Friday, October 31, 2008

More from Green Mesquite

Monday, October 27, 2008: Green Mesquite BBQ (Austin, Texas)

Following up on last Monday's night's party-of-seven-Man-Up dinner at The County Line, 8 of us (9, once Josh joined us after he had dinner) dined this past Monday night at Green Mesquite BBQ. Mike, Sally, Andrea, and Brett were all first timers.

Green Mesquite. I've passed it a thousand times. Turned my nose up at it a thousand times. Surely a BBQ place adjacent to downtown that I never hear people talking about, much less raving about, is not worth it. Maybe it's because my expectations were so low, but Green Mesquite, though not near the best BBQ out there, was a pleasant surprise. I'll return.

Before getting to the food (menu), some general positives: cozy atmosphere with local-interest wall decor; outdoor seating, with heaters; huge cups; huge to-go cups; lemons for your tea; awesome crushed ice; good portions and good prices; menus under the glass top on your table (a huge positive for those of us who can't stand touching menus).

Food: Not outstanding but solid. The pork ribs were user-friendly. Dry rub, small, and easy off the bone. Brisket was flavorful. Chicken leg was a little dry yet still tasted good. Thigh, from the same chicken quarter, was not dry at all. Turkey was pretty tasty and not too dry. Sauce was very good. Beans weren't bad, but the green beans were. Absolutely no taste at all. Kudos to the waiter for stepping in and stopping me from ordering green beans as both of my sides. Clearly, he had in mind what was best for me. In the sides' defense, I didn't want sides in the first place, but I didn't see an a la carte option for meat(s). I imagine they can just ring you up one or more meats. If it saves you money, I'd recommend it.

Mike: "I had the pork ribs, brisket, and sausage with a side of pinto beans and corn on the cob. The ribs were tender and practically fell off the bone. They were just as juicy too but I was disappointed I couldn't taste any smoke, which I like to at least know it's there. The sausage was ok, it had a good thick slightly charred casing however the inside seemed soft and empty, like the sausage wasn't packed well enough. The brisket wasn't the worst I have ever had, but wasn't the best. Again this is a meat I want to taste some smoke in and you could… burned into the top 16th of an inch of the meat. The flavor didn't seep into the rest of the meat thus making the 'brisket' more of a lightly smoked yankee pot roast. The BBQ sauce was pretty great, zesty but not over powering, everything a good standard BBQ sauce should be. Their pinto beans were pretty good and had a distinct flavor, spicy yet not hot. The corn on the cob was boiled and disgusting, I would have rather sucked on the towel the guy used to clean up the ice tea he spilled on our table."

Andrea, writing for herself and for Brett: "So, I preface this post with the fact that I, a native Texan, have been to eat barbeque at a real barbeque restaurant twice in my life. After admitting that I do in fact feel like a lesser Texans. That being said, I went to my first Man Up outing hoping it was nothing like my experience at The County Line the week before, with portions the size of my torso and a wait of 1 1/2 hours. I decided to share the 3 meat plate with Brett due to my fear of monstrous portions. We ordered chicken, brisket and pork ribs. The chicken was moist but not great and according to Brett the ribs were too overdone, but the brisket was Green Mesquite's saving grace. The great company made up for the waiter spilling an ocean of iced tea on my lap. The food, as a whole, was average and I think Green Mesquite is missing that quirky personality of some of the family-owned establishments outside of Austin."

Greg, who suggested Green Mesquite for the Monday-night outing, writes, "Green Mesquite was good, not great, but much better than I expected. We had a great pro-freedom group. No commies in this crowd (not that there is anything wrong with that)! Turkey: Very good…not great, but pretty good. Brisket: I had a couple of great pieces and a couple that were very pedestrian. Chicken: What I had was good, although I was quite full by the time I go to the chicken, so I probably didn't give it a fair shake. Potato Salad: Good, but nothing special. Green Beans: I didn't like them at all. BBQ Sauce: It was fantastic…it made everything just a little bit better, but it wasn't overpowering. Ice Tea: They had the best ice…every restaurant should have sonic ice like that. Overall: Much better than our last outing and another great group. Plus the prices were unbelievable. You couldn't beat them and it is right down the road from my apt. I might have a new hangout. I wish it was warmer outside so I could have enjoyed the patio."

Kalese finishes things off with two quick comments: "Sauce was a little sweet for my taste, but the best part was the awesome ice."

Mike's scores - Pork ribs: 7; Sausage: 3; Brisket: 3; Sauce: 8; Pinto beans: 6; Overall experience: 5

Andrea & Brett's scores - Chicken: 7; Brisket: 9; Pork ribs: 6; Cole slaw: 6; French fries: 4; Sauce: 7; Service: 4; Ambiance: 4.5; Overall experience: 6.7

Sally's scores - Sausage: 6.8; Brisket: 9.3; Fried okra: 8; Potato salad: 7.9; Sauce: 9.4; Atmosphere: 7.7; Overall experience: 8.9

Drew's scores - Brisket: 8.6; Pork ribs: 9; Chicken: 8.5; Turkey: 8.7; Beans: 7; Green beans: 5; Atmosphere: 9.1; Overall experience: 8.8

Greg's scores - Turkey: 9.4; Brisket: 9.4; Chicken: 9.3; Potato salad: 9.1; Green beans: 5; Sauce: 9.7; Iced tea: 9.9; Overall experience: 9.5

