It was a tough call to name the best barbecue joint in Texas for our

2010 Best in Texas BBQ picks. After tallying the votes from Texas BBQ Posse members, we had three very strong contenders for the title.

First came Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor. This is truly a world-class BBQ joint, with smoke staining the walls and windows. The tradition is there, the food is great and the ambiance is extraordinary. Their beef ribs and beef sausage are among the best we've ever had.

The second contender was Snow's BBQ, situated in an old country feed store next to the live stockyards and grain silo located in "downtown" Lexington. We had been here before, it was the inaugural stop on our first barbecue tour in November 2009. Breakfast at Snow's set the bar for barbecue excellence and set us on a quest to find the best BBQ in Texas.

The third contender was a dark horse, Pat Gee's Barbecue, located in the piney woods east of Tyler. I've been going there since high school in the late 70s, so it's one of my favorite joints in the world by default. Posse member Gary Jacobson voted it the best joint, saying "It's the kind of place where you could spend an enjoyable afternoon just watching Pat's kids serve the wide variety of customers the place attracts." If you haven't been there, schedule a trip soon, it's one of the special stops on the Texas BBQ trail.

In the end, Snow's BBQ rose to the top. It's the combination of great food, a cool place and accessibility to the process of cooking cue. We almost feel like part of the Snow's family, as do thousands and thousands of visitors since Texas Monthly magazine put them on the map.

Here's some of the Posse feedback on Snow's:

David Woo: "Saturday morning at Snow’s BBQ in Lexington was heaven. I had fellow posse’s members tell me how great the meat was and by 8:30am I was having a great brisket sandwich for breakfast."

Marshall Cooper: "Smelling the sweet burning oak cook the BBQ sitting outdoors, under the old original tin metal shed right next to the wood burning BBQ pits, all while watching a couple of true pit masters cooking the BBQ. Is the the best ambiance to eat BBQ in Texas?"

Bruce Tomaso: "Snow’s was great. It’s the place I’d take out-of-town visitors for a Central Texas BBQ experience, but that has as much to do with the setting as anything.

Zach Woo: "I'd read up on this place quite a bit before beginning the journey and I certainly had high expectations. The brisket was very well cooked, quite possibly the best I've ever had. While in line, the lady cut off a piece of the pork and gave it to me as a sample, and I'd say that it would also be worth the trip independent of their other offerings. The atmosphere of the place early in the morning was convivial: everyone there woke up early on their weekend and drove a considerable distance just to procure quality barbeque and few seemed disappointed."

Photos ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse

Austin Top 5 plus Snow's

Texas BBQ Posse eBook Let the Meat Speak for Itself

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Texas BBQ Posse eBook Let the Meat Speak for Itself

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