Barbecue tours

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Posse winner talks about growing up with Aaron Franklin and the future of barbecue in Texas

Aaron Franklin, right, and his bandmates in Those Peabodys. (Photo courtesy of Post-Parlo Records) Please pardon our tardiness, we’re a bit late with this post. Neil Gallagher of Bryan won last month’s Texas barbecue giveaway offered by FoodyDirect in partnership with the Posse. FoodyDirect, an online food marketplace, randomly selected his name from among more than 200 entries. When I contacted Gallagher, 35, to congratulate him, the conversation ranged widely, from his win to even pondering the future of barbecue in Texas. He said he grew up in Bryan with Aaron Franklin, now the reigning barbecue baron of the state.…
 - 06/18/2013
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It’s not just Austin, something big is happening in Dallas BBQ, too

These five joints are leading a BBQ renaissance in the Dallas area. (Photos ©Chris Wilkins and Jim Rossman) Reader interaction is terrific. On our story in The Dallas Morning News about Austin’s barbecue renaissance, one online reader — going by the moniker “J” — wrote: “Too bad the BBQ scene in DFW stinks.” I responded to “J” that the sentiment is wrong. There’s a barbecue renaissance in Dallas, too. From the Posse’s extensive touring, we put Pecan Lodge at the Farmers Market among the top two or three joints in the state. If Texas Monthly’s new rankings (the June issue) don’t…
 - 04/30/2013
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Turkey makes a move to join the royal family of Texas barbecue meats

The turkey breast at Franklin Barbecue was amazing. (Photo by Tom Fox/DMN) On Posse tours, we’ve noticed that more joints are adding smoked turkey breast to their menus, so we added it to our standard order during our recent Best of Austin barbecue tour. Brisket, pork ribs, sausage… and turkey. The holy trinity — plus one — of Texas barbecue. All four places we visited had turkey. Mainly, it was good. The best we had was at Franklin Barbecue. It was worth the wait in line just to see the meat cutter take the turkey breast from its butter bath,…
 - 04/24/2013
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Mueller ties run deep in BBQ joints on the Posse’s Best of Austin Tour

A portrait of the late Bobby Mueller, shot by daughter LeAnn, watches over La Barbecue. (Photo by Tom Fox/DMN) Follow the roots of most of the joints on our recent Best of Austin tour and they trace back, directly or indirectly, to Texas legend Louie Mueller and his place in Taylor. LeAnn and John Mueller,  grand children of Louie and children of Bobby, are the most direct links. LeAnn owns La Barbecue. John is the pitmaster at John Mueller Meat Co. They used to work together but then there was that infamous blow up. Aaron Franklin, owner of Franklin Barbecue,…
 - 04/23/2013
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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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Memo to Gov. Perry: Texas needs a truth in BBQ law

Last week on the Posse’s Facebook page, we had a good discussion with readers about the use of real wood or other means to smoke barbecue. One reader, Mark “The Hogfather” Gabrick, suggested that we lead an initiative to get Texas to pass a truth in barbecue law. Or, more simply, we should designate joints that use only wood as “Posse approved.” Gotta admit, that last phrase does have a nice ring. The Hogfather noted that “Carolina” passed a similar law a while back, which sent us scrambling to the Internet archives to substantiate. Indeed, in 1986, Gov. Richard Riley…
 - 02/25/2013
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Lines, lines, everywhere we go there are BBQ lines

Long lines at Franklin BBQ in Austin, top, and Pecan Lodge in Dallas. (Photos © Daniel Goncalves) Aaron Franklin has made it cool to stand in a long line for barbecue. That has been the norm at his joint in Austin going back to its trailer days in 2009. Now, the phenomenon appears to be spreading, as we discovered on our recent Best of Texas BBQ Tour. When we left Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Que in Tyler about noon last Friday, three dozen people were in line and more appeared to be walking down the sidewalk to join the queue. This…
 - 02/13/2013
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Fargo’s BBQ – New digs, same great BBQ

Fargo’s BBQ co-owners Belender Wells & Alan Caldwell in front of their new sign on 720 N. Texas in Bryan. We dropped in on Fargo’s BBQ’s new location in Bryan as our third of 10 stops of the Top 5 BBQ Tour. They were in their old location five blocks north for 13 years, which didn’t have a dining room. Co-owner Alan Caldwell says the move went smoothly, including moving the original brick pit from the old location, which got broken but was put back together with a little masonry work. Their new location is a former Popeye’s Chicken and…
 - 02/09/2013
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The thrill is gone from New Zion Missionary Baptist Church BBQ

Everyone in the Posse — all five of us on this trip — looked forward to our visit to New Zion Missionary Baptist Church Barbecue in Huntsville, the first stop on a 700-mile, 35-hour tour last weekend to the Texas Gulf coast. Some love the Church’s food and wax poetic about the atmosphere. But we were disappointed. Really disappointed. “It was like a bubble burst,” said Posse member Phil Lamb. “Boy, the romance is gone from that place.” “It was probably good yesterday,” Jim Rossman said after tasting the brisket. No smoke, no taste, and the meat looked as if…
 - 06/06/2012

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