Michael Meadows, left, and the Posse dig in at Pit Stop BBQ in Waxahachie. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)

Maybe there was a time, long ago, when I was surprised at how seriously people take barbecue. But certainly not anymore.

Take Michael Meadows, one of the Posse's newest members. He and his family were in Colorado skiing last week. They drove 900 miles Friday arriving back in Dallas just before midnight.
And yet Meadows made the starting gate with the rest of us Saturday morning at the first stop of our South of DFW Tour. During the day, we ate at four places and drove about 160 miles over about 8 hours.
"I wasn't going to miss our outing if I could help it," Meadows says.
I called the sausage at our first stop, BBQ on the Brazos, "o.k." Meadows liked it a lot. He sent me his impressions of the other joints we visited:
Pitmaster Terry Massey shows his new sign
at Lazy S&M BBQ. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins)

Lazy S&M BBQ: Terry Massey, the owner and pit master, could not have been a nicer or more humble chap.  He clearly works very hard and I really wanted to love his BBQ. However, his location is so far off the beaten path that it will be hard for him to ever have a lot of success unless he smokes the best BBQ in the area.  With Jambo's and BBQ on the Brazos in the area, he has some serious competition. Overall, the brisket and ribs were good but were overshadowed by our experience at BBQ on the Brazos.

Jambo's BBQ Shack: Clearly, this is a very popular place. It was packed when we arrived. All of the smoked meats were delicious. I LOVED Jambo's ribs and sausage! Best sausage I have had in North Texas so far. The brisket and pulled pork were good, too.  I was impressed that they won the top prize for their BBQ chicken at the Houston Rodeo but puzzled as to why they don't offer it on their menu. Personally, I think the Bologna needs to go away to make room for that award-winning chicken. My only real complaint is that the interior and exterior of Jambo's has no character. Nothing about the building says, "There is some great BBQ inside".  It is a basic beige Morgan building with some tables inside. That's unfortunate because ambiance does count (at least in my book, it does) when it comes to experiencing great Texas BBQ.  (Hard Eight has figured this out, big time!)

Pit Stop BBQ in Waxahachie: Hands down, this place had the most character and best overall ambiance of all of the places we visited. The exterior makes you believe this will be a fun place to enjoy some real Texas BBQ. When I got out of the car, I was really looking forward to the food. In addition, it was the only place where we had waitresses take our orders and deliver our food vs. order at the counter.

In contrast to the other places we visited, Pit Stop BBQ is a full-service restaurant not a stand. Very friendly people who seemed eager to please. Sadly, their BBQ came in a rather distant fourth place to the other three places we visited earlier in the day.  . .Quite frankly, I missed the bark and fat on the brisket. Instead, their brisket was lean, thinly sliced and rather dry. It needed sauce.  Although I voted against ordering the Bologna and became even more skeptical when it arrived on our table "blackened" (just as the jukebox blared out AC/DC's "Back in Black"), I have to admit that the flavor was the best of any of the barbequed Bologna we had on Saturday.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the peach cobbler, though I didn't try it. Despite their rather unremarkable BBQ, I still  believe Pit Stop BBQ would be a fun, family-friendly restaurant to enjoy on a Saturday night, especially when they have a band playing and games of horseshoes and dart competitions underway.  And based on what you reported back about the pit master's comments, it sounds like they are cooking BBQ exactly the way their customers like it so it doesn't really matter whether we loved it or not.

The South of DFW BBQ Tour

9am: Leave Dallas.
10am: BBQ on the Brazos, 9001 E Hwy 377, Cresson, TX. Open Mon-Fri 6:30am-3pm, Sat 9am-3pm.www.bbqonthebrazos.com
11:45am: Lazy S&M BBQ, 2008 Conveyer Drive, Joshua, 817-475-5687. Open Tues-Wed 6am-4pm, Thurs-Fri 6am-7pm, Sat 10:30am-3pm.
1pm: Jambo's BBQ Shack, 5460 E FM 1187, Rendon, 817-478.2277. Open Tues-Fri 11am-6pm, Sat 11am-3pm. http://jambosbbqshack.com
2:30pm: Pit Stop BBQ, 3921 S Highway 287, Waxahachie, 972-923-8921. Open Mon-Tue 11am-9pm, Wed 11am-10pm, Thurs 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11am-9pm. http://www.pitstopbbq.net
4pm: Back in Dallas.

 Pitmaster Steve Graham's cap displays Pit Stop BBQ's motto: "Meat So Tender You Can Leave Your Teeth at Home."
(Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)

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