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Ridgewood Barbecue, a different — and secret — taste

Customers arrive at Ridgewood Barbecue in Bluff City, Tennessee. Photo ©Sherry Jacobson/Texas BBQ Posse) In Bullock’s Hollow, there are culinary secrets galore. Amid the Appalachian Mountains of Eastern Tennessee, you’ll find Ridgewood Barbecue. It opened in 1948 and still attracts a full house of customers, even on a recent Friday not long before New Year’s. That’s when Sherry and I visited with friends Phillip and Trish Townsend, who live an hour or so away in North Carolina. The secrets? Start with the recipe for the tomato-based sweet and sour barbecue sauce, which goes on much of the food the place…
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Tejas Chocolate Craftory gets raves from the Posse

Lunch plate of brisket, pork ribs, turkey, brisket burnt ends & three sides at Tejas Chocolate Craftory in Tomball. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) At the Tejas Chocolate Craftory, a sign touting the French onion brisket soup was right in front of me at the order counter. That dish was also the first thing on the menu that caught my…
 - 03/24/2018
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Product review: Booze Dogs liquor infused bratwurst

Booze Dogs are bratwurst infused with bourbon, rum or gin. (Courtesy photo) To answer the big question first, yes, Booze Dogs — Man’s Best Brat — are infused with real booze. Bourbon, gin and rum. “The alcohol cooks off,” says Joe McGowen, who spent seven years developing the specialty bratwursts before getting USDA approval and beginning sales last summer. McGowen…
 - 03/22/2018
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Side dishes are better than ever at Texas BBQ joints

Sides like these from Micklethwait Craft Meats, top & middle bottom photos, and Tejas Chocolate Craftory are changing the Texas BBQ scene. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) In the early years of the Posse, we didn’t care much for barbecue side dishes. You know, the standard potato salad, coleslaw and beans that often accompany smoked meat. We even had a…
 - 03/19/2018
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Ode to the chopped brisket sandwich

A pound of chopped brisket, white bread, pickles & onions at Pat Gee’s Barbecue in Tyler. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Over the past year, I’ve found myself becoming more sentimental when it comes to barbecue. My earliest memories of eating Q are centered around East Texas and always involved ordering a chopped brisket sandwich, often served on  simple wax…
 - 03/06/2018
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Hot Luck 2018: Bigger, but will ‘still feel incredibly small’

The Hot Luck Austin sign shines at Franklin Barbecue at the 2017 festival. (Photo ©Gary Jacobson/Texas BBQ Posse) Hot Luck, a food and music festival in Austin, is preparing for its second run in May. And in the festival business, as James Moody, one of Hot Luck’s founders, was saying, you’re supposed to lose money year one, break even year…
 - 02/27/2018
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Bodacious Bar-B-Q on Mobberly: Is this the best kept secret in Texas?

Jordan Jackson, owner & pitmaster, poses beside the original sign for Bodacious Bar-B-Q. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) If the original Bodacious Bar-B-Q in Longview were located in Austin, you’d be waiting several hours in line to order. Trust me. It’s still one of the best BBQ secrets in Texas, despite the joint’s No. 4 ranking by Texas Monthly. We…
 - 02/21/2018
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Shigging: New thoughts on an old BBQ topic

The Posse is always shigging. Nothing sinister, mind you, as some define the term: “stealing” barbecue secrets. We’re always looking for techniques that will make us better cooks and that we can share with readers. “To become great at anything you learn by trying, by failing and from observing those who are greater than you,” Posse member Daniel Goncalves says.…
 - 02/15/2018
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After the fire, kids write letters of encouragement to Franklin Barbecue

Letters from Micah Barcalow’s fourth-grade class hang on the wall at Franklin Barbecue. (Photo ©Gary Jacobson/Texas BBQ Posse) Micah Barcalow teaches fourth-graders in Fort Wayne, Ind. He has never eaten at Franklin Barbecue, 1,200 miles away in Austin, Tex. But he did read Aaron Franklin’s book, Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto. Barcalow says the book and its lessons — for…
 - 02/02/2018
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