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jambos002a

First Look at Jambo’s BBQ: Great start for the new place from pit builder and competition pro Jamie Geer

Dining room at the newly-opened Jambo’s BBQ Shack in Rendon. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Jamie Geer of Burleson is a big-time barbecue competitor and has been called the da Vinci of barbecue pit builders with his sleek-looking and good-cooking line of Jambo smokers. Now, he is trying his hand at running a barbecue joint, called Jambo’s BBQ Shack and Catering, located in Rendon, not far from his home. We visited Saturday, the end of Jambo’s first week in business. “It’s been crazy,” Geer said as he cut orders for a steady line of lunch customers. We sampled his brisket,…
 - 06/08/2013
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Photo essay of Hutchins BBQ in McKinney, by the Posse’s Daniel Goncalves

Hutchins BBQ in McKinney, newcomer on the Texas Monthly Top 50 list. (Photos ©Daniel Goncalves/Fotobia.com) Here’s another great set of images from Dallas-based editorial and commercial photographer Daniel Goncalves, who joined up with the Posse early this year after moving to Dallas with wife Magda in late 2012. Daniel is helping us document the current DFW 7 BBQ Tour, where we are hitting all seven area BBQ joints from the Texas Monthly Top 50 list, each during lunch time on consecutive days. We’ve previously published several series of his classic pitmaster portraits, which is an ongoing project for Daniel. Click…
 - 06/08/2013
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Bartley’s BBQ popular with the locals, not so much with the Posse.

Bartley’s BBQ is located in a strip mall on E. Northwest Hwy. in Grapevine. (Photo©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)  Friday brought the Texas BBQ Posse to Grapevine to eat at Bartley’s BBQ, a joint that none of us had heard of before it made the 2013 Texas Monthly Top 50 list. After one visit, we’re wondering how they made the list. It was crowded and the line remained a steady 15-20 during the lunch hour. Service is cafeteria line-style with self-serve sides that were mostly very good. As for the meat, we sampled the brisket, pork loin, pork ribs, turkey, hot…
 - 06/07/2013
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A bell-ringer of a meal at Pecan Lodge during Day 4 of the Posse’s Dallas-Fort Worth barbecue tour

In return for being first in line at Pecan Lodge, Chris Wilkins rings the bell as lunch service begins. (Photo ©Jim Rossman) Where to begin to tell the story of Day 4 of the Posse’s week long-tour of the best joints in Dallas-Fort Worth? How about with Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins getting to ring the dinner bell for the start of service at Pecan Lodge. Wilkins earned the honor by arriving at Shed 2 at the Dallas Farmers Market at 9:15 a.m., a full hour and 45 minutes before Pecan Lodge opened, and 45 minutes before the shed itself opened.…
 - 06/07/2013
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Lockhart Smokehouse renews our faith in DFWs Top 7 Tour

Assistant pitmaster Damien Avila takes lunch orders at Lockhart Smokehouse (Photo©Daniel Goncalves/Fotobia.com) After Tuesday’s debacle in Garland we set our sights on Lockhart Smokehouse for lunch Wednesday and we’re proud to say the meat did not disappoint (save for one spare rib that was a bit tough). The Posse rolled into Oak Cliff on the third of seven stops on our weeklong tour of Texas Monthly’s 7 DFW joints that made the 2013 Top 50 list. While the joint was not quite as full as we saw it during our Memorial Day week live chat, it was a steady crowd and…
 - 06/06/2013
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A short meditation on baseball and barbecue disappointment, serious barbecue disappointment

The sad sight of an empty parking lot at MeShack’s Bar-B-Que on a Tuesday at 11:30am. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins) As any baseball fan knows, life is all about hitting curve balls. Constant curve balls. And so it goes with barbecue, too. The Posse re-discovered that important lesson Tuesday, the second day of its week-long “DFW Top 7 BBQ Tour,” our plan to hit all of the area joints that made Texas Monthly’s new Top 50 list. What started so grandly at Hutchins BBQ in McKinney on Monday, however, derailed badly in Garland. “The train went off the tracks and down…
 - 06/05/2013
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Hutchins BBQ in McKinney sets the bar high for the Posse’s DFW Top 7 Tour

