Call me clueless, but I hadn't realized how far, and fast, the Texas BBQ revolution has spread.
Some background: We’re heading soon on a cross-Canada train trip, so I was checking to see if there might be decent barbecue joints on the front end (Toronto) and back end (Victoria, B.C.) of the trip.
Sure enough, Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins recommended Adamson Barbecue in Toronto, which has gotten some buzz from aficionados. Notice the lede photo on Adamson’s Facebook page, shown above. Can’t get much more Texas than that.
And through a Google search I found Jones Bar-B-Que in Victoria. “It’s bar‑b‑que learned in the pits of Texas,” the joint’s Web site says. “Bar‑b‑que from our hearts. And it’s damn tasty. Make the most of your meat.”
In the center of the home page is a big set of longhorns. Can’t get much more Texas than that. We can almost walk to the place from where we’re staying in Victoria.
Finding those joints was, frankly, surprising. And that realization about the Texas BBQ revolution led me to do more searches for Texas-style barbecue places. We all know about Lewis Barbecue in South Carolina, started by John Lewis, a top competition cook, former assistant to Aaron Franklin, and former pit master at la Barbecue in Austin.
My searches were even more targeted. I looked for places with “Texas” in their name.
They’re everywhere. Which led me to an easy conclusion: The Texas BBQ revolution, which has been occurring for a decade or more here, with great joints opening in Dallas and Houston and elsewhere, has now become a full-fledged culinary movement spreading well beyond the Lone Star State.
A Swede, Jonas Cramby, has even published a book titled Texas BBQ, in Sweden, the United Kingdom and now the U.S.
“Only one state in the US lives up to the epithet ’the best barbecue in the world’ — Texas,” the book says.
Cramby, by the way, is the person who gave the lead character of Fredrik Backman’s best seller, A Man Called Ove, his name.
In my online search, here are a few of the joints I found around the country with “Texas” in their name:
— The Texas BBQ Company in Northborough, Mass.
-- Serious Texas Bar-B-Q, with locations in Colorado and New Mexico.
-- Texas Ribs & BBQ in Clinton, Md.
-- Texas BBQ House in Phoenix.
-- Big John's Texas Barbeque in Page, Az.
-- Big B's Texas BBQ in Henderson, Nev.
-- Moonie's Texas Barbecue in Flowery Branch, Ga.
-- Double J Texas BBQ in Havelock, N.C.
— Bonehead's Texas BBQ in Lafayette, Ca.
Posse member Luke Middendorf lives in the Bay Area and says he has been trying to find good joints near him to help educate his barbecue pallet. “Bonehead's is easily the best that I've come across so far,” Luke says.
In my search, I even found a relatively new joint just outside Oslo, Norway, called the Texas Barbecue Cafe.
“Our aim is to serve finger lickin’ food barbecue just as it is served in Texas,” the place’s Web site says “We prepare, bake and cook all our food in-house from our own family recipes. All our meats are sourced locally. We smoke with real wood and no bullshit!”
Can’t get much more Texan in language.
In June, a correspondent for Norway’s largest circulation newspaper, Aftenposten, reviewed several barbecue joints in Austin, experiencing the Texas BBQ revolution first hand.
The correspondent marveled at the long lines, plastic cutlery and white bread served with meals. And while the translation might be little rough, the sentiment is right on: To compete in barbecue in Austin, you must be very good.
“The best barbecue places in the world are here,” the story said.
I might be clueless, but I can't argue with that.
(All photos & logos from Facebook)