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garyp

Central Texas BBQ Tour II day two: A walk back into BBQ history at Prause Market in La Grange

Stop number two took us back in history to Prause Meat Market, a fourth generation meat market and BBQ joint. Gary Prause runs the business with other family members. He took the time to show us family photos and explain the history of the meat market, which started in another location on the old town square in La Grange in 1904. Stay tuned for more updates from day two on the barbecue trail, our next stop is Zimmerhanzel’s Bar-B-Que in Smithville. (Photos by Chris Wilkins)
 - 11/06/2010
snows1a

Central Texas BBQ Tour II day two: Breakfast at Snow’s

We left Taylor around 7:20am and headed east to the little town of Lexington, starting day two of our Central Texas 5-Star BBQ Tour II. The sun had just risen when we pulled in and parked next to the grain elevator across the street from Snow’s BBQ, one of the best BBQ joints in the universe. The line wasn’t too long yet and 10 minutes later we were having the breakfast of champions – a Snow’s sliced brisket sandwich. Having just had Franklins BBQ’s brisket the day before on our first stop, a vigorous debate broke out. These are the…
 - 11/06/2010
taylor3a

Central Texas BBQ Tour II day one: Nightcap at the Taylor Cafe

We capped off an amazing day on the BBQ trail with a visit to the historic Taylor Cafe. As usual, there was owner Vencil Mares sitting at the bar, the same place he’s been 7 days a week, from 6am to 10pm, since he bought the joint in 1948. We made a third stop of the day earlier at Southside Market in Elgin, mainly to sample the sausage. Then onward up Hwy. 95 to downtown Taylor, to the little BBQ joint located under the Hwy. 95 bridge beside the railroad tracks. Members of the posse immediately gravitated toward Vencil, who…
 - 11/06/2010
meatfr

Central Texas BBQ Tour II day one: Two down, six to go

The Texas BBQ Posse loaded up and headed south to Austin this morning for our Central Texas 5-Star BBQ Tour II. This is the first anniversary of our inaugural tour to central Texas last November. We were 13 strong when we pulled into Franklin BBQ at 1pm. As usual, they were sold out by shortly after noon, but we called earlier in the week and owner and pitmaster Aaron Franklin held back one brisket, some sausage and a rack of ribs for us to sample. The photo above shows the amazing spread of meat we devoured. On to Lambert’s BBQ…
 - 11/05/2010
NGL_01bbqLEX2

It’s our anniversary this weekend: Heading back to central Texas for the world’s best BBQ

One year ago this week the Texas BBQ Posse made their first trip to central Texas, where we discovered the way, the truth and the life of barbecue. Nothing has been the same for any of us since then. We’ve been on BBQ journeys north, east, south and west of DFW in the year since then. We’ve tasted the good and the bad and the ugly, but the bar for great barbecue is set in central Texas, perhaps the greatest cue in the world. Here’s our plan of attack: CENTRAL TEXAS 5-STAR BBQ TOUR II Nov. 5-6, 2010 FRIDAY NOV.…
 - 11/02/2010
meshacksextW

Posse favorites: Chopped beef sandwich at Meshacks’s BBQ

The secret is now out about the little BBQ joint on Avenue B in old downtown Garland. Meshack’s Bar-B-Que Shack has gone from obscurity to stardom over the past year. Their chopped brisket sandwich, on the menu at a cool $2.75, may very well be the best BBQ bargain in the DFW area. You can also buy a pound of chopped beef for $7.00. Travis and Donna Mayes opened Meshack’s in May 2009. They had been in the business 15 years earlier and wanted to make another run at BBQ greatness. Donna said they prayed about it and decided to…
 - 09/21/2010
patschop

