Texas BBQ tours

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gonzoweb01

Gonzales Food Market: Three generations of BBQ mastery

After breakfast at City Market in Luling, we headed southeast on Hwy. 183 to the old town square of Gonzales, home to another one of the best BBQ joints in Texas. Gonzales Food Market was founded 52 years ago by the Lopez family as a small grocery and meat market, with one brick pit constructed to cook sausage. Two more pits to smoke a wide array of meats followed. Second and third generations of the family still run the joint, which morphed into more of a restaurant in the mid-1970s. When we arrived at 11:30 am the line was already…
 - 04/07/2011
family01

Family Tradition Bar-B-Q: New stop on the central Texas BBQ trail

UPDATE: This joint closed in October 2011. The Fogle family hopes to open a joint near Lake McQueeney sometime in Spring 2012. An unexpected stop was awaiting us as we threaded our way on the blue highways around the Interstate 10 corridor looking for the next BBQ joint to visit. We had planned a fourth stop at Schulenburg City Market, but they were closed when we got there. We were on the prowl for a replacement. In the tiny town of Waelder, population a little over 900, we stumbled into the newly opened Family Tradition Bar-B-Q. Waelder is north of…
 - 04/05/2011
lulingweb01

City Market in Luling: First stop on the I-10 BBQ roadtrip

I was joined by an old friend last weekend on a quick five-stop BBQ roadtrip. Sports photographer extraordinaire Jeff Haynes, who was in San Antonio covering the NCAA basketball regionals for Reuters, had a down day on Saturday so we headed east on Interstate 10. The original plan was to hit three city markets and see what we found in between. All three joints were threaded together by I-10 between San Antonio and Houston. They had all received five stars from our friend Daniel Vaughn, aka the BBQ Snob, so I knew it would be a tasty journey. We planned…
 - 04/01/2011
louies2

Texas BBQ wins another convert

Before Dan Sweet made his recent pilgrimage to the Central Texas barbecue holy land, he called the Posse. The Oregon resident, who works in corporate public relations, said he had won a Texas tourism essay contest and that one of the research resources he had used was this blog. Thanks, Dan. It’s always nice to get a nod. Anyway, for his essay about starting the church of Texas barbecue, Dan and his wife, Cheryl, won a five-day trip to Austin and the Central Texas barbecue trail. Last week, they went to Lockhart, Taylor and other famous barbecue towns and ate…
 - 03/28/2011
centex2tour_poster

The Barbecue Chronicles: Central Texas 5-Star BBQ Tour, 8 joints in 26 hours

Some of us didn’t know what good smoked brisket was until we ate at Snow’s during our first Barbecue Posse tour a year ago. Since then, the Lexington place has been our unanimous standard. Nothing compared. But after a recent two-day, 555-mile “anniversary” tour to Central Texas, there’s a new favorite for several of us: Franklin Barbecue, a trailer joint at 34th street and I-35 in Austin. Over a 26-hour period, we ate at eight places, including lunch at Franklin and breakfast at Snow’s BBQ the next morning. Tour organizer Chris Wilkins, a photo editor at The Dallas Morning News,…
 - 01/13/2011
city_lede

City Meat Market in Giddings – Is this one of the best joints in Texas?

I can’t think of a better way to start the New Year than to share some great photos of City Meat Market in Giddings shot by Posse member Guy Reynolds. Guy is a Dallas-based photojournalist and fellow photo editor at The Dallas Morning News. Guy is a regular on our Texas BBQ tours, but was unable to join in on the recent Central Texas 5-Star Anniversary BBQ Tour, an eight-stop trip that ended at the City Meat Market. However, he was driving through Giddings a week later and asked about the City Meat Market. I told him it very well…
 - 01/01/2011
prausecounter