Hutchins BBQ in McKinney has some of the best prices in the DFW area. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) We kicked off the Posse’s “DFW Top 7 BBQ Tour” Monday at Hutchins BBQ in McKinney and we came away agreeing unanimously that the smoked meat bar had been set very high for the rest of the week. “If I lived up here I’d probably eat here once a week,” Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins said of Hutchins. “I can’t believe how this place has stayed under the radar.” The brisket and ribs were outstanding and the turkey was good. The only…
 - 06/04/2013
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Posse visits Texas Monthly’s “DFW 7” top BBQ joints this week

After Texas Monthly announced their Top 50 BBQ list in mid-May, we thought one of the biggest surprises was the inclusion of seven DFW-area barbecue restaurants on the list. The last Texas Monthly list in 2008 had three places in DFW: Baker’s Ribs in Dallas, Cousin’s Barbecue in Ft. Worth and Big Daddy’s Roadhouse BBQ in Lavon. Cousin’s is the only holdover on the new list. As a group, we have been numerous times to Pecan Lodge, Lockhart Smokehouse, Longoria’s BBQ and Meshack’s Bar-B-Que Shack. However, we’ve never visited Bartley’s BBQ, Cousin’s Barbecue or Hutchins BBQ on a BBQ tour. Thus planning…
 - 06/02/2013
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Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ first timers – Miller’s Smokehouse in Belton

Brisket sits on the pit at Miller’s Smokehouse. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) You never forget your first time. That applies to visiting great barbecue joints as well. Our first trip 14 months ago to Miller’s Smokehouse in Belton was one of those unforgettable journeys. The visit was so inspiring that I couldn’t wait to get home and write about Miller’s. The lede was as follows: “Every now and then you hit the motherlode on the Texas BBQ trail. For every 20 mediocre BBQ joints, there’s one good one. For every 50 good ones, there’s one great one. You can add…
 - 05/23/2013
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Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ first timers – Joseph’s Riverport Barbecue in Jefferson

The opening spread to Texas Monthly’s Top 50 BBQ list. (Photos by Wyatt McSpadden/Texas Monthly) During the past four years, we’ve eaten a lot of great barbecue and met an equal number of notable folks running BBQ joints around the state. A meal is almost always followed by a pit tour while swapping tales about the Texas BBQ trail. They always have a story to tell. At some point the conversation almost always turns to Texas Monthly magazine and the holy grail of endorsements, their Top 50 BBQ list. Faces would light up at the possibility of landing on the…
 - 05/22/2013
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New Dallas Joint: CattleAck BBQ

From left: Todd David, David Mills, Misty David and Lauren Parajon (all photos by Jim Rossman)  In the wake of the Texas Monthly Top 50 list which was released this week, there’s been an abnormal amount of BBQ chatter on Twitter. It was in a Tweet I saw mention of CattleAck BBQ in Dallas. I was intrigued, as I’ve at least heard of most joints in Dallas and this one was under my radar. A jump to their Twitter feed @cattleackbbq led me to their website www.cattleackbbq.com. What I found was a BBQ catering business that four weeks ago started opening…
 - 05/17/2013
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Where’s Vera’s? … and other Posse reactions to Texas Monthly’s new Top 50 BBQ joints

In case you missed it, Texas Monthly’s new Top 50 list of the best BBQ joints in the state is at the end of this post. The magazine will reveal its Top 4 on Thursday. Why only 4? We’re hearing No. 5 had consistency problems and was dropped at the last minute. Now, for some Posse reaction to the new Top 50: — The most interesting omission was Vera’s Backyard Bar-B-Que in Brownsville. New Texas Monthly BBQ editor Daniel Vaughn put Vera’s in his Top 5 in the state in his book, The Prophets of Smoked Meat. But maybe whole…
 - 05/16/2013
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Corkscrew BBQ: Finally found the best BBQ in Houston…well, Spring, TX.

