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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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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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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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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
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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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The Barbecue Chronicles: Best of Texas BBQ Tour

Brisket, ribs and sausage at Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor. (Photo by Tom Fox/DMN) By Gary Jacobson/Texas BBQ Posse For a while now, members of the Texas BBQ Posse have strongly suspected that Dallas finally has a joint that can hang with the elite barbecue restaurants in the state. Our recent Posse Favorites Tour confirmed that suspicion. We drove nearly 700 miles and ate at 10 top places over 48 hours. We scored brisket, pork ribs and sausage, the holy trinity of Texas barbecue, on a 10-point scale. In the end, we compiled a list of the six top-scoring spots.…
 - 03/12/2013
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Indeed, Lockhart is no longer the BBQ capital of Texas, and other things we learned from the Posse’s Best of Texas Tour

A customer eats lunch at Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q in Tyler. (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves) A few things we think we learned from our recent Best of Texas BBQ Tour: –In a post here a while back, we pondered whether Lockhart was losing its distinction as the BBQ capital of Texas. Upon more reflection, we’re ready to say, yes, it definitely has lost the crown. With Franklin Barbecue and a host of start-up joints, we’re declaring Austin the new capital. To us, Lockhart is going stale. In Texas barbecue, you can’t take success for granted. –Related to that, newcomers are making a…
 - 03/12/2013
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Today in the Dallas Morning News: The BBQ Posse’s Best of Texas picks

Here’s a look at our three-page spread in today’s Dallas Morning News travel section. The Best of Texas BBQ project was published in print and online on dallasnews.com and the DMN iPad app. Dallas Morning News editor Bob Mong shared his thoughts on the Posse in his weekly note to the readers published in today’s paper: I can always stop by photo editor Chris Wilkins’ desk and catch up on the top visual journalism of the day. On many weekends, though, Chris joins the posse — the Texas BBQ Posse, that is. For years, Chris and a group of Dallas…
 - 03/10/2013
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The Posse’s best of the best BBQ joints in Texas: Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Pecan Lodge in Dallas and Snow’s BBQ in Lexington

The faces behind our top six BBQ joints, clockwise from top left: Aaron Franklin of Franklin BBQ, Justin Fourton of Pecan Lodge, Tootsie Tomanetz of Snow’s BBQ, Roy Perez of Kreuz Market, Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller Barbecue, Belender Wells & Alan Caldwell of Fargo’s Pit BBQ. (Photos by Tom Fox/DMN) The Dallas Morning News posted the results of the Posse’s Best of Texas BBQ Tour today on its Web site. The results will appear on the paper’s iPad’s application this weekend and in the newspaper’s travel section on Sunday. It was an exceedingly close finish. With 30 being the…
 - 03/08/2013
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Pecan Lodge of Dallas wins best ribs in the Posse’s Best of Texas BBQ Tour

Order of award-winning ribs at Pecan Lodge in the Dallas Farmer’s Market. (Tom Fox/DMN) While we wait for the full results of the Posse’s recent Best of Texas barbecue tour to be published in The Dallas Morning News this weekend, we can reveal one more detail: Pecan Lodge in Dallas won the pork rib category. Five of our six judges rated pitmaster Justin Fourton’s ribs a perfect 10. The sixth judge scored a 9. We reported earlier here that Snow’s BBQ in Lexington had the highest scoring brisket. It received a 10 from every judge, the only meat to achieve…
 - 03/06/2013
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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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Lines, lines, everywhere we go there are BBQ lines

Long lines at Franklin BBQ in Austin, top, and Pecan Lodge in Dallas. (Photos © Daniel Goncalves) Aaron Franklin has made it cool to stand in a long line for barbecue. That has been the norm at his joint in Austin going back to its trailer days in 2009. Now, the phenomenon appears to be spreading, as we discovered on our recent Best of Texas BBQ Tour. When we left Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Que in Tyler about noon last Friday, three dozen people were in line and more appeared to be walking down the sidewalk to join the queue. This…
 - 02/13/2013
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Big BBQ beef ribs coming soon to Pecan Lodge in Dallas

Posse veteran Jim Rossman and I went to lunch at the Pecan Lodge on Thursday. For us, it was our first time to eat at the popular Dallas Farmers Market barbecue location since it was featured on the TV show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives at the end of May. The lines have just been too long. But when we arrived just before the 11 a.m. opening, only 15 or so people were ahead of us and it took only about 10 minutes to work our way to the cash register where we ordered. We both got 3-meat platters. And neither…
 - 09/14/2012
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On a barbecue tour, Facebook is your friend

From the accompanying video (* the video was removed a while after we wrote about it), it would appear that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is a barbecue fan. Though it’s hard to think that Silicon Valley’s apparent taste for fish eyes would ever catch on in Texas. Anyway, real barbecue aficionado or not, the Posse wants to thank Zuck for developing the best tool ever for keeping barbecue fans informed and connected, especially when they are on a tour. Witness our recent 700-mile, 35-hour run to the Texas Gulf Coast and back. Posse co-founder and ace photographer Chris Wilkins regularly…
 - 06/13/2012
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Goodbye Luckie’s Smokehouse, hello OC Smokehouse & Bar

UPDATE: OC Smokehouse went out of business within a few months. Stay tuned to see what opens there next! 12/2011 When one door closes, another one opens. Such is the case of Luckie’s Smokehouse on Davis Street in Oak Cliff. The new OC Smokehouse & Bar will be opening for business there tomorrow. As predicted by the Dallas Observer’s City of Ate food blog two weeks ago, Luckie’s closed due to disputes between co-owners Nhat Ngo and Charles “Lucky” Johnson. Speculation was running rampant as to who would move into the building in the upcoming and trendy north Oak Cliff…
 - 09/02/2011

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