Best of Texas BBQ Tour

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What the Posse looks for in great Texas BBQ

A diner eats his lunch at City Meat Market in Giddings. (Photo ©Guy Reynolds) Here’s the third video from our Best of Texas BBQ Tour multimedia package on dallasnews.com. In this piece, Gary Jacobson, Jim Rossman, Bruce Tomaso and me talk about what we look for in great Texas barbecue. When we sit down to a plate of brisket, ribs and sausage, here are the basic criteria used to judge what we’re eating: Taste, tenderness, appearance, texture and smokiness. Click the video below to see more of our tips on judging great Texas BBQ.
 - 03/25/2013
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How to plan your own Texas BBQ Tour

       The posse samples meats during our first trip to Franklin BBQ. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/The Texas BBQ Posse) When it comes to Texas BBQ tours, the Posse has a few tips to share with our readers. We’ve had 12 BBQ tours since 2009, covering around 5,000 miles. Our last trip, the Best of Texas BBQ Tour, covered 700 miles and 10 top Texas BBQ joints over 48 hours. Tip no. 1: Do your research and planning, have an agenda. Check out website’s like Daniel Vaughn’s Full Custom Gospel BBQ blog. Daniel has been to every BBQ joint in Texas and…
 - 03/20/2013
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Bikes, Blues and Barbecues: A father and son hit the Texas BBQ Trail on 2 wheels

Tim Landauer poses in front of the Texas Capitol, left. Son Robby rides between Taylor and Austin. Here at Posse headquarters, we’ve been feeling pretty good about ourselves and the nearly 700-mile Best of Texas Tour that we did — by car — over a long weekend. Then we got an email from Tim Landauer, a North Texas resident who, with his son, Robby, took a 6-day, 276-mile tour of the Central Texas barbecue heartland by bicycle last May. They ate at five of the same joints we did and arrived at the same conclusion: “Franklin’s is the best we…
 - 03/18/2013
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Here’s your chance to buy another piece of Texas BBQ history

The original brick smoker at Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, built in 1959. (Photo © Philip Lamb) A couple of weeks ago we wrote about a chance to buy a piece of Texas BBQ history – the original catering smoker rig at Snow’s BBQ in Lexington. Here’s a slightly less expensive opportunity to buy another item representing the best in Texas BBQ. You may have heard about the fire that recently destroyed the original brick pit at Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor. The pit, which was built in 1959, was a total loss after back-to-back pit fires over the weekend…
 - 03/15/2013
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The Barbecue Chronicles: Best of Texas BBQ Tour

Brisket, ribs and sausage at Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor. (Photo by Tom Fox/DMN) By Gary Jacobson/Texas BBQ Posse For a while now, members of the Texas BBQ Posse have strongly suspected that Dallas finally has a joint that can hang with the elite barbecue restaurants in the state. Our recent Posse Favorites Tour confirmed that suspicion. We drove nearly 700 miles and ate at 10 top places over 48 hours. We scored brisket, pork ribs and sausage, the holy trinity of Texas barbecue, on a 10-point scale. In the end, we compiled a list of the six top-scoring spots.…
 - 03/12/2013
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Today in the Dallas Morning News: The BBQ Posse’s Best of Texas picks

Here’s a look at our three-page spread in today’s Dallas Morning News travel section. The Best of Texas BBQ project was published in print and online on dallasnews.com and the DMN iPad app. Dallas Morning News editor Bob Mong shared his thoughts on the Posse in his weekly note to the readers published in today’s paper: I can always stop by photo editor Chris Wilkins’ desk and catch up on the top visual journalism of the day. On many weekends, though, Chris joins the posse — the Texas BBQ Posse, that is. For years, Chris and a group of Dallas…
 - 03/10/2013
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The Posse’s best of the best BBQ joints in Texas: Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Pecan Lodge in Dallas and Snow’s BBQ in Lexington

The faces behind our top six BBQ joints, clockwise from top left: Aaron Franklin of Franklin BBQ, Justin Fourton of Pecan Lodge, Tootsie Tomanetz of Snow’s BBQ, Roy Perez of Kreuz Market, Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller Barbecue, Belender Wells & Alan Caldwell of Fargo’s Pit BBQ. (Photos by Tom Fox/DMN) The Dallas Morning News posted the results of the Posse’s Best of Texas BBQ Tour today on its Web site. The results will appear on the paper’s iPad’s application this weekend and in the newspaper’s travel section on Sunday. It was an exceedingly close finish. With 30 being the…
 - 03/08/2013
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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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Pecan Lodge of Dallas wins best ribs in the Posse’s Best of Texas BBQ Tour

