sample the fare at places like Franklin BBQ, la Barbecue and John Mueller Meat Co. They also visit Pecan Lodge in Dallas. But Hutchins is even more ambitious.…
 - 02/28/2014
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Baby Back Shak has a new look, same great food

Posse photo by Jim Rossman Posse member Irwin Thompson alerted us to a remodel at the Baby Back Shak, a longtime Posse favorite joint. We’ve always loved the ribs and boudin, along with the turkey and even the Shak beans, but the building, which was totally void of windows, was always very dark and the decor was mid-70s with faded sports photos on the walls. The way a place looks has never stopped us from enjoying Clarence Cohens great food, but I have to say, the changes — especially the new front door and wall of windows — makes a…
 - 02/21/2014
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The food takes a back seat to the atmosphere at North Main and Hard Eight

A pitmaster tends the smoker at Hard Eight BBQ in Coppell. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) North Main BBQ has lots of fans. We know that. Ever since the very first Posse tour five years ago, readers have told us that we need to get to the Euless joint, which is only open Friday through Sunday. Tardy but determined, we finally made it during our Mid-Cities mini-tour. North Main was our second stop, sandwiched between Eddie Deen Crossroads Smokehouse in Arlington and Hard Eight BBQ in Coppell. It was nice, relaxed tour, covering 60 miles in 3 1/2 hours. After…
 - 02/17/2014
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See the photos: Lockhart Smokehouse Plano is open for business

Lockhart Smokehouse’s second location is near the corner of 15th & K Streets in old downtown Plano. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) February 12, 2014, may go down in history as the day great barbecue finally came to Plano. In the past, if you wanted good BBQ and lived in Plano, you had to drive to either south to downtown Dallas or north to McKinney. Sad but true for a city of 272,000. Then Lockhart Smokehouse came to town…… The Posse first met the Lockhart crew when we snuck into the original location in Oak Cliff before they opened in…
 - 02/14/2014
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Arlington’s Crossroads Smokehouse stands out during the Posse’s Mid-Cities mini-tour

Brisket is sliced at Eddie Deen Crossroads Smokehouse in Arlington.  (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves/Fotobia.com) It has been a few months since the Posse went on a barbecue tour. So, it was nice to get back on the trail again this past weekend, if only briefly. We ate at three joints during a 60-mile, 3 1/2-hour mini-tour through the Mid-Cities between Dallas and Fort Worth. Over the course of the tour, a couple of Posse members made cameo appearances, but our main group numbered 8, including some newcomers: Michael Meadows, president of the Dallas Zoological Society; Mark Vamos, who holds an endowed…
 - 02/13/2014
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Win a free meal with the Texas BBQ Posse at DFW’s favorite joint

UPDATE:  And the winner is……….. Hutchins BBQ in McKinney. Click here to see photos of the favorite D/FW joint, as voted by Dallas Morning News readers. ORIGINAL ITEM:  The Dallas Morning News just launched a new poll for readers to pick their favorite barbecue joint in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. As a bonus, one voter and his or her guest will be treated to a meal at the winning joint by the Posse. Get all the details at The News’ Web site and don’t forget to Tweet a link to the poll with the hashtag #texasbbqposse to become eligible for…
 - 01/10/2014
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Zip Code 78702 — East Austin — the center of the Texas BBQ universe

Tom Micklethwait, pitmaster & owner of Micklethwait Craft Meats. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Last spring we wrote that Austin had replaced Lockhart as the new barbecue capital of Texas. Now, with La Barbecue moving east of I-35, we’re prepared to be even more specific. East Austin, specifically Zip Code 78702, is the undisputed center of the Texas barbecue universe. La Barbecue, with pit boss John Lewis, opens this week in its new location at the corner of East 6th Street and Waller. According to Google, that puts La Barbecue about a half-mile (a 9-minute walk) from Franklin Barbecue on East…
 - 12/03/2013
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Posse member Bruce Tomaso nominates Justin and Diane Fourton of Pecan Lodge as Texans of the Year

