BBQ joints

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smokinjsEXT

Best name ever for a barbecue joint? Smok’n J’s Butt Nekkid BBQ

Editor’s note: This just is now closed. We were driving on Highway 19 between Palestine and Athens when we spotted the smoke. No one wanted to cram an extra stop into our East Texas barbecue tour last weekend. We were stuffed after eating at three places and we wanted only to sample the Hog Wings at Cripple Creek in Athens before returning to Dallas. But the smoke on the side of the highway in Montalba was enticing. We drove past, but Posse co-found Chris Wilkins said, “We probably should turn around.” Wheelman Marshall Cooper obliged. And so we pulled into…
 - 04/20/2011
halletts01

Novosad BBQ & Sausage Market: The I-10 BBQ adventure continues

After lunch at Gonzales Food Market, we headed east on Hwy. 90. The next official stop was going to be City Market in Schulenburg, but we hoped to find a joint or two on the 41 mile drive over. We talked about having a cold Shiner beer in the town of Shiner, of course. This was the first decent sized town on the route, but we came up empty. The brewery was closed and we didn’t find a bar open. Onward to Hallettsville and Novosad BBQ & Sausage Market, a joint I had heard of but didn’t know much about.…
 - 04/13/2011
MO02

Lonnie Ray’s BBQ: Texas smoke in the heartland of Missouri

I got a chance to try some “Texas-style” BBQ on a trip last week to Columbia, Missouri. I’m alway skeptical when I hear those words and I’m not in Texas. The meat is usually cooked on a gas burner and that ain’t Texas-style in my book……. Longtime friend Jim Curley, a photojournalist in Columbia, drove us north 21 miles to Harrisburg, population 184, home of Lonnie Ray’s BBQ. Mike Whiteley, owner and pit boss, has been cooking most of his life and opened Lonnie Ray’s seven years ago. Jim had heard about the Gee Wilikers sandwich, a wholly original choice…
 - 04/11/2011
gagaaaron

Lady Gaga, Texas BBQ and Aaron Franklin

If you can work Lady Gaga into a conversation about Texas barbecue, then it’s probably going to be a pretty good conversation. That was true Thursday morning when I stopped by Aaron Franklin’s new place in Austin on my way back to Dallas. It was just after 9 a.m., still about two hours until he opened for business, so Franklin had a few minutes to show me around. “What are you doing in town?” he asked. I explained that I had gone to the Lady Gaga concert the night before at the Erwin Center. (Terrific show, btw.) One of her…
 - 04/08/2011
gonzoweb01

Gonzales Food Market: Three generations of BBQ mastery

After breakfast at City Market in Luling, we headed southeast on Hwy. 183 to the old town square of Gonzales, home to another one of the best BBQ joints in Texas. Gonzales Food Market was founded 52 years ago by the Lopez family as a small grocery and meat market, with one brick pit constructed to cook sausage. Two more pits to smoke a wide array of meats followed. Second and third generations of the family still run the joint, which morphed into more of a restaurant in the mid-1970s. When we arrived at 11:30 am the line was already…
 - 04/07/2011
family01

Family Tradition Bar-B-Q: New stop on the central Texas BBQ trail

UPDATE: This joint closed in October 2011. The Fogle family hopes to open a joint near Lake McQueeney sometime in Spring 2012. An unexpected stop was awaiting us as we threaded our way on the blue highways around the Interstate 10 corridor looking for the next BBQ joint to visit. We had planned a fourth stop at Schulenburg City Market, but they were closed when we got there. We were on the prowl for a replacement. In the tiny town of Waelder, population a little over 900, we stumbled into the newly opened Family Tradition Bar-B-Q. Waelder is north of…
 - 04/05/2011
lulingweb01

City Market in Luling: First stop on the I-10 BBQ roadtrip

I was joined by an old friend last weekend on a quick five-stop BBQ roadtrip. Sports photographer extraordinaire Jeff Haynes, who was in San Antonio covering the NCAA basketball regionals for Reuters, had a down day on Saturday so we headed east on Interstate 10. The original plan was to hit three city markets and see what we found in between. All three joints were threaded together by I-10 between San Antonio and Houston. They had all received five stars from our friend Daniel Vaughn, aka the BBQ Snob, so I knew it would be a tasty journey. We planned…
 - 04/01/2011
pecan1

Is Pecan Lodge in the same league as Franklin?