Order of award-winning ribs at Pecan Lodge in the Dallas Farmer’s Market. (Tom Fox/DMN) While we wait for the full results of the Posse’s recent Best of Texas barbecue tour to be published in The Dallas Morning News this weekend, we can reveal one more detail: Pecan Lodge in Dallas won the pork rib category. Five of our six judges rated pitmaster Justin Fourton’s ribs a perfect 10. The sixth judge scored a 9. We reported earlier here that Snow’s BBQ in Lexington had the highest scoring brisket. It received a 10 from every judge, the only meat to achieve…
 - 03/06/2013
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The secret to avoiding those long lines at Franklin Barbecue in Austin

  The line was over 100 deep at Franklin BBQ on a recent Saturday. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Even now, four weeks later, we’re still complimenting ourselves for our nifty navigation of the long lines at Franklin Barbecue in Austin during the Posse’s Best of Texas Tour. People can begin queuing up two hours before the joint opens and the number can quickly grow to a hundred or more. We took advantage of Franklin’s advance-order service and had Posse members and Austin residents Libby Jacobson and Mike Gagne pick up our food before the place opened for regular business.…
 - 03/05/2013
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The Fantastic Mr. Fox – Photographing the Best of Texas BBQ tour

Dallas Morning News staffer Tom Fox works the line at Franklin BBQ. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) We had several firsts for the Posse on our recent Best of Texas BBQ Tour. This was the first tour spanning three days and also our first trip taken to rank the top joints in the state. The results will be published in The Dallas Morning News and online on March 10. Another first was to have the Morning News assign a staff photographer to travel with us, documenting the 700-mile journey to the best BBQ joints in Texas. The Posse is made up…
 - 02/28/2013
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Kreuz Market wins best sausage in BBQ Posse’s Best of Texas Tour

Jalapeño cheese sausage at Kreuz Market in Lockhart. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Regular readers know we had some internal Posse conflict before our recent Best of Texas Tour. Should sausage count equally with brisket and pork ribs when trying to rate the best joints in the state? Initially, we decided, no, sausage should count less. Then we got an impassioned defense of the sausage maker’s art from Posse member Bryan Gooding, the sausage king of Oak Cliff after his victory last fall in the Blues, Bandits and BBQ cookoff. So, we switched. All three meats, rated on a 1 to…
 - 02/21/2013
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Classic BBQ signs from the Best Of Texas tour

Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q, Tyler. (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves) A Posse rule of thumb: The more homemade the sign, the more down home the barbecue. BBQ Signs of our Times is back again, this time with a mix of new and historic photos. This is our sixth blog post on classic BBQ signs. If you happen to see a cool sign while you’re out on the Texas BBQ Trail, please snap a photo and keep us in mind. If you’re a fan of our Texas BBQ Posse Facebook or Twitter page, you can upload a photo for us to include on…
 - 02/19/2013
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Is Lockhart losing its title as the BBQ Capital of Texas?

Smitty’s Market oak wood pile & Caldwell County courthouse. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) At the Posse, we’re ready to declare State Highway 130, the high-speed tollway that skirts Austin, the Barbecue Super Expressway. However, we’re beginning to wonder whether Lockhart, one of the main stops on that highway, still deserves its title as the BBQ capital of Texas. Yes, we know that’s borderline smoked-meat heresy. But on our recent Best of Texas Tour, we ate at three Lockhart joints and only one — Kreuz Market — made our top tier of six. The others — Smitty’s Market and Chisholm…
 - 02/14/2013
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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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A respite from brisket, ribs and sausage on the Best of Texas BBQ tour

The Posse digs into a Brother-in-Law sandwich at Stanley’s. (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves) Discipline and portion control were the guiding principles of our recent Best of Texas BBQ Tour. They have to be when you eat at 10 places over a period of about 48 hours. But while we focused on — and scored — only brisket, pork ribs and sausage, we did manage to sample other fare on the first day of the tour, when we visited only 3 places. At Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Que in Tyler, we loved the smoked turkey breast and the Brother-In-Law sandwich, made of chopped…
 - 02/12/2013
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Snow’s brisket is only meat to score a perfect 10 on Posse’s Best of Texas BBQ Tour

Our perfect 10 brisket from Snow’s BBQ in Lexington. (Photo by Tom Fox/DMN) During our recent Best of Texas BBQ Tour, we traveled nearly 700 miles over three days and tasted brisket, pork ribs and sausage at 10 top places in the state. Each meat was scored on a scale of 1 to 10 (best) by 6 members of Texas BBQ Posse. Just one received a perfect score: the brisket at Snow’s BBQ in Lexington. “The taste almost explodes in your mouth,” said Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins as he savored a bite. In 2008, Texas Monthly crowned Snow’s, which is…
 - 02/11/2013

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