Diane & Justin Fourton, owners of Pecan Lodge. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Note: The Dallas Morning News editorial department selects a Texan of the Year. Posse member Bruce Tomaso recently nominated Diane and Justin Fourton of Pecan Lodge for the honor. With permission, we are reprinting Bruce’s Viewpoints column from The News. By BRUCE TOMASO Wendy Davis can talk on her feet. Ted Cruz can talk with his foot in his mouth. But neither of them can cook a world-class smoked brisket. Neither of them helped change the public face of Texas cuisine. The people who did that are Justin…
 - 11/16/2013
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Check out our Heart of Texas BBQ Tour story in today’s Dallas Morning News

Here’s the lede page from our Heart of Texas BBQ Tour story in Sunday’s Dallas Morning News Travel section. This was the Posse’s 14th barbecue tour since we started following the smoke in November 2009. The Heart of Texas BBQ Tour covered 318 miles over ten hours on a recent Friday. Chick here to see the online package from the tour on dallasnews.com, including Gary Jacobson’s story, a slideshow featuring our four tour stops and a video by original Posse member David Guzman. Heart of Texas BBQ Tour 9am:  Leave Dallas 10:30am:  Wright’s Bar-B-Q, 123 Martin Luther King Jr Hwy…
 - 09/01/2013
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YABBQL: Yet Another BBQ line — Cattleack BBQ tweaks their operation to address the long lines.

From left: Todd David, David Mills, Misty David and Lauren Parajon (photo by Jim Rossman) On the heels of Pecan Lodge making some tweaks to their ordering process, relative newcomer Cattleack BBQ is making some changes to their Friday-only lunch service to address it’s growing lines. Our BBQ Take-Out service on Fridays has become such a hit, we now have a line out the door! While this is a measure of success for us, we don’t want it to be an inconvenience to our BBQ-loving customers. We have two new processes in place to help those who have limited time…
 - 08/26/2013
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Mayor Rawlings said he wants Pecan Lodge to stay … in Dallas

  Pitmaster Justin Fourton holds the infamous Slim Pickins sign given to the last person in line at Pecan Lodge. ([email protected] Goncalves/Fotobia.com) There’s a follow-up to our earlier item on the strange behavior of the new owners of the Dallas Farmers Market as they try, supposedly, to work out a deal to keep Pecan Lodge at the market. Robert Wilonsky of The Dallas Morning News reports that on Friday – the day our item appeared – Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings stopped by Pecan Lodge for lunch and a chat with owner/pitmaster Justin Fourton. Afterward, Rawlings made his position clear: While…
 - 08/18/2013
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Meet the new boss, same as the old boss?

  Pitmaster Justin Fourton works the pit during the early days of Pecan Lodge. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Will Pecan Lodge stay at Dallas Farmers Market? I have no idea. And neither does anyone else writing on the subject. My guess is there are two people on Earth who know the answer: Justin and Diane Fourton, Pecan Lodge’s owners. Even they might not be sure. As we’ve written before, the Fourtons have kept their cards close to their butchers’ aprons as they weigh their options. They say they’d like to stay at the downtown Dallas market where, in just…
 - 08/16/2013
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Echoes of Pat Gee’s at Whup’s Boomerang Bar-B-Q in Marlin

A hand-painted sign greets you at Whup’s Boomerang Barbecue in Marlin. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Our first view of Whup’s Boomerang Bar-B-Q in Marlin brought back some nice memories. We hadn’t seen such a genuinely classic-looking joint since our last visit to Pat Gee’s in the woods east of Tyler. While Pat’s is nestled among pine trees and pasture on a rural road, Whup’s is on a thinly settled residential street where the edge of town invades the country. A hand-painted sign – the Posse loves hand-painted BBQ signs – greets visitors to a small building that has been…
 - 08/13/2013
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