Visiting friends in East Texas- Pat Gee’s & Hickory Hill BBQ

We took a slight detour Saturday afternoon on the ride back to Dallas from Jefferson, exiting from I-20 on to Hwy. 31 west at Kilgore. The plan was to check in on a couple of friends on the east Texas BBQ trail, one old and one new. Our first stop was Hickory Hill BBQ, a fun little joint east of Kilgore on Hwy. 31. We got to know the husband and wife team of Kerry and Kelly Shaw during our East Texas BBQ Tour last February. Kelly greeted my wife Michele and I with her 100-watt smile, which can light…
 - 09/19/2010
rsribs

The RibShack, a little old place, where we can get together

The last stop on our recent Brazos & Beyond BBQ Tour was RibShack BBQ in Granbury. We had gotten several emails from readers urging us to visit the joint following several of our tour stories in The Dallas Morning News. Posse member Marshal Cooper observed, “The RibShack appeared to be a great BBQ haven from the outside, especially seeing a huge pit outside the front door.” The food we sampled was as good as the hospitality, We were greeted like old friends by Barbara Watts, who’s a dead ringer for Sarah Palin when she puts her glasses on. We visited…
 - 09/03/2010
pecanwoo

Lunch at Pecan Lodge: Is this the best brisket in Dallas?

Dallas is a city in desperate need of great barbeque. The chains are on every corner, but I’m talking GREAT barbeque. You have Meshack’s, oops, that’s in Garland. What about Randy’s BBQ? That’s in Red Oak, doesn’t count. Fort Worth had some great joints, but that ain’t Dallas either. It’s been pretty lonely for the Baby Back Shak over the past few years, reigning as the best joint in Dallas. Enter Pecan Lodge at the Dallas Farmer’s Market. Once again, Daniel Vaughn and his Full Custom Gospel BBQ blog blazes the trail when it comes to new and upcoming BBQ…
 - 08/27/2010
hard1

The Hard Eight: Jewel’s favorite BBQ joint

The Hard Eight in Stephenville was our third stop on the Brazos & Beyond BBQ Tour. The posse was eleven strong as we rode into the town, described as “The Cowboy Capital of the World” by some folks. The posse was all over the board when it came to critiquing Hard Eight Barbecue. Some thought it was great, some average. However, on one issue we were all in agreement — the free beer on a hot day was great! Here are a few Texas BBQ Posse member observations on the Hard Eight, just named by singer Jewel in a People…
 - 08/26/2010
loco1

Loco Coyote Grill: We’ll be baaaack…

Our second stop on the recent Brazos and Beyond BBQ Tour was the Loco Coyote Grill, near Glen Rose. Posse member Tom Fox shares his take on this first class BBQ joint, as follows: “Pulling up at the Loco Coyote Grill in rural Glen Rose, one gets the all too familiar feel about the place. It wasn’t until I opened the car door and heard Waylon and Willie’s ‘Luckenbach, Texas ‘ playing on the outdoor speakers, I realized, that’s it. A Meat Joint. On that hot summer day the beer was ice cold in the bucket and the barbecue was…
 - 08/25/2010
taylor_ext

Sunday morning at the Taylor Cafe

One of the highlights of our weekend trip to Taylor was meeting Vencil Mares on Sunday morning at the Taylor Cafe, which he has owned and operated since 1949. After two straight days of nothing but BBQ, we had skipped a planned stop there on Saturday night when the wives refused to go, forcing Gary and I to eat healthy salads instead. I wasn’t sure they were open on Sundays, but when we cruised by that morning and saw Vencil sitting at the bar through the screen window, it was game on. I introduced myself and he explained this was…
 - 08/24/2010
poboy

Posse Favorites: BBQ Po Boy sandwich at Loco Coyote Grill

The Texas BBQ Posse’s collective mouths dropped open after seeing the Loco Coyote Grill’s BBQ Po Boy being delivered to a neighboring table during our Brazos and Beyond BBQ Tour last Saturday. The sandwich reminded us of a steroid version of another of our combo-meat favorites, Stanley’s Brother-in-Law sandwich in Tyler. The Brother-in-Law combines sausage, chopped brisket and cheese on a bun. Loco’s BBQ Po Boy may be the biggest sandwich I’ve ever seen. It combines chopped and sliced brisket with sausage on a massive hoagie bun, with your choice of onion rings or fries. The price is a cool…
 - 08/19/2010
woosie2

