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will

Yes, we’re all riding the wave of this Texas barbecue phenomenon

  Lockhart Smokehouse pitmaster Will Fleischman. (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves/Fotobia.com) A while back, after the lunch rush and long before dinner, I was sipping a beer and talking to Will Fleischman, the pitmaster-philosopher at Lockhart Smokehouse in Dallas. Is the Texas barbecue bubble going to burst? I asked. Will the culinary accolades from around the country and the long lines of customers here eventually go away? Fleischman acknowledged that the frenzy for Texas barbecue might someday cool. But, he said, he was going to ride the wave of popularity as far as it goes. He had been employed at Lockhart since…
 - 06/24/2013
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Lots of gorilla dust in the Texas barbecue world…Why?

Customers wait in line at Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) I don’t know if Ross Perot likes barbecue. He’s Texan, so probably. But it doesn’t really matter. He had the perfect term for what’s happening now in some parts of the Texas barbecue world. Gorilla dust. Whenever Ross saw sideshows obscure real issues, whenever he saw posturing and anemic attempts at intimidation, he called it “gorilla dust.” For him, cutting through b.s. was the only way to do business. That approach helped make him a business legend. During the past week or so, as I’ve…
 - 06/15/2013
bikeend

‘Bikes, Blues, and Barbecues,’ about a father and son bicycle tour through Texas, now available as an e-book

Robby Landauer rides between Lockhart and Bastrop, on the way to Giddings. This was the longest day of their tour. You may remember the father and son — Tim and Robby Landauer — who made the bicycle barbecue tour through the Central Texas heartland. We published an item about them in March after Robby sent us a copy of an unpublished manuscript he had written about the trip titled “Bikes, Blues, and Barbecues: Me, my dad and our three favorite things.” Now, Robby Landauer has turned his manuscript into an e-book, available both through Amazon and Google Play. “You don’t need…
 - 06/10/2013
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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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Dallas BBQ history made at Daniel Vaughn’s book party with the first briskets ever cooked in Big D by Aaron Franklin

Aaron Franklin, center, works the serving line while Justin Fourton works his smoker “Lurlene.” (Jim Rossman photo) Friday was a historic night in Dallas barbecue. The book party for Daniel Vaughn’s Prophets of Smoked Meat at the home of Steve and Anne Stodghill brought together four of Texas’ best pitmasters: Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Justin Fourton of Pecan Lodge in Dallas, Tim Byres of Smoke in Dallas and Will Fleischman of Lockhart Smokehouse in Dallas. Steve Stodghill, a principal at the Fish and Richardson law firm, represents Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Daniel Vaughn signing books (@harryhunsicker…
 - 05/18/2013
Walshbook

A review: In Barbecue Crossroads, Robb Walsh shows how to write a road trip book

Author Robb Walsh doesn’t think much of the best-of barbecue lists compiled by bloggers and journalists. But we won’t hold that against him.  The former food writer at the Houston Press, whose Barbecue  Crossroads was just issued by the University of Texas Press, admits he was once there himself. Besides, Crossroads is a fine book. As a barbecue road trip account, it’s everything that Daniel Vaughn’s The Prophets of Smoked Meat isn’t. “Take off your jacket, honey, make yourself comfortable,” Thelma Williams of Thelma’s in Houston tells a New York companion of Walsh’s during their visit to her place. Thelma…
 - 05/14/2013
vegan

True confessions of a BBQ vegan

Wearing my favorite BBQ t-shirt from Stanley’s while dining at our favorite vegan joint, The Loving Hut in Addison. I’ve been a blogger for the past ten years, writing mainly about photojournalism and barbecue. I even helped start the now-defunct Dallas Morning News fantasy football blog in the early 2000’s. Because I have a confession to make, this may be the toughest post I’ve ever had to write. For six long weeks in February and March of this year, I walked in the shoes of the enemy. The co-founder of the Texas BBQ Posse became a vegan. I’m the same guy who…
 - 05/07/2013
POSM

A review: Daniel Vaughn’s book on Texas BBQ seems more about bad barbecue than good

  The Posse has been a strong supporter of Daniel Vaughn, self pro-claimed BBQ Snob, champion blogger and new BBQ editor of Texas Monthly magazine. Once, long before he got his new gig, we even discussed how an alliance of aggressive bloggers — him and us — might actually be able to displace the magazine he now works for as the bible of Texas barbecue. So, this review is painful in the blogger brotherhood. I expected his new book, The Prophets of Smoked Meat, to be a celebration of great Texas barbecue because there is plenty to cheer, including an…
 - 05/06/2013
fox-sign