Corkscrew BBQ in Spring, just north of Houston. (Photos by Jim Rossman) For several months I’ve been monitoring the buzz around Corkscrew BBQ, a trailer operation in Spring TX, between Conroe and Houston. My parents had forwarded me an article from the Houston Chronicle praising a new classic of Houston BBQ and decided it would be a priority on my next trip to visit my parents. Fast forward and today’s the day. I got to Corkscrew just after noon and there were about 15 people in the line that stayed about that long until 1:30 p.m., when Pitmaster Will Buckman…
 - 05/03/2013
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Will Texas Monthly’s Top 5 BBQ joints be same as those named by its new BBQ editor?

During our live online barbecue chat Monday on DallasNews.com, a reader asked us to predict the Top 5 ranked joints in Texas Monthly’s 2013 BBQ issue, which should be available soon. There was considerable agreement among the four Posse members participating. We each put Franklin Barbecue in Austin No. 1. The next three spots were occupied by the same three joints, although the orders differed: Snow’s BBQ in Lexington, La Barbecue in Austin and Pecan Lodge in Dallas. The fifth spot, depending upon the Posse member, went to either Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor or Kreuz Market in Lockhart. A…
 - 04/30/2013
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It’s not just Austin, something big is happening in Dallas BBQ, too

These five joints are leading a BBQ renaissance in the Dallas area. (Photos ©Chris Wilkins and Jim Rossman) Reader interaction is terrific. On our story in The Dallas Morning News about Austin’s barbecue renaissance, one online reader — going by the moniker “J” — wrote: “Too bad the BBQ scene in DFW stinks.” I responded to “J” that the sentiment is wrong. There’s a barbecue renaissance in Dallas, too. From the Posse’s extensive touring, we put Pecan Lodge at the Farmers Market among the top two or three joints in the state. If Texas Monthly’s new rankings (the June issue) don’t…
 - 04/30/2013
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Today in the Dallas Morning News: The BBQ Posse’s Austin BBQ Tour

Here’s a look at our Austin BBQ Tour story in today’s Dallas Morning News travel section. This is the Posse’s second installment from the Texas BBQ trail in the DMN this year. Our Best of Texas BBQ project was published in early March. The tour grew out of a growing suspicion that Austin might be quickly replacing Lockhart as the state’s barbecue capital. And nothing we experienced on that day disproved the theory, every stop on the tour was nothing short of sensational. Click here to see the story, slideshow and video links on the DMN Travel section of dallasnews.com. Also, you can join us…
 - 04/28/2013
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See the photos from the Posse’s Austin BBQ Tour – The Fantastic Mr. Fox strikes again

Dallas Morning News staff photographer Tom Fox at work on the Austin BBQ Tour. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) When you’re on the road with the Texas BBQ Posse, it’s kind of like being in the middle of a media storm. The Posse is mainly made up of Dallas Morning News writers, editors, photojournalists and their friends. Yes, we have been accused before of being the BBQ paparazzi. On the recent Austin BBQ Tour we had nine journalists and artists in the group, including five photographers. One of those was award-winning DMN staff photographer Tom Fox. Tom has captured numerous…
 - 04/27/2013
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The Posse’s Austin BBQ Tour: Is Austin poised to overtake Lockhart as the barbecue capital of Texas?

Stops on the Austin BBQ Tour, clockwise from top left: John Mueller Meat Co., Franklin Barbecue, La Barbecue and Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew. (Photos by Tom Fox/DMN) The Dallas Morning News just posted Gary Jacobson’s story on our recent Austin BBQ Tour on both dallasnews.com and the DMN iPad app. The print story will appear on the in the newspaper’s travel section on Sunday. This may have been the best single day of barbecue we’ve ever had on tour, sampling four meats from each joint visited. As a collective group, the brisket, ribs, sausage and turkey from La Barbecue,…
 - 04/27/2013
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BBQ is….. A photo project by Posse member Daniel Goncalves