Is Pecan Lodge in the same league as Franklin? That was the case this week, according to Posse pit master Marshall Cooper, who eats barbecue – his own and other’s – several times a week. Marshall is hard to please. But after his lunch Sunday at Pecan Lodge in the Dallas Farmers Market he was raving. “In terms of quality, in my opinion, the brisket and ribs today hands down beats any BBQ in DFW,” he reported. “The ribs were better than any ribs I’ve eaten out. Today, the brisket was so damned good, it makes me re-think Franklin for…
 - 03/24/2011
Steve-BBQ-Pic

On the road: The Steve Miller Band makes a BBQ stop in Austin

Texas BBQ Posse member and Dallas Morning News staff photographer David Woo was on the road last week with the Steve Miller Band, a group he has been photographing for 20 years. Steve, who moved to Dallas when he was 7 years old, is a huge fan of Texas BBQ and always looking for the greatest que the state has to offer. David accompanied the Posse on our recent anniversary tour to central Texas and discovered the brisket at Franklin Barbecue and the ribs and sides at Lamberts Downtown Barbecue, both in Austin. He started planning a BBQ feast for…
 - 03/05/2011
media01

Super Bowl XLV Media Party – See photos of the Texas BBQ celebration

Even Super Storm 2011 couldn’t stop the BBQ greatness of the Super Bowl XLV Media Party last night at the House of Blues. Eight of the planned ten pitmasters from across Texas made it through the ice and snow to the HOB. The teams were Snow’s BBQ of Lexington, Louie Mueller Barbecue of Taylor, Franklin Barbecue of Austin, Black’s BBQ of Lockhart, Blue Ribbon BBQ (Mikeska family) of Austin, Mills County BBQ Company of Goldwaite, Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ of Tyler, Schoepf’s Old Time Pit BBQ of Belton and Earl Campbell’s Sausage. Only the teams from Cooper’s Old Time BBQ…
 - 02/02/2011
SB1

10 Texas BBQ giants gather in Dallas to cook for Super Bowl XLV Media Party

It’s like a dream BBQ tour. Imagine hitting 10 of the best barbecue joints in Texas…..all in one night. Posse lead writer Gary Jacobson got the scoop this morning about a gathering in Dallas next week of legendary pitmasters. Snow’s BBQ owner Kerry Bexley called to give Gary a heads up on the story. Pitmasters from 10 top TexasBBQ joints will gather in the parking lot of the House of Blues next Tuesday to cook for the 2011 NFL Super Bowl XLV Media Party, which is held that evening at the HOB. You have to be a Super Bowl credentialed…
 - 01/27/2011
lockhartshouse-1

Lockhart Smokehouse to open next Wednesday, Feb. 2nd

Great news for BBQ fans across North Texas and beyond. Lockhart Smokehouse will open on Wednesday, Feb. 2. It’s likely been one of the most anticipated BBQ joint openings in DFW history. We dropped by today and met owner Jeff Bergus and pitmaster Tim McLaughlin as they get ready for the opening a week from tomorrow. We got a tour of the place and got a peek at their amazing custom-made Bewley smoker. Lockhart Smokehouse is located at the corner of Bishop and Davis, in the Bishop Arts District of Oak Cliff. In the photo above, Tim, left, and Jeff…
 - 01/27/2011
prausecounter

Prause Meat Market in La Grange – Four generations of BBQ greatness

Our sixth stop on the Central Texas 5-Star Anniversary BBQ Tour took us back in time to Prause Meat Market, a fourth generation meat market in the small town of La Grange. We had begun day two of the tour with breakfast at Snow’s BBQ in Lexington, which set the bar for BBQ excellence for the day. La Grange is 39 miles south of Lexington on US Hwy. 77, a route that passes directly by City Meat Market in Giddings, one the the best BBQ joints in Texas. Gary Prause met us at the counter and basically gave us the…
 - 12/20/2010
fayesign

Birth of a BBQ Joint – Mama Faye’s in Deep Ellum

We had the rare opportunity to try a new BBQ joint on its second day of operation today. Plans were set into motion when Texas BBQ Posse member Gary Barber spotted a big smoker at the corner of Commerce and Walton Streets while at lunch in Deep Ellum the day before. Ernest and Francine Williams opened Mama Faye’s BBQ at 2933 Commerce on Thursday. The joint is named after Francine’s mother Faye, who supplied the sauce recipe, a family secret that dates back to the 1900s. They are already known in Deep Ellum for their mobile operation, selling sandwiches in…
 - 12/18/2010
frankscombo

Franklin Barbecue plans to move

UPDATE: According to our friends at Man Up Texas BBQ, Franklin Barbecue will be moving to 900 E. 11th St., the former location of Ben’s Long Branch Barbecue, hoping to open some time in early January. On our recent Central Texas anniversary tour, Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue in Austin told us that he was looking to move soon to a permanent building. For about a year, he has been operating out of trailers at the back of an old gas station on the east side of I-35 at 34th street, producing what many of us in the Posse think…
 - 12/08/2010
vencil1a