Prause Meat Market in La Grange – Four generations of BBQ greatness

Our sixth stop on the Central Texas 5-Star Anniversary BBQ Tour took us back in time to Prause Meat Market, a fourth generation meat market in the small town of La Grange. We had begun day two of the tour with breakfast at Snow’s BBQ in Lexington, which set the bar for BBQ excellence for the day. La Grange is 39 miles south of Lexington on US Hwy. 77, a route that passes directly by City Meat Market in Giddings, one the the best BBQ joints in Texas. Gary Prause met us at the counter and basically gave us the…
 - 12/20/2010
cwblog

Wilkins tries something new – Blogging while riding shotgun on a BBQ tour

Given a choice, Chris Wilkins would prefer to do his blogging from home, a glass of red wine nearby. More and more, though, the Texas BBQ Posse co-founder has been live-blogging from the center of the action. During the Blues, Bandits & BBQ cook off in Oak Cliff in September, he regularly posted items and photographs over two days and one long night. “Can’t believe I’m still standing,” he wrote then. “It’s 3:30 am and it’s finally cooled down, after a pretty strong little thunderstorm…” On our recent “anniversary” tour to Central Texas, Wilkins tried something new: Posting from the…
 - 12/11/2010
train

It’s hard to beat BBQ and trains

A surprise from our recent anniversary tour of Central Texas barbecue joints was the discovery of all the train-watching opportunities near the places we visited. In Smithville, a few blocks from Zimmerhanzel’s Bar-B-Que, there’s a nice city park, with a big gazebo, located trackside. In Giddings, a short walk from the City Meat Market, you can watch coal trains (empty and full) pass through and visit a train museum. One of the exhibits lets you toot a train horn. Bet you can’t do it just once!! In Taylor, right outside the doors of the Taylor Cafe, there’s a switching yard…
 - 12/09/2010
frankscombo

Franklin Barbecue plans to move

UPDATE: According to our friends at Man Up Texas BBQ, Franklin Barbecue will be moving to 900 E. 11th St., the former location of Ben’s Long Branch Barbecue, hoping to open some time in early January. On our recent Central Texas anniversary tour, Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue in Austin told us that he was looking to move soon to a permanent building. For about a year, he has been operating out of trailers at the back of an old gas station on the east side of I-35 at 34th street, producing what many of us in the Posse think…
 - 12/08/2010
elgSIGN

Southside Market in Elgin – It’s on the way from Austin to Taylor….

As I was making the itinerary for our recent Central Texas 5-Star Anniversary BBQ Tour, I reluctantly added Southside Market in Elgin. It was on the way from stops one and two in Austin and our fourth stop at the Taylor Cafe in Taylor, where the posse was overnighting. The problem was that reviews of Southside Market are all over the place, never a good sign if you’re looking for the best joints in Texas. This was either going to be the best sausage the posse had ever tasted or a waste of time. As we pulled in the parking…
 - 12/04/2010
jake1

Posse writer Gary Jacobson talks Central Texas cue with Mr. BBQ

Listen in as Texas BBQ Posse founding member and Dallas Morning News writer Gary Jacobson returns for his third visit this year with Mr. BBQ, a syndicated radio show out of Portland, Oregon. Gary is the preeminent barbecue expert at the Morning News and one of the top writers in the BBQ nation. Mr. Barbeque, aka Bruce Bjorkman, has an outdoor cooking show on Newsradio 750 KXL in Portland that is syndicated up and down the Pacific coast. Gary has become a regular visitor on the show as he helps spread the gospel of Texas BBQ to those less fortunate.…
 - 12/04/2010
boarribs

Posse favorites: Crispy wild boar ribs at Lamberts Downtown Barbecue

Our second stop on the Central Texas 5-Star Anniversary BBQ Tour took us to Lamberts Downtown Barbecue in the heart of Austin. Our previous stop at Franklin Barbecue was going to be a hard act to follow. The dining room had just closed for lunch, so we took over the bar in the historic Austin building that dates back to 1873, ordering up a round of frothy cold beverages. Looking over the menu, the crispy wild boar ribs jumped out as must-sample bbq tour fare, described as “Honey & Sambal, Cabrales Blue, Celery & Daikon Slaw. Though not exactly sure…
 - 11/24/2010
franklede

Franklin Barbecue – Is this the best brisket in Texas?

