Is the Fourth Slice the Barometer for a Well-Cooked Brisket?
Texas Monthly | BBQ: News, Reviews, And Stories About Barbecue
by Daniel Vaughn
1d ago
Leonard Botello IV has spent the last eight years chasing smoked brisket perfection. It began with Truth Barbeque, which he opened in Brenham in 2015, and which made the top ten on our 2017 barbecue list. A gleaming new location in Houston followed two years later, which jumped up to the number-three spot on our 2021 list, based largely on the quality of that smoked brisket. The Truth brand got so big that Botello’s wife (and boutique hotelier), Abbie Byrom-Botello, hired a public relations firm that sent me a pitch. It was strange enough that, unlike every other PR pitch I’ve received in my t ..read more
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This Brisket Isn’t Barbecued But Is Still a Smoky, Fatty Wonder Served in a Taco
Texas Monthly | BBQ: News, Reviews, And Stories About Barbecue
by Daniel Vaughn
3d ago
Last November, Tony Luhrman brought his crew to the Butcher’s Ball in Brenham with high hopes. The event brings together chefs and pitmasters so they can highlight the products of independent farms and ranches and compete for the Golden Cleaver, which goes to the chef with the best dish. Luhrman, who owns El Topo in Houston (just featured in taco editor José R. Ralat’s list of best new taquerias), had already won the award with his barbacoa in 2018 when the business was still in a food truck. He moved into a brick-and-mortar in early 2020, and he left this past year’s Butcher’s Ball with the t ..read more
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A Decade of Experimentation Led This Beloved Ramen Restaurant Group to Open a Barbecue Joint
Texas Monthly | BBQ: News, Reviews, And Stories About Barbecue
by Daniel Vaughn
1w ago
A decade ago, restaurant partners Tatsu Aikawa and Takuya Matsumoto added some barbecue into a bowl of their ramen. The pair had opened Ramen Tatsu-Ya in Austin the year prior, and Aikawa was providing barbecue from a few Lockhart joints for the staff’s family meal. He added it to the ramen, and a combination that now seems obvious was born. I enjoyed every drop of a smoked shoyu brisket ramen special at Ramen Tatsu-Ya in 2019, and three years later the concept has evolved into a permanent restaurant with the opening of BBQ Ramen Tatsu-Ya this past October.BBQ Ramen Tatsu-Ya is in the building ..read more
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New York Deli Meets Central Texas Barbecue at This Pastrami-Forward Joint
Texas Monthly | BBQ: News, Reviews, And Stories About Barbecue
by Daniel Vaughn
1w ago
After more than a decade of hauling smoked brisket and pastrami to Austin-area farmers’ markets, Geoffrey “Geo” Ellis finally has the restaurant he’s been dreaming of for Mum Foods. He had a sixteen-month run with a limited deli menu in a building he knew would be a temporary home. It closed in early 2020, but he’s back with a new location that’s a full-on smokehouse and delicatessen.A pair of thousand-gallon Bison smokers chug away out in front of the new Mum Foods, which opened in December. They’re tended by pitmaster Travis Crawford, who spent time cooking for LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue, Vale ..read more
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Brisket Wasn’t Always King in Texas 
Texas Monthly | BBQ: News, Reviews, And Stories About Barbecue
by Daniel Vaughn
1w ago
“Brisket Is King” read the T-shirts for sale at Terry Black’s Barbecue, the newest joint in Lockhart, a.k.a. the Barbecue Capital of Texas. But that recalcitrant chunk of beef hasn’t always sat on the throne. In a journal he kept in 1999, Roy Perez, who has worked the pits at Lockhart’s most storied establishment, Kreuz Market, since 1987, recorded that on one busy Saturday he cooked a hundred beef shoulder clods—a popular cut back then—and just fifteen briskets. By contrast, on a recent Saturday, Perez and his crew smoked seventy briskets and just twenty shoulder clods.Kreuz isn’t the only ic ..read more
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It Took Years for This Pitmaster to Find His Place in the Texas Scene
Texas Monthly | BBQ: News, Reviews, And Stories About Barbecue
by Daniel Vaughn
2w ago
Stephan Nedwetzky’s circuitous path to becoming a barbecue joint owner in tiny Van Alstyne, about an hour north of Dallas, has been filled with pitfalls and second-guessing. The native of Dallas’s Pleasant Grove neighborhood spent his adolescent years in Rochester, New York, but after leaving the Marines in 1999, he came back home to Texas. “Being a Texan, I missed barbecue so much,” he said. He starting smoking in his backyard in Plano while running a landscaping company. After entering a barbecue competition in 2010 (even though Nedwetzky describes everything he turned in as “horrible”), he ..read more
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This Boutique Ranch Focuses on Grass-Fed Wagyu, Tasty in Burgers or as Steaks
Texas Monthly | BBQ: News, Reviews, And Stories About Barbecue
by Daniel Vaughn
2w ago
The Peeler name is connected to various cattle operations south of San Antonio. There’s A. M. Peeler Ranch, in Christine, a sixth-generation cattle ranch founded in 1882 that’s owned by Alonzo and Barbara Peeler and their son Jason. In 2014, Jason partnered with Dustin Dean on Dean & Peeler Premium Angus Beef, in Floresville, in 2014, and they have their own USDA-inspected processing facility, in Poth, called Dean & Peeler Meatworks. Out east of Floresville, you’ll find the several hundred head of Akaushi cattle, on three thousand acres, that make up the Peeler Farms Wagyu herd. The la ..read more
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This Old Barbecue Joint in Eagle Pass Is Teaching Itself New Tricks
Texas Monthly | BBQ: News, Reviews, And Stories About Barbecue
by Daniel Vaughn
3w ago
Siblings Francisco “Paco” Carmona and Paola Buentello grew up in their family’s barbecue business in Eagle Pass, an hour south of Del Rio and directly across the border from Piedras Negras, Mexico. He was two years old and she was one when their late grandfather Hugo Buentello and their mother, Selena Buentello Price, opened the Wagon Wheel in 1994. They sold barbecue and other goods from a drive-through building. “You grabbed your beer, your deer corn, your brisket sandwich, and you were off to the ranch,” Carmona said. I first visited the joint ten years ago, and when I returned to try it ag ..read more
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My Favorite Texas Barbecue Bites of 2022
Texas Monthly | BBQ: News, Reviews, And Stories About Barbecue
by Daniel Vaughn
1M ago
Even though our latest Top 50 BBQ list came out just over a year ago, I’m already working on a new ranking. I’ve been searching for contenders to include in the 25 best new barbecue joints, which will be named in an issue of Texas Monthly next year. This has involved scoping out promising up-and-comers, revisiting old favorites, and attending events where I’m sometimes surprised by the amazing smoked meat. The top fifty joints need no further exaltation, so I’m highlighting more under-the-radar spots in my favorite Texas barbecue bites of the year. Barbecue PlatterB4 Barbecue & Boba, Maban ..read more
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Texas-ing Their California: L.A. Gets an Influx of Stellar Barbecue
Texas Monthly | BBQ: News, Reviews, And Stories About Barbecue
by Daniel Vaughn
1M ago
The last time I went to California looking for barbecue, most of the good stuff was underground. It was four years ago, and the popular pitmasters were running illegal pop-ups out of backyards and breweries, cooking on smokers not approved by the state, and dodging health department officials who aimed to shut them down. Fortunes for many of them have changed. The state of California has since updated its health code to be more barbecue friendly, and the popularity of smoked meats, especially Texas-style brisket, has elevated some of those renegades into bona fide restaurant owners.Walking thr ..read more
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