Taylor Cafe – Your chance to attend the Vencil Mares University of BBQ

The final stop of day one of our Central Texas 5-Star Anniversary BBQ Tour was the Taylor Cafe, a rare Texas BBQ joint open until 10pm, perfect for our overnight stop in Taylor between days one and two of the tour. I have written several times on the posse blog about Vencil Mares, owner of the legendary BBQ joint that he has operated since 1949. My respect for Vencil and what he means to the legacy of Texas BBQ is deep. You run a BBQ joint 7 days a week, from 6am to 10pm, for 61 years and then we’ll…
 - 12/07/2010
boarribs

Posse favorites: Crispy wild boar ribs at Lamberts Downtown Barbecue

Our second stop on the Central Texas 5-Star Anniversary BBQ Tour took us to Lamberts Downtown Barbecue in the heart of Austin. Our previous stop at Franklin Barbecue was going to be a hard act to follow. The dining room had just closed for lunch, so we took over the bar in the historic Austin building that dates back to 1873, ordering up a round of frothy cold beverages. Looking over the menu, the crispy wild boar ribs jumped out as must-sample bbq tour fare, described as “Honey & Sambal, Cabrales Blue, Celery & Daikon Slaw. Though not exactly sure…
 - 11/24/2010
franklede

Franklin Barbecue – Is this the best brisket in Texas?

One giant question loomed over our Central Texas 5-Star Anniversary BBQ Tour. Could Franklin Barbecue, aka: the little trailer that could in Austin, beat out Snow’s BBQ in Lexington for the title of “Best Brisket in Texas?” We had 12 posse members meet up for lunch at Franklins. The joint opens at 11am but they were sold out by 12:30pm, not an unusual occurrence. We had called ahead anonymously a few days earlier to pre-order a brisket, a couple of racks of ribs and some sausage. The posse arrived at 1pm and dug in, sitting at the picnic tables next…
 - 11/21/2010
ConnemaraW0356a

Brisket in the meadow

Diane and Justin Fourton of Pecan Lodge recently showed their catering greatness at Connemara Conservancy’s “In the Meadow” event held at their Meadow Preserve in Allen. Catering is a big part of the Fourton’s business, in addition to running a great restaurant out of Shed #2 at the Dallas Farmers Market. Pecan Lodge prepared smoked brisket and quail as the highlight of an impressive dinner for 150 served on white linen in the meadow. It was a night to remember…… Pecan Lodge, 1010 South Pearl Expressway, Farmer’s Market Shed #2, Dallas, TX, 75201, (214) 748-8900. Open: Thur-Fri 11am-3pm, Sat-Sun 9am-3pm.…
 - 10/06/2010
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
pats1

Pat Gee’s: BBQ palace in the piney woods of East Texas

Pat Gee’s Barbecue is a few miles east of Tyler, nestled under towering pine trees near the small community of Chapel Hill. Dallas Morning News writer and Texas BBQ Posse founding member Gary Jacobson set the stage for the joint perfectly in his story, “The barbecue chronicles: One day, four pit stops in East Texas.” Gary writes, “The small, wood-frame building sits on a small lot notched between pine trees and pasture. An outhouse is out back. Inside the main room, near the front door, is a fridge. Once, it was white. Four fly swatters hang from the counter, under…
 - 04/29/2010
snowscmbo

Breakfast at Snow’s

We had a full tank of gas, two big coolers, a set of horseshoes and an big appetite for central Texas BBQ. Our bags were packed with the consummate BBQ tour attire: sandals, extremely comfortable shorts & our favorite Hawaiian shirt. Why two coolers? One for the ice-cold beer, a necessity on any BBQ Tour, and one with the capacity to bring home 20 pounds of smokin meat. We overnighted in Rockdale, north of Lexington, and arrived at a foggy Snow’s BBQ in Lexington before 8am, beating the crowd by 15 minutes. They’re only open on Saturdays and the meat…
 - 03/12/2010
GaryBrandys

Road trip to Randy’s Bar-B-Que in Red Oak

Texas BBQ Posse members loaded up a couple of cars on Tuesday and headed down to Red Oak to check out lunch at Randy’s Bar-B-Que. Daniel Vaughn had named Randy’s the number 2 BBQ joint in DFW in his recent D Magazine rankings, so we had to check it out for ourselves. We were wheels up at 11:10 or so from downtown Dallas. Posse member Irwin Thompson warned that we better get there by before noon or risk a long line. We pulled in the lot a little bit after 11:30 and barely beat the crowd. It’s a nondescript building…
 - 03/11/2010
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