Brazos and Beyond BBQ Tour: The posse rides to Stephenville

Yesterday the Texas BBQ Posse headed southwest from Dallas on Hwy. 67 for our fifth BBQ tour in the past year. Leaving Dallas at 10am, we met up an hour later at Red Chew Chew BBQ & Grill in Cleburne. After a quick breakfast of brisket, chicken and sausage, we headed seven miles west of Glen Rose to the Loco Coyote, one of the best joints the posse has found over the past year of barbeque tours. We’ll be writing a tour story for The Dallas Morning News and individual blogs about each of our stops, but take note that…
 - 08/15/2010
clarks1

The Barbecue Chronicles: Sampling the best barbecue between Dallas and Texoma

Too hot for barbecue? Hardly. With the Texas heat pushing triple digits, we headed north toward Lake Texoma on a recent Saturday for the latest chapter in our Barbecue Chronicles. Over about 11 hours, we traveled 200 miles and ate at five joints. Our tour included planned stops and some chance finds, one of which turned out to be the highlight of the day. Learning from our earlier expedition to Tarrant County, when we overstuffed ourselves, we took a midday break at Cedar Mills Marina. We found some nice shade where we relaxed, watched sailboats, played horseshoes and rejuvenated our…
 - 08/14/2010
boudin

Posse favorites: Boudin at the Baby Back Shak

Decisions, decisions, decisions. I always struggle with what meat to order at the Baby Back Shak. Their baby back ribs are the best is Dallas, bar none. The smoked chicken is among the best I’ve ever tasted and the other meats follow in this tradition of excellence. We’ve written several times over the past year about the Shak, the unofficial headquarters of the Texas BBQ Posse. What I’ve neglected to mention is their boudin, one of the best and most unusual sides, or Shaksessories, you can get at a Texas BBQ joint. By definition, boudin is a Cajun sausage stuffed…
 - 07/28/2010
ronnies1

BBQ and blue highways – Just follow the smoke

The North Texas BBQ Tour schedule had three bonified stops, based on reviews by Daniel Vaughn, aka the BBQ Snob. Since last November, we’ve taken four barbecue tours, and driven a total of more than 1,100 miles, from Central Texas to the Oklahoma border. We didn’t plan for that horse-trailer-turned-barbeque-joint on Highway 377 north of Whitesboro, Big Ronnie’s Texas Pit Bar-B-Que. Damn, those ribs were pretty good. We’d work them off at the planned exercise/horseshoes break on the shores of Lake Texoma. If that’s possible when you exercise with a cigar in one hand and a cold beer in the…
 - 07/09/2010
bigronnies

BBQ Signs of our times

You can always get an idea of the character of a BBQ joint by the sign out front. The more down home the sign, the more amazing your meal will likely be. Here are some signs from our recent North Texas BBQ Tour. Also a couple from posse member Irwin Thompson, shot as he drove though east Texas last week. Big Ronnie’s Texas Pit Bar-B-Que, Whitesboro The Bone on the Grill, Sherman OO Smokehouse, Sherman Clark’s Outpost, Tioga Pitt Stop Bar-B-Que, Lufkin Lindsey’s BBQ, Alto (Photos by Chris Wilkins, Mike Gibson & Irwin Thompson)
 - 06/30/2010
00smoke

OO Smokehouse – The end of the BBQ trail

Editor’s note: This joint is now closed. Our marathon five-stop North Texas BBQ Tour a couple of Saturdays ago ended at OO Smokehouse in Sherman. We cruised into the lot a little before 7pm, hoping to make closing time. The OO had gotten a top 50 ranking in Texas Monthly magazine, so expectations were high among the nine surviving posse members. Despite the fact they were sold out of ribs, we were impressed. Here’s some feedback from a couple of posse members. Marshall Cooper: “This place was an icon of an authentic Texas BBQ Stand; no dining room or restrooms,…
 - 06/29/2010
boneext