Lance Kirkpatrick, pitmaster at Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew. (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves) Here’s a sneak peek at the beginning of an extraordinary photo project by Dallas-based editorial and commercial photographer Daniel Goncalves. As most of you know by now, the Posse is a pretty creative group, made up of Dallas Morning News photojournalists, writers, editors and their friends. With this project, Daniel has raised the creative bar for the Posse. Daniel writes about the concept: I love people as much as I love food. The Posse has introduced me to great people and incredible BBQ. While on tour I’ve been…
 - 04/22/2013
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In very stout BBQ company, Stiles Switch takes the day in ribs during the Posse’s Austin tour

Posse members enter Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew for our fourth tour stop. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)   We had a few surprises on our lightning BBQ tour — 400 miles in 13 hours — to Austin and back Wednesday. Among them, the great pork ribs we had at Stiles Switch BBQ and Brew. “That was the best rib I’ve had in a long time,” Posse member Bryan Gooding said. He said the rub had a “wonderful” flavor and the meat was juicy, firm and cooked perfectly. Several other Posse members agreed. Located in a small shopping center about…
 - 04/18/2013
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Sneak peek at our Austin BBQ Tour

Lunch no. 1 at Franklin Barbecue. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) The Posse was wheels up from Dallas early this morning to check out the growing Austin barbecue scene, which we believe could be overtaking Lockhart as the capital of Texas BBQ. This trip was a chance to test that theory. Stay tuned to the Texas BBQ Posse blog for stories and snippets from the trip. Our reporting will culminate at the end of April with a story in The Dallas Morning News and multimedia on dallasnews.com. Here’s the trip itinerary: Austin BBQ Tour 6:30am: Leave Dallas 9:30am: Franklin Barbecue,…
 - 04/17/2013
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First Look: The Slow Bone Barbeque in Dallas

All photos by Jim Rossman It’s a great day when I get to eat at a new place. Today, Jack Perkins, owner of local burger joint Maple and Motor, opened the doors to The Slow Bone Barbeque, his new barbecue restaurant at 2234 Irving Blvd. at the base of the new Sylvan Ave. bridge near the Design District in Dallas. Jack won the brisket competition at last year’s Meat Fight and announced his plans to open Slow Bone late last year. Well, today was the day. I was tenth in line when the doors opened this morning and the line…
 - 04/16/2013
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Lockhart Smokehouse owner wants to add another pit to keep up with demand at his Oak Cliff joint

Our Shiner Platter lunch at Lockhart Smokehouse. Yes, it was a good as it looks. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins) During an anything-but-light lunch Thursday at Lockhart Smokehouse in Dallas, owner Jeff Bergus said business has been so strong — up more than 25 percent this year — that he’s thinking of adding a second pit to the big Bewley that the joint has used since opening in early 2011. Where would it go? Bergus said he wasn’t sure, but pointed out that there is a small, vacant storefront adjacent to the back of his place, which would be one possibility. Lockhart…
 - 04/12/2013
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First visit to Opie’s Barbecue in Spicewood

Opie’s Barbecue in Spicewood had been on the “must visit” list for a while. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) The timing could have been better for my first visit to Opie’s Barbecue in Spicewood. I was following a hungry Easter crowd, arriving at 2 p.m. and there wasn’t a lot of meat left in the large black warming pit that greets you as you walk in the front door. This joint has been on the Posse’s “must visit” list for a while, but unfortunately Spicewood is a little off the beaten path. They’ve been named a Texas Monthly Top 50…
 - 04/10/2013
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Catching up with pitmaster Travis Mayes at Meshack’s Bar-Be-Que Shack in Garland

The Tuesday lunch crowd at MeShack’s Bar-Be-Que Shack in Garland. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) It had been too long, so I went out to visit old BBQ friends in Garland on Tuesday. Travis and Donna Mayes opened the now legendary Meshack’s Bar-Be-Que Shack in May 2009. They led the way to a renaissance of Dallas barbecue that has been exhilarating, including the opening of Pecan Lodge and Lockhart Smokehouse. New joints continue to open in the D/FW area almost monthly now, some good, some bad. BBQ snob Daniel Vaughn put MeShack’s on the map in late 2009, giving them…
 - 04/03/2013
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