Our final three Best of 2009 awards are non-menu-item awards: Best Service, Best Atmosphere, & Best Overall. To get our winners for our menu-item awards (Best Brisket, Best Sausage, etc.), we average the scores for each menu item we had throughout the year at each place we officially visit (i.e. score) - provided that the menu item was score by at least two people. For the non-menu-item awards, however, each person who made at least three outings during the year may vote for his/her 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices in each of the three categories. Each 1st-place vote is worth 5 points, each 2nd-place vote is worth 3 points, and each 3rd-place vote is worth 1 point. The points are then added for each vote getter, giving us our top 3.
First up is our award for Best Service of 2009. Without a doubt, one of greatest things about our Man-Up trips and about running this blog is that it lets us cross paths with some wonderful people. Visiting with, and getting to know, the folks at the joints we hit up is often as memorable (if not more memorable) than the food. From the proprietors to the pitmasters to the staff members, we have had some wonderful service throughout our journey, and we are, indeed, so appreciative. Only 1 place that cracked our top 3 in 2008 (at #2) made this year's list (at #1). Many joints received votes, but here are the top 3 for 2009:
1. Louie Mueller Barbecue: 26 points (pictured above: Wayne Mueller)
2. Opie's Barbecue: 24 points
3. Meyer's Elgin Smokehouse: 23 points
Others receiving votes: Snow's BBQ, Mills County BBQ Company, Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que (Llano), Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que (New Braunfels), The Salt Lick, Mann's Smokehouse, Milt's Pit BBQ, Burnet Feed Store BBQ, and Augie's Barbed Wire Smokehouse.