One giant question loomed over our Central Texas 5-Star Anniversary BBQ Tour. Could Franklin Barbecue, aka: the little trailer that could in Austin, beat out Snow’s BBQ in Lexington for the title of “Best Brisket in Texas?” We had 12 posse members meet up for lunch at Franklins. The joint opens at 11am but they were sold out by 12:30pm, not an unusual occurrence. We had called ahead anonymously a few days earlier to pre-order a brisket, a couple of racks of ribs and some sausage. The posse arrived at 1pm and dug in, sitting at the picnic tables next…
 - 11/21/2010
centex2tour_poster

Central Texas 5-Star Anniversary BBQ Tour: The final numbers

Since the day we retuned from our first Central Texas BBQ Tour one year ago, the posse started making plans for our next trip to the epicenter of the world’s best barbecue. Since then, we’ve been exploring BBQ trails in every direction from DFW. The Texas BBQ Posse has taken tours to East Texas joints in Tyler and Kilgore, the Best of Fort Worth tour, the North Texas-Texoma tour and our Beyond the Brazos tour to Glen Rose, Stephenville and Granbury. Our Central Texas 5-Star BBQ Tour last weekend totaled 555 miles roundtrip. We visited and dined at eight BBQ…
 - 11/09/2010
city1

8 joints in 26 hours – The Central Texas BBQ Tour II comes to an end

The Texas BBQ Posse headed to the finish line at City Meat Market in Giddings, the last stop on our Central Texas 5-Star BBQ Tour II. We walked in around 3pm and ordered sausage and pork, the two meats remaining on the smoker. Both were tremendous and well worth the wait, a perfect end to a great tour celebrating our first anniversary traveling the BBQ trails of Texas. Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be writing detailed blog posts on each stop and the tour as a whole, followed by Gary Jacobson’s story in The Dallas Morning News and…
 - 11/06/2010
zimsinside

Central Texas BBQ Tour II day two: Three joints down & heading to the finish line at City Meat Market in Giddings

The line was long, almost heading out the door when we got to Zimmerhanzel’s Bar-B-Que in Smithville around noon. The posse headed around back of the orange metal building to see three huge smokers dwarfed by one of the biggest live oak trees we’d ever seen. Back inside we joined the line and asked the locals what was best on the menu. SInce we had already eaten twice that morning, we were looking to order very strategically. Chicken and ribs seemed to be the favorites, but ribs sold out right before we made it to the counter. The chicken was…
 - 11/06/2010
garyp

Central Texas BBQ Tour II day two: A walk back into BBQ history at Prause Market in La Grange

Stop number two took us back in history to Prause Meat Market, a fourth generation meat market and BBQ joint. Gary Prause runs the business with other family members. He took the time to show us family photos and explain the history of the meat market, which started in another location on the old town square in La Grange in 1904. Stay tuned for more updates from day two on the barbecue trail, our next stop is Zimmerhanzel’s Bar-B-Que in Smithville. (Photos by Chris Wilkins)
 - 11/06/2010
snows1a

Central Texas BBQ Tour II day two: Breakfast at Snow’s

We left Taylor around 7:20am and headed east to the little town of Lexington, starting day two of our Central Texas 5-Star BBQ Tour II. The sun had just risen when we pulled in and parked next to the grain elevator across the street from Snow’s BBQ, one of the best BBQ joints in the universe. The line wasn’t too long yet and 10 minutes later we were having the breakfast of champions – a Snow’s sliced brisket sandwich. Having just had Franklins BBQ’s brisket the day before on our first stop, a vigorous debate broke out. These are the…
 - 11/06/2010
taylor3a