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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Even in Atlanta, they love Texas barbecue and follow the Posse

       Snow’s BBQ pit boss Tootsie Tomanetz tends the pits as the sun rises over Lexington. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins) A recent item posted on Eat It, Atlanta involves a tour of Texas barbecue joints inspired by the Posse, according to its author, who goes by the moniker The Legend. A group of four barbecue fans — two hailing from Atlanta, one from Boston and one from Texas — visited nine joints in 48 hours and scored the brisket and sausage at each,  just as we did on our recent Best of Texas tour. The group’s verdict: Snow’s BBQ in…
 - 04/25/2013
bobbyM

Mueller ties run deep in BBQ joints on the Posse’s Best of Austin Tour

A portrait of the late Bobby Mueller, shot by daughter LeAnn, watches over La Barbecue. (Photo by Tom Fox/DMN) Follow the roots of most of the joints on our recent Best of Austin tour and they trace back, directly or indirectly, to Texas legend Louie Mueller and his place in Taylor. LeAnn and John Mueller,  grand children of Louie and children of Bobby, are the most direct links. LeAnn owns La Barbecue. John is the pitmaster at John Mueller Meat Co. They used to work together but then there was that infamous blow up. Aaron Franklin, owner of Franklin Barbecue,…
 - 04/23/2013
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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
fire

Posse blog readers: Here’s your chance to win free Texas BBQ from FoodyDirect

In the news business, two of the best words you can use in a headline to attract attention are “win” and “free.” Now, because of an offer to Posse blog readers from FoodyDirect, an online food marketplace, we can add two more: “Texas” and “barbecue.” Win free Texas barbecue from either Snow’s BBQ in Lexington, Kreuz Market in Lockhart or Black’s Barbecue in Lockhart. The food, depending upon the joint selected, is valued at as much as $110. It will be shipped directly to you. You can qualify for a chance to win by clicking on the FoodyDirect box at…
 - 04/17/2013
will

More evidence of the Texas BBQ hipster pitmaster, and this one’s smoking turkey

Lockhart Smokehouse pitmaster Will Fleischman. (Photo ©Chris WIlkins/Texas BBQ Posse) While we were at Lockhart Smokehouse in Dallas the other day, pitmaster Will Fleischman stopped by our table to explain his recent experiments cooking turkey breast. He didn’t have high hopes, he admitted, but the final product turned out well and will soon be added to the regular menu. We tried some and it was excellent. As Fleischman talked, it occurred to us that here was another example of the phenomenon we wrote about recently, the young hipster pitmaster who is changing Texas barbecue. Last year Fleischman was named one…
 - 04/15/2013
clydesPORT

Can you keep a secret? Clyde Biggins looks to expand his underground BBQ operation in West Dallas

Pitmaster Clyde Biggins of Clyde’s Rolling Bar-B-Que. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) At Clyde’s Rolling Bar-B-Que — a trailer on Westmoreland Road in West Dallas open two days a week and soon to be three — there’s as much nostalgia on the menu as smoked meat. “Is that Clyde?” an elderly man said as he stopped his big pickup truck beside Clyde Biggins’ barbecue pit last Saturday afternoon. “It’s Clyde,” Clyde said. “Do you know me?” the man in the pickup said. They talked for several minutes, recalling when, two decades ago, Clyde ran a popular barbecue joint a couple…
 - 04/09/2013
PLodge

Hipster pitmasters? Young guns of BBQ? Resurgence of Texas tradition? There’s a BBQ revolution happening and we don’t know what to call it

Pecan Lodge pitmaster Justin Fourton and his infamous “Slim Pickins” sign. (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves) As Posse member Jim Rossman and I ate at Pecan Lunch Thursday, we talked about how to characterize what’s happening now in Texas barbecue. Something big is going on and it needs a name. We had just heard BBQ Snob and new Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn call it a “resurgence.” He referred to young pitmasters, like Justin Fourton at Pecan Lodge, adopting the old school ways and using only wood to cook for a new generation of barbecue fans. (Note: To hold our place,…
 - 04/08/2013
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Our first Posse wedding and our first taste of John Lewis’ pitmaster magic at La Barbecue in Austin

Ali cuts Easter brisket at La Barbecue “Cuisine Texicana” in Austin. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Over a three-day period recently, Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins and I each ate at La Barbecue “Cuisine Texicana” the trailer start-up in Austin featuring pitmaster John Lewis — and free beer. Comparing notes later, we agreed that La Barbecue would have fared well in our recent Best of Texas Tour. We didn’t include it because the joint opened last November and has been operating only a few months. Longevity is a consideration. On this trip, we went to Austin for the wedding of Posse members…
 - 04/05/2013
signs002

