March 2013

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Two little known facts about Slow Bone BBQ, the newest joint in Dallas

One of these places sells BBQ & one doesn’t. Can you guess which is which? (Photo ©Chris Wilkins) Every couple of weeks I’ve been cruising by the new location of Slow Bone BBQ, checking for signs of life. This is the joint started up by Maple & Motor owner Jack Perkins, located on the corner of Wycliff and Irving Blvd. When word of the opening came out via CultureMap’s Teresa Gubbins on January 1st, the Dallas food blogosphere lit up. After his highly successful run at the celebrated burger restaurant, Perkins was ready to take on the steadily improving Dallas…
 - 03/28/2013
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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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What the Posse looks for in great Texas BBQ

A diner eats his lunch at City Meat Market in Giddings. (Photo ©Guy Reynolds) Here’s the third video from our Best of Texas BBQ Tour multimedia package on dallasnews.com. In this piece, Gary Jacobson, Jim Rossman, Bruce Tomaso and me talk about what we look for in great Texas barbecue. When we sit down to a plate of brisket, ribs and sausage, here are the basic criteria used to judge what we’re eating: Taste, tenderness, appearance, texture and smokiness. Click the video below to see more of our tips on judging great Texas BBQ.
 - 03/25/2013
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The 10 top posts of all-time on the Texas BBQ Posse blog

Posse members toast at Loco Coyote Grill in Glen Rose during our Brazos & Beyond BBQ Tour. (Photo©R.J. Hinkle) We missed a couple of important Posse milestones recently. So, forgive us a few moments of backslapping as we catch up. The very first item on this blog was posted March 7, 2010, just over three years ago. It likely will never be a trivia question, like “what was the first video played on MTV?” (Answer: Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles.) But, still, it’s kinda sentimental to us. The item was about our first trip to the Central…
 - 03/22/2013
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How to plan your own Texas BBQ Tour

       The posse samples meats during our first trip to Franklin BBQ. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/The Texas BBQ Posse) When it comes to Texas BBQ tours, the Posse has a few tips to share with our readers. We’ve had 12 BBQ tours since 2009, covering around 5,000 miles. Our last trip, the Best of Texas BBQ Tour, covered 700 miles and 10 top Texas BBQ joints over 48 hours. Tip no. 1: Do your research and planning, have an agenda. Check out website’s like Daniel Vaughn’s Full Custom Gospel BBQ blog. Daniel has been to every BBQ joint in Texas and…
 - 03/20/2013
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Bikes, Blues and Barbecues: A father and son hit the Texas BBQ Trail on 2 wheels

Tim Landauer poses in front of the Texas Capitol, left. Son Robby rides between Taylor and Austin. Here at Posse headquarters, we’ve been feeling pretty good about ourselves and the nearly 700-mile Best of Texas Tour that we did — by car — over a long weekend. Then we got an email from Tim Landauer, a North Texas resident who, with his son, Robby, took a 6-day, 276-mile tour of the Central Texas barbecue heartland by bicycle last May. They ate at five of the same joints we did and arrived at the same conclusion: “Franklin’s is the best we…
 - 03/18/2013
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Here’s your chance to buy another piece of Texas BBQ history

The original brick smoker at Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, built in 1959. (Photo © Philip Lamb) A couple of weeks ago we wrote about a chance to buy a piece of Texas BBQ history – the original catering smoker rig at Snow’s BBQ in Lexington. Here’s a slightly less expensive opportunity to buy another item representing the best in Texas BBQ. You may have heard about the fire that recently destroyed the original brick pit at Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor. The pit, which was built in 1959, was a total loss after back-to-back pit fires over the weekend…
 - 03/15/2013
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When sausage links cost just 10 cents apiece at Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor

       Diners order off the butcher paper menu at the famed Louie Mueller Barbecue. (Photo by Tom Fox/DMN) A reader, Don Peck from Longview, saw our Best of Texas BBQ story in The Dallas Morning News and it jogged some memories from his more than 60 years as a customer at Louie Mueller’s in Taylor. He remembers his grandfather taking him to Mueller’s when sausage links cost just 10 cents apiece. “I was there a couple of months ago and bought 50 links at $3 apiece,” Don wrote. “I’ve probably eaten a 1,000 links from Mueller’s, and the…
 - 03/14/2013
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Checking in with Fatboy’s BBQ in Cooper

A customer waits for his order at Fatboy’s BBQ in Cooper. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) You meet some great folks as you travel the blue highways of Texas BBQ. Shannon Bankston and Heather Hoff of Fatboy’s BBQ in Cooper are those kind of people. A year ago, Marshall Cooper and I met Shannon and Heather at Fatboy’s, then located in the tiny town of Ladonia in northeast Texas. It was a slow day in the town of 613 residents, so we talked BBQ for half of the afternoon, which of course is one of our favorite things to do. Fatboy’s had…
 - 03/13/2013
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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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A short, philosophical meditation on our Best of Texas BBQ Tour

Posse BBQ judges (L-R) Jim Rossman, Bruce Tomaso and Gary Jacobson sample the meats at Fargo’s Pit BBQ in Bryan. (Photo by Tom Fox/DMN) In some respects, our recent Best of Texas barbecue tour was like a cookoff. Only the food didn’t come to the judges, we went to the food. Eating at 10 places over 48 hours and scoring each joint’s brisket, pork ribs and sausage — the three foundation meats of Texas BBQ — gave us a good framework for comparison. It also focused our attention entirely on the basics. Yes, side dishes are important. And so are…
 - 03/07/2013
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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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The secret to avoiding those long lines at Franklin Barbecue in Austin

  The line was over 100 deep at Franklin BBQ on a recent Saturday. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Even now, four weeks later, we’re still complimenting ourselves for our nifty navigation of the long lines at Franklin Barbecue in Austin during the Posse’s Best of Texas Tour. People can begin queuing up two hours before the joint opens and the number can quickly grow to a hundred or more. We took advantage of Franklin’s advance-order service and had Posse members and Austin residents Libby Jacobson and Mike Gagne pick up our food before the place opened for regular business.…
 - 03/05/2013
LOUIES

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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