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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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Back for more: BBQ Signs of our Times

Marshall’s BBQ, Garland, Texas. (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves/Fotobia.com) BBQ Signs of our Times is back once again,with more memorable signs from our last trip to Central Texas on the Heart of Texas BBQ Tour and other Posse stops over the past couple of months. This blog post number eight of classic BBQ signs. You can use the search box in the upper right of the Posse blog homepage if you’d like to see some other sign posts, just search “BBQ Signs of Our Times”. If you happen to see a great sign while you’re out on the Texas BBQ Trail, please…
 - 08/09/2013
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The power of return customers on display at Kirby’s Barbeque in Mexia

A customer arrives at Kirby’s Barbeque in Mexia. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Luckily, we got to Kirby’s Barbeque near Mexia about 11:30 on Friday morning. So, at noon, while the line of lunch customers was building, we were already eating some excellent brisket and some very good ribs. At one point, Posse veteran Bruce Tomaso counted 20 people waiting to order at this rural barbecue outpost about 90 miles south of Dallas. Considering that Big D is roughly 150 times larger than Mexia, population nearly 8,000, Tomaso calculated that an equivalent line at Pecan Lodge would number 3,000. That…
 - 08/07/2013
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At Miller’s Smokehouse in Belton, expansion means same great barbecue and now a bar, too

Pitmaster and owner Dirk Miller stands outside Miller’s Smokehouse in Belton. (Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) On the looks-like scale, Dirk Miller is closer to Kris Kringle than Tom Cruise. But the owner of Miller’s Smokehouse in Belton was channeling Cruise from Risky Business when we visited last week during our Heart of Texas BBQ Tour. For Miller, too, the dream is always the same: He awakes and the sun is shining through his windows, meaning it’s 8 a.m., meaning he overslept, meaning he didn’t get the pits fired by the required 2 or 3 a.m., meaning disaster for his barbecue…
 - 08/05/2013
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Here’s how you can beat the long lines at Pecan Lodge in Dallas

The legendary Trough at Pecan Lodge, with a side of mac & cheese. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) We just got this note from Diane and Justin Fourton, owners of Pecan Lodge, detailing some big changes at one of the great BBQ joints in Texas: Dear Friends, Just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know that we’ve been working on a few things to help make it easier for those coming down to eat with us. Starting today, we are happy to announce that the following options are now available: 1. A second cash register has…
 - 08/01/2013
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Posse favorites: The Jambo Texan sandwich at Jambo’s BBQ Shack

The Jambo Texan sandwich at Jambo’s BBQ Shack in Rendon. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Every now and then you run into something so uniquely Texan that you stop in pure amazement. This is the case with pitmaster Jamie Geer’s Jambo Texan sandwich at Jambo’s BBQ Shack in Rendon. The Posse hit Jambo’s in force during their first week of business and was quite impressed. It wasn’t surprising. Jamie not only builds what many consider to be the best BBQ smoker the in the world, the Lamborghini-esque Jambo pit, but he is also a veteran pitmaster on the competition BBQ…
 - 07/24/2013
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Slow Bone Update: Less smoke is a good thing

Brisket, ribs and cilantro sausage from The Slow Bone. (Photo by Jim Rossman) I stopped by The Slow Bone for lunch today and I was really happy with what I found on my tray. I started out with a two meat plate of moist brisket and ribs, but owner Jack Perkins told me he’s been tweaking the recipe and grind of the cilantro sausage, so I adjusted to a three meat plate. I have to say my first bite of brisket made me close my eyes, stop chewing and savor. The texture was right on and the fat was perfectly…
 - 07/22/2013
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Success brings a new smoker to Pecan Lodge in Dallas, say hello to “Big Rick”

Pitmaster Justin Fourton shows off his new smoker Big Rick at Pecan Lodge. (Photo ©Philip Lamb) Posse member Phil Lamb checks in with Pecan Lodge pitmaster Justin Fourton at Texas Monthly’s “Behind the Pit Dinner” event on Wednesday night.  Phil writes: We’ve known for a while that Pecan Lodge offers some of the best smoked meats around, but its status as an elite BBQ joint was solidified when it was awarded a tie for the No. 2 spot on Texas Monthly’s “Top 50” BBQ list. Now the lines at Pecan Lodge, which were already plenty long, frequently require “Lovers of…
 - 07/19/2013

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