Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q

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The Posse tells you how Texas barbecue is different from the rest

A father & son wait on their order at Gonzales Food Market. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) (Note: This item was written as a guest post for the blog at FoodyDirect, a Posse advertiser, and is being republished here.) As the popularity of Texas-style smoked meat spreads across the country, one of the great philosophical questions of our time is emerging. What makes Texas barbecue different from other barbecue? The answers are many and can lead to intense debates: Beef vs. pork. Dry rubs vs. sauce. Wood vs. charcoal. Indirect heat vs. direct. Austin vs. Memphis or Kansas City or…
 - 02/11/2015
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See the photos: Good times at the Red Dirt BBQ & Music Festival in Tyler

Lockhart Smokehouse pitmaster Damien Avila slices brisket at the Red Dirt BBQ & Music Festival. (Photo by Phil Lamb) Several Posse members headed over to Tyler on Saturday for the first annual Red Dirt BBQ & Music Festival. Fifteen of the best barbecue restaurants in the state were represented, along with great Texas music all afternoon and evening. The event was held on Tyler’s historic downtown square. Click here to see a list of the 15 All-Star BBQ joints that served attendees of the festival. Judging from what we saw, it was a huge success. Though the event was sold out,…
 - 05/04/2014
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Future Posse member has his first-ever taste of brisket at Pat Gee’s BBQ in Tyler

My daughter Ashley Montgomery and grandson James at Pat Gee’s Barbecue. (Photo ©Chris WIlkins/Texas BBQ Posse) For every Texas barbecue fanatic, there are smoked meat moments that will always be remembered. I was lucky enough to have another of those great memories on Saturday at Pat Gee’s Barbecue outside of Tyler. I remember the first time eating brisket for breakfast with friends at Snow’s BBQ on a foggy Saturday morning in November 2009. That experience forever changed our view of what barbecue could be and led to the birth of Texas BBQ Posse. Every Central Texas BBQ tour we’ve had…
 - 03/30/2014
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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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A readers’ guide to The Barbecue Chronicles, the journeys of the Texas BBQ Posse

Since November 2009, members of the Texas BBQ Posse have traveled nearly 5,000 miles searching for the best barbecue in the state. True sojourners of smoked meat, BBQ Snob and prolific blogger Daniel Vaughn once called us. Back at you, Daniel. As we await publication in The Dallas Morning News of our recent Best of Texas Tour, here’s an annotated readers’ guide, with links, to the first 11 chapters of our barbecue chronicles. Chapter 1: Original Central Texas Tour After our first breakfast of brisket at Snow’s, we learn that, before that moment, we knew nothing at all about great…
 - 03/04/2013
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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
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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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Posse favorites: Stanley’s Brother-in-Law sandwich

One of the great discoveries on our recent East Texas BBQ Tour was the brother-in-law sandwich at Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q in Tyler, the first stop on our four-joint tour. Several of us went directly for the 4-meat sampler, no sides, as a way to quickly judge the long-time barbeque joint. Fortunately, a couple of our posse members ordered and loved the brother-in-law sandwich, not your everyday BBQ sandwich. Author David Gelin writes a great description of the infamous sandwich in his book, “BBQ Joints: Stories and Secret Recipes from the Barbeque Belt.” “STANLEY’S FAMOUS BROTHER-IN-LAW HOT LINK, BUTTERFLIED. Grill…
 - 04/30/2010
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The Barbecue Chronicles: One day, four pit stops in East Texas

The wheelman on a barbecue tour needs thick skin and quick reflexes. During a 240-mile trip from Dallas through East Texas on a recent Saturday, our driver had both. Moments after getting needled for poking along at 50 in a 70 mph zone, David Woo quickly had his car at the speed limit. Then we spotted smoke coming from a portable smoker in front of a low building. We were headed east on State Highway 31, between Tyler and Kilgore, about 115 miles from Dallas. “That looks interesting,” one posse member said. “Let’s go back.” Woo, a photographer at The…
 - 03/13/2010
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Flashback at Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q

We started our recent East Texas BBQ Tour at Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q in Tyler. It’s been around since the 1950s, when W.G. Watson owned the joint. J.D. Stanley, a former oil field worker, bought and renamed it in 1960. Nick & Jen Pencis now own Stanley’s, with deep respect to a 50-plus years of the history within. I grew up in Tyler and some of my earliest dining memories are from Stanley’s. Much to my surprise, the place is almost exactly how I remember it 40 years ago, when Mr. Stanley was taking orders at the counter. I always…
 - 03/09/2010
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