Unplanned stop on the BBQ trail

Since our North Texas BBQ Tour last weekend, I’ve had a hard time explaining the discovery of The Bone on the Grill, located on Hwy. 82, around six miles west of Sherman. I turn to Texas BBQ Posse expert Marshall Cooper to describe this inspiring stop on the BBQ trail, as follows: “This place deserves first place in sexy Texas drive-up appeal for all roadside BBQ joints! The two attached trailers with the attached spongy deck had outstanding views of bordering ranches with vast spreads of producing cornfields and oil wells. A Texas Classic! The BBQ pit was nothing more…
 - 06/26/2010
truckcan

How the sausage is made…

Sometimes it isn’t pretty. See that crumpled Nestea can at the lip of the truck bed in the photo above? On a barbecue tour, after five stops, eight hours of eating, and an occasional beer, that can is called a tripod. Give Barbecue Posse founder Chris Wilkins credit for innovative thinking under stress, even if he loses a few style points for agility. At OO Smokehouse in Sherman, Wilkins, a photo editor at The Dallas Morning News, was composing a souvenir keepsake for posse members. He eventually used the crushed can to support his camera. We’re not even going to…
 - 06/23/2010
groupclarks

North Texas BBQ Tour – 5 joints in 8 hours

Here’s a sneak peak at our North Texas BBQ Tour this Saturday, the first five-stops-in-one-day tour for the Texas BBQ Posse. The itinerary was as follows: 11am Clark’s Outpost, Hwy. 377, Tioga 1:30pm Smokehouse Barbecue, E. Hwy 82, Lindsay 3:00pm Big Ronnie’s Texas Pit Bar-B-Que, Hwy. 377 north of Whitesboro 3:30pm Horseshoes and beer break at Cedar Mills Marina on Lake Texoma 6:00pm The Bone on the Grill BBQ, Hwy. 82 west of Sherman 7:00pm OO Smokehouse, 200 S. Montgomery, Sherman The posse lines up outside of Clark’s Outpost in Tioga, waiting for the doors to open at 11am. We…
 - 06/20/2010
clarks3

Posse favorites: Clark’s french fried corn on the cob

Editor’s note: this joint is now closed. Clark’s Outpost BBQ in Tioga offers a unique side dish to go with your ribs and brisket. And no, we aren’t talking about their world-famous lamb fries, aka the cowboy’s favorite. We took a road trip to Clark’s last month, to do our posse duty of sampling various smoked meats while passing on the sides. Our waitress mentioned we should try their french fried corn on the cob, it was something special. We gave up without a fight and ordered one each. The deep-fried corn cob arrives at your table warm and covered…
 - 05/11/2010
yumyum2

The secret is out: It’s Yum Yum wood

Every pit master has secrets. Eddie Brown at Off The Bone in Forest Hill, the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s top-ranked barbecue joint, is no different. What kind of wood do you use in your smoker, we asked Brown on our recent Tarrant County tour. “Yum Yum,” he said. What’s that? “Can’t tell you, it’s a secret,” he said. “But it starts with a ‘P.’” Pecan. Brown smiled and nodded his head. He said he mixes pecan with oak. And he kept that proportion to himself.Off the Bone BBQ, 5144 Mansfield Hwy, Forest Hill. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8…
 - 05/10/2010
Franklins3

Franklin BBQ: The little trailer that could

Dallas Morning News colleague Michael Ainsworth was recently on assignment in Austin when he asked advice on which barbeque joint to visit on his way back to Dallas. I directed him to Franklin BBQ, a little place in Austin that’s been generating big buzz lately on the Texas BBQ trail. Michael arrived at the auqa blue and white trailer located in a parking lot beside I-35 around 2pm on a Wednesday. They were about to close but still had brisket left. Franklins is a “til the meat runs” out place when it comes to a closing time. He messaged me…
 - 05/04/2010
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