Central Texas BBQ Tour II day one: Nightcap at the Taylor Cafe

We capped off an amazing day on the BBQ trail with a visit to the historic Taylor Cafe. As usual, there was owner Vencil Mares sitting at the bar, the same place he’s been 7 days a week, from 6am to 10pm, since he bought the joint in 1948. We made a third stop of the day earlier at Southside Market in Elgin, mainly to sample the sausage. Then onward up Hwy. 95 to downtown Taylor, to the little BBQ joint located under the Hwy. 95 bridge beside the railroad tracks. Members of the posse immediately gravitated toward Vencil, who…
 - 11/06/2010
meatfr

Central Texas BBQ Tour II day one: Two down, six to go

The Texas BBQ Posse loaded up and headed south to Austin this morning for our Central Texas 5-Star BBQ Tour II. This is the first anniversary of our inaugural tour to central Texas last November. We were 13 strong when we pulled into Franklin BBQ at 1pm. As usual, they were sold out by shortly after noon, but we called earlier in the week and owner and pitmaster Aaron Franklin held back one brisket, some sausage and a rack of ribs for us to sample. The photo above shows the amazing spread of meat we devoured. On to Lambert’s BBQ…
 - 11/05/2010
NGL_01bbqLEX2

It’s our anniversary this weekend: Heading back to central Texas for the world’s best BBQ

One year ago this week the Texas BBQ Posse made their first trip to central Texas, where we discovered the way, the truth and the life of barbecue. Nothing has been the same for any of us since then. We’ve been on BBQ journeys north, east, south and west of DFW in the year since then. We’ve tasted the good and the bad and the ugly, but the bar for great barbecue is set in central Texas, perhaps the greatest cue in the world. Here’s our plan of attack: CENTRAL TEXAS 5-STAR BBQ TOUR II Nov. 5-6, 2010 FRIDAY NOV.…
 - 11/02/2010
locotable

The Barbecue Chronicles: BBQ tour to the Brazos and beyond

Consensus is probably a mission impossible on a barbecue tour. Too many people. Too many sensibilities. And let’s face it, rib people are different than brisket people. The Barbecue Posse, though, almost reached consensus when we visited the Loco Coyote Grill near Glen Rose on a summer Saturday. It was part of a 9-hour, 210-mile barbecue tour that took us southwest of Dallas, to the Brazos and beyond. “Those ribs were the bomb,” R.J. Hinkle, a free-lance photographer making his first trip with the Posse, said of Loco Coyote. Another tour newcomer, Michael Gluckman, general manager at Fearing’s at The…
 - 10/22/2010
patschop

Visiting friends in East Texas- Pat Gee’s & Hickory Hill BBQ

We took a slight detour Saturday afternoon on the ride back to Dallas from Jefferson, exiting from I-20 on to Hwy. 31 west at Kilgore. The plan was to check in on a couple of friends on the east Texas BBQ trail, one old and one new. Our first stop was Hickory Hill BBQ, a fun little joint east of Kilgore on Hwy. 31. We got to know the husband and wife team of Kerry and Kelly Shaw during our East Texas BBQ Tour last February. Kelly greeted my wife Michele and I with her 100-watt smile, which can light…
 - 09/19/2010
rssign

BBQ Signs of our times – Chapter 2

Our series of photos of great signs at BBQ joints continues. These photos are from our recent trips to Taylor, for the Taylor International BBQ Cookoff, and from the recent Brazos and Beyond BBQ Tour. As I’ve said before, nothing reveals the character of a good BBQ joint better than a great sign! The more homemade the sign, the more remarkable your dining adventure will likely be. Loco Coyote Grill, Glen Rose Taylor Cafe, Taylor, Texas Taylor Cafe, Taylor, Txeas Loco Coyote Grill, Glen Rose Loco Coyote Grill, Glen Rose RibShack BBQ, Granbury Interstate 10, east of Beaumont (Photos by…
 - 08/31/2010

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