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Prediction: Franklin Barbecue won’t be No. 1 on Texas Monthly’s new Top 50 list

The BBQ world is anxiously awaiting the release of the 2017 Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ list next month. If Blackie Sherrod were writing this column, he would call it Scattershooting while wondering if Geddy Lee still loves Texas barbecue. . . Sherrod, of course, was a legendary newspaper columnist. After he died last year, his obituary in The Dallas Morning News began: “Blackie Sherrod, the greatest Texas sportswriter of his generation or any other, now and forevermore, died Thursday afternoon at age 96.” Kevin Sherrington, a good wordsmith himself, wrote that. Sherrington tells me Blackie’s food tastes tended toward…
 - 04/12/2017
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Is 2M Smokehouse turning out the best barbecue in Texas?

Our lunch of brisket, pork ribs, sausage & turkey at 2M Smokehouse. The first thing you see in the pit room at 2M Smokehouse in San Antonio is, of course, the giant smoker. Built by Texas barbecue legend John Lewis, it is named El Mexicano. Next, you notice the big-screen TV, hanging on one wall. Not far away are two outdoor chairs, and a mattress propped against the wall behind. “Our landlord owns a mattress store next door so he gave us a good deal,” Esaul Ramos said. 2M Smokehouse is open Thursday through Sunday, so Ramos and his partner,…
 - 04/08/2017
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See the photos: Lockhart Smokehouse Plano is open for business

Lockhart Smokehouse’s second location is near the corner of 15th & K Streets in old downtown Plano. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)  February 12, 2014, may go down in history as the day great barbecue finally came to Plano. In the past, if you wanted good BBQ and lived in Plano, you had to drive to either south to downtown Dallas or north to McKinney. Sad but true for a city of 272,000. Then Lockhart Smokehouse came to town…… The Posse first met the Lockhart crew when we snuck into the original location in Oak Cliff before they opened in…
 - 02/14/2014
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Echoes of Pat Gee’s at Whup’s Boomerang Bar-B-Q in Marlin

A hand-painted sign greets you at Whup’s Boomerang Barbecue in Marlin. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Our first view of Whup’s Boomerang Bar-B-Q in Marlin brought back some nice memories. We hadn’t seen such a genuinely classic-looking joint since our last visit to Pat Gee’s in the woods east of Tyler. While Pat’s is nestled among pine trees and pasture on a rural road, Whup’s is on a thinly settled residential street where the edge of town invades the country. A hand-painted sign – the Posse loves hand-painted BBQ signs – greets visitors to a small building that has been…
 - 08/13/2013
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Success brings a new smoker to Pecan Lodge in Dallas, say hello to “Big Rick”

Pitmaster Justin Fourton shows off his new smoker Big Rick at Pecan Lodge. (Photo ©Philip Lamb) Posse member Phil Lamb checks in with Pecan Lodge pitmaster Justin Fourton at Texas Monthly’s “Behind the Pit Dinner” event on Wednesday night.  Phil writes: We’ve known for a while that Pecan Lodge offers some of the best smoked meats around, but its status as an elite BBQ joint was solidified when it was awarded a tie for the No. 2 spot on Texas Monthly’s “Top 50” BBQ list. Now the lines at Pecan Lodge, which were already plenty long, frequently require “Lovers of…
 - 07/19/2013
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Confessions of another BBQ Snob*

Bruce Tomaso, right, joins fellow members of the Texas BBQ Posse on our 2013 Best of Texas Tour. (Photo by Tom Fox/DMN) By Bruce Tomaso A few weeks ago, while on a BBQ tour with the Posse, I had an epiphany. It wasn’t a magnificent epiphany. I’m not Archimedes. But it was enough to permanently change the way I approach this quest of ours for “the greatest smoked meats in the greatest state in the Union.” I realized that I’ve become a BBQ snob. I’m not particularly proud of this, but I don’t apologize, either. I’ve simply reached a stage…
 - 07/15/2013
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6 things the Posse learned from its DFW Top 7 BBQ Tour

Lockhart Smokehouse, Dallas, Texas. (Photo ©Daniel Gonclaves/Fotobia.com) 1. Pecan Lodge, without a doubt, is the best joint in DFW. We already knew this, but it was reinforced as we toured the 7 area places that made Texas Monthly’s new Top 50 list. There isn’t a weak spot in pitmaster Justin Fourton’s smoked meat lineup. 2. Bartley’s BBQ in Grapevine and Cousin’s Barbecue in Fort Worth don’t belong among the Top 50, for food or atmosphere. 3. Call ahead to Meshack’s to make sure it’s open. We didn’t and we paid the price when the place was closed. We wound up eating…
 - 06/12/2013
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Longoria’s definitely belongs on Texas Monthly’s new Top 50 list; not so Cousin’s

Meats sit on the smoker at Longoria’s BBQ in Everman. (Photo©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Longoria’s BBQ in Everman turns out some pretty stout ribs, but the star of the menu is the brisket sausage, no doubt about it. “Brisket sausage, I don’t think life gets better than that,” Posse member Magda Michna Goncalves said during the final day of our “DFW Top 7 BBQ Tour” after she tasted Longoria’s specialty. To be proper, we should probably refer to Magda as Dr. Michna Goncalves. Among its members, the Posse numbers several JDs, and we just picked up a reverend, but Magda…
 - 06/11/2013
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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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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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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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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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A disappointing visit to Casstevens Cash & Carry barbecue in Lillian

A customer walks into Casstevens Cash and Carry BBQ in Lillian. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Casstevens Cash and Carry is a BBQ joint I had been wanting to visit for several years. Located in an old Diamond Shamrock gas station in the tiny unincorporated town of Lillian, Casstevens made the Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ list in 2008. That’s as good as it gets for Texas barbecue restaurants, unless of course you make their prestigious top 5. Just ask Kerry Bexley at Snow’s BBQ in Lexington. Once they were named top joint in Texas in 2008, life was never…
 - 03/27/2013
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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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