Wednesday, May 20, 2015

"The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America" (Johnny Fugitt)

A new BBQ book has just been published. It's written by Johnny Fugitt, who patronized 365 BBQ restaurants in 48 states in 1 year. Brad and I had the pleasure to join Johnny for a meal while he was checking out some Austin BBQ joints. Such a nice guy. I look forward to reading all about Johnny's trip and his findings. Press releases (Austin and Texas) below. Congrats, Johnny! BUY THE BOOK


Austin area restaurants honored by barbecue critic in new book;
Johnny Fugitt visits 365 barbecue restaurants across 48 States in year and publishes 
The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America book
Press Release
May 20, 2015
Arlington, Virginia
For Immediate Release

Kerlin BBQ, a barbecue trailer on East Ceasar Chavez in Austin, is named best in America in the newly released The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America book.  Franklin Barbecue, often considered America’s best, is ranked 7th.  Black’s Barbecue in Lockhart is ranked 11th and five other Austin area restaurants made the list of The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America.  
In one year, Johnny Fugitt visited 365 barbecue restaurants across 48 states.  The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America blends travel writing, food writing and creative non-fiction to chronicle the journey, share secrets from barbecue kitchens and point the reader in the direction of America’s best barbecue.
Although he began the project as a Kansas City barbecue fan, Fugitt’s trip through Texas, in particular Austin, was transformational.  “Austin is the best city in America today for barbecue,” said Fugitt. “Not only can the best brisket and sausage be found here, but the ribs and pork rival anything found anywhere in America.  It didn’t take long to become a Texas barbecue convert.”
Unsatisfied with Top 10 lists that recycle the same, historic or well-marketed restaurants, Fugitt hit the road to sample it himself in search of the best.  Some of the expected barbecue names made the Top 100, but others are left off because, Fugitt argues, they survive on reputation alone and no longer produce great barbecue.  One famous barbecue restaurant is criticized for microwaving ribs before service.
“I know placing Kerlin ahead of Franklin is controversial, but I go into great depth to describe why I think it is just a nose better.  The primary reason being a slight difference in bark on the brisket.  Out of my 365 visits, these were two of my favorites and I’m jealous of a city with such great barbecue only a mile apart.”
The Blue Ox, Freedman’s Bar, Opie’s (Spicewood), and Valentina’s Tex-Mex BBQ also made the Top 100.  Texas as a whole is represented well, but Austin shines above everywhere else.
The book includes insight into the practices of barbecue restaurants, discusses current barbecue trends (where he picks a bone with Texas Monthly Barbecue Editor Daniel Vaughn), provides insider information to the best barbecue joints and ends with an awards section crowning a handful of restaurants with individual awards.
Texas dominates survey of American barbecue in new book;
Johnny Fugitt visits 365 barbecue restaurants across 48 States in year and publishes 
The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America book
 Press Release
May 20, 2015
Arlington, Virginia
For Immediate Release

20 Texas restaurants have been named among the best in America.  Kerlin BBQ (Austin) is ranked #1 in all of America; The Granary Cue and Brew (San Antonio) is ranked #4; Franklin Barbecue (Austin) came in at #7 and Black’s (Lockhart) is ranked #11.  Texas more restaurants included in the book than any other state.
In one year, Johnny Fugitt visited 365 barbecue restaurants across 48 states.  The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America book blends travel writing, food writing and creative non-fiction to chronicle the journey, share secrets from barbecue kitchens and point the reader in the direction of America’s best barbecue.
Fugitt goes to great lengths to explain why he put Kerlin and The Granary ahead of Franklin.  The book also tells the story of his conversion from Kansas City barbecue fan to Texas barbecue believer.  Many of his favorites outside Texas are restaurants with clear Texas barbecue connections.  His #2 in America, which has also been praised by Texas Monthly’s Daniel Vaughn, Hometown Bar-B-Que in New York is greatly influenced by Texas barbecue.
In addition to Kerlin, The Granary, Franklin and Black’s taking 4 of the top 11 spots, Blue Ox (Austin), Cooper’s (Llano), Freedmen’s (Austin), Hard Eight (Coppell), Hutchins (McKinney), Opies (Spicewood), Pecan Lodge (Dallas), Pody’s (Pecos), Rooster’s Roadhouse (Denton), Smitty’s (Lockhart), SMOKE (Dallas), Smoke Shack (San Antonio), Tejas (Bulverde), The Brisket House (Houston), Two Bros. (San Antonio) and Valentina’s Tex-Mex BBQ (Austin) were also included.
Unsatisfied with Top 10 lists that recycle the same, historic or well-marketed restaurants, Fugitt hit the road to sample it himself in search of the best.  Some of the expected barbecue names made the Top 100, but others are left off because, Fugitt argues, they are surviving on reputation alone and no longer producing great barbecue.  One famous barbecue restaurant is criticized for microwaving ribs before service.  He also has a philosophical barbecue bone to pick with Daniel Vaughn.
“My conversion to Texas barbecue will not be controversial in the Lone Star state, but my rankings will be.  Some famous and historic places didn’t do it for me, while a few newer and smaller players really impressed me.”
About the Author: Johnny Fugitt is a freelance writer from Missouri.  He holds a Master’s Degree from the London School of Economics and is an officer in the United States Navy Reserve.
The book is available on Amazon for $15.99.
High resolution photos available.  Email: barbecuerankings@gmail.com.  Interview requests: 417-872-4961.

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