BBQ Signs of Our Times is back

Country Kitchen, Lampasas. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) A Posse rule of thumb: The cooler the sign, the better the barbecue. Nine times out of ten this has proved true. BBQ Signs of our Times is back once again,with some memorable signs from our last trip to the Hill Country and points in between. This is our seventh blog post on 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…
 - 04/02/2013
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The 10 top posts of all-time on the Texas BBQ Posse blog

Posse members toast at Loco Coyote Grill in Glen Rose during our Brazos & Beyond BBQ Tour. (Photo©R.J. Hinkle) We missed a couple of important Posse milestones recently. So, forgive us a few moments of backslapping as we catch up. The very first item on this blog was posted March 7, 2010, just over three years ago. It likely will never be a trivia question, like “what was the first video played on MTV?” (Answer: Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles.) But, still, it’s kinda sentimental to us. The item was about our first trip to the Central…
 - 03/22/2013
bike

Bikes, Blues and Barbecues: A father and son hit the Texas BBQ Trail on 2 wheels

Tim Landauer poses in front of the Texas Capitol, left. Son Robby rides between Taylor and Austin. Here at Posse headquarters, we’ve been feeling pretty good about ourselves and the nearly 700-mile Best of Texas Tour that we did — by car — over a long weekend. Then we got an email from Tim Landauer, a North Texas resident who, with his son, Robby, took a 6-day, 276-mile tour of the Central Texas barbecue heartland by bicycle last May. They ate at five of the same joints we did and arrived at the same conclusion: “Franklin’s is the best we…
 - 03/18/2013
foxPoleSM

The Fantastic Mr. Fox – Photographing the Best of Texas BBQ tour

Dallas Morning News staffer Tom Fox works the line at Franklin BBQ. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) We had several firsts for the Posse on our recent Best of Texas BBQ Tour. This was the first tour spanning three days and also our first trip taken to rank the top joints in the state. The results will be published in The Dallas Morning News and online on March 10. Another first was to have the Morning News assign a staff photographer to travel with us, documenting the 700-mile journey to the best BBQ joints in Texas. The Posse is made up…
 - 02/28/2013
fire

Memo to Gov. Perry: Texas needs a truth in BBQ law

Last week on the Posse’s Facebook page, we had a good discussion with readers about the use of real wood or other means to smoke barbecue. One reader, Mark “The Hogfather” Gabrick, suggested that we lead an initiative to get Texas to pass a truth in barbecue law. Or, more simply, we should designate joints that use only wood as “Posse approved.” Gotta admit, that last phrase does have a nice ring. The Hogfather noted that “Carolina” passed a similar law a while back, which sent us scrambling to the Internet archives to substantiate. Indeed, in 1986, Gov. Richard Riley…
 - 02/25/2013
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Classic BBQ signs from the Best Of Texas tour

Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q, Tyler. (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves) A Posse rule of thumb: The more homemade the sign, the more down home the barbecue. BBQ Signs of our Times is back again, this time with a mix of new and historic photos. This is our sixth blog post on classic BBQ signs. If you happen to see a cool sign while you’re out on the Texas BBQ Trail, please snap a photo and keep us in mind. If you’re a fan of our Texas BBQ Posse Facebook or Twitter page, you can upload a photo for us to include on…
 - 02/19/2013
daniel

Running into the BBQ Snob is a good sign

  Daniel Vaughn, aka: The BBQ Snob, at Snow’s BBQ in Lexington. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Running into your “barbecue friends” out in the wild is really a pleasant surprise. Twice this year I’ve run into Daniel Vaughn, a barbecue blogger and author who’s tireless pursuit of great smoked meat has benefitted us all. I’m never surprised to run into Daniel at a restaurant, because if I see him, I know I’m in for some good barbecue. I always look over my shoulder for Daniel when I eat at a new place, like Fargo’s new location in Bryan. I…
 - 02/16/2013
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Portraits of the great pitmasters, from Best of Texas BBQ tour

Herschel Tomanetz, Snow’s BBQ, Lexington. (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves) Check out this amazing set of portraits by Dallas-based editorial and commercial photographer Daniel Goncalves, featuring the pitmasters behind the BBQ we ate last week on our Best of Texas BBQ tour. Daniel and his wife Magda recently moved to the area from Jacksonville, Florida. His love for both photography and barbecue led him to get in touch the Posse, which is mainly made of photographers, writers and editors from The Dallas Morning News. We invited Daniel to come along and help us document the trip, while eating the best BBQ that…
 - 02/15/2013

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