Kalese's scores - Turkey: 8; Brisket: 8; Sauce: 8; Overall experience: 8

Amir's scores - Pork ribs: 8; Chicken: 8; Brisket: 8.5; Overall experience: 8.75

Overall Man-Up Score: 7.95

Green Mesquite BBQ & More on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008: The County Line (Austin, Texas)

My first time to have Texas BBQ was Memorial Day weekend 2005. Knowing the next two months would be consumed with studying for the bar exam, a weekend away seemed like a good idea. So Dad and I decided to spend the holiday weekend in San Antonio, my first visit to the city. I had never heard of The County Line, but as our hotel was across the River Walk from TCL's River Walk location and as we are both BBQ fans, we stopped in for dinner. An order of jalapeno-cheese poppers and a BBQ sampler later, and I was a happy man. The meal, combined with smoking cigars on our River Walk-view balcony and at the Menger Bar, a meal at Mi Tierra, and tours of The Alamo and Spanish missions soon had this Alabama boy fast welling up with Texas pride. Leaving town, I felt a strong possibility that I might someday end up making a move to the Lone Star State. And here I am.

With Man-Up's trip to The County Line on Bee Cave Road in Austin, I have now made 5 trips to TCL (3 on the Riverwalk and 2 on Bee Cave). Our party of 7 was a nice showing for a Monday night. We sat by the window, with a great Hill Country view. Note: The patio is not full service, so if you want to eat outside, you'll need to get your order to go, and take it to the patio (which has live music Fridays and Saturdays from 6-9 pm). View the menu.

First off, one thing that makes this location preferable to the River Walk location is that it has lemons for your tea and not just limes, like the Riverwalk location does. Laugh all you want, but it's nice not to have to worry about taking my own lemons (which I do for all the Austin restaurants that, for reasons unknown, only offer limes).

True to my roots, I ordered the BBQ sampler: a hefty plate of smoked turkey, sausage, brisket, pork ribs, and one beef rib. Regarding the last item, maybe it's b/c, where I'm from, ribs are pork ribs, or maybe b/c I'm a Texas transplant who just hasn't seen the light, but I just can't get into beef ribs. They just seem to be huge pieces of fat that are far too much hassle for the purported payoff. On the subject of fat, I found my brisket to be a little too fatty and, thus, traded mine for Russell's, which he found to be too dry. We both liked each other's much better than our own. The sausage was good, and the pork ribs were okay, but the smoked turkey was very good. The view was nice, and the company was, always, great. Let's hear from them...

It was Kalese's first time to join us, so she leads off: "I grew up loving County Line...I actually went to the County Line in Lubbock for my 18th birthday. So maybe that is why I had such high expectations for our trip. The County Line in Lubbock closed in 2004, so when I made my initial return to County Line a few months ago I raved about how great it was, but that was not the case last night. The brisket was tender enough, but not particularly flavorful, and the turkey was just that...nothing special, no great smoke flavor, no peppery crust, just dry turkey slices. The Pecan Pie, I stole a bite or two of Todd's, was ok I would have preferred more pecans mixed in with the sugary-gooiness. But byfar the best thing of the entire night was the homemade ice cream, it rivaled my Dad's homemade vanilla which cannot be beat!!!"

Greg says, "Let's dig right in…Turkey – fantastic, best meat on my plate. Some of the best turkey I've had in a while. Ham –pedestrian. I don't know why I got it. I should have gone chicken! Mashed Potatoes and Caesar Salad – Both were great. Blackberry Cobbler with Homemade Ice Cream – AMAZING! The ice cream was the perfect complement to the cobbler. Overall – The view was great and the group was awesome. It could have been better, but it wasn't bad. All in all just a solid meal and outing. I very enjoyable man up experience!"

Amir: "Honestly, it was better than I was expecting. The pork ribs, beef ribs and brisket were all good. The mac and cheese was yummy goodness. The sauce was a bit sweet for me."

Russell: "County Line, a legendary Texas BBQ chain, which has its roots in far West Texas, always has an atmosphere and scenic location that will not disappoint, anywhere in the great state of Texas that you may find them. On this night, we made the short trip down Bee Cave Road in scenic West Austin to enjoy some tasty ribs, good sides and tremendous western atmosphere overlooking perhaps the hilly-est part of Austin. My personal overall verdict: The food was above average; yet, like most chain restaurant, the Line did not approach the quality of some of the small-town proprietorships that we at Man Up have come to expect. We're likely getting spoiled. Beef Rib: Long, lean and messy, this was the tastiest item on the menu. I'd recommend you man up on it. Turkey: Clean, mean, juicy white meat! Beef brisket: Mine was too lean and dry, Drew's was too fatty! Baby-back pork ribs: A little dry and not enough meat on them."

Fresh on the heels of her first outing with us (Snow's), Julianne gives us another solid review: "Pork ribs: very moist and tasty; bbq sauce is a little too sweet but had some flavor. Mac and cheese: not as good as my homemade but very cheesey and delicious. Just add black pepper and dive in. Pecan vinagrette salad dressing: very tasty. Perfect balance of sweet and vinegar. Warm bread: some of the best bread I have eaten. Get the dark bread. Overall: great service, warm homey atmosphere. kind of cabin in the woods. Gorgeous view of the hill country. Would have loved to have eaten outside. Sadly that is not permissable with ordering to go. No service outside for food."

We finish strong with thoughts and reflections from Todd: "Ahh, The County Line! TCL has always been in my top picks for best BBQ, so I was anxious to visit/evaluate using the strict criteria of the Man-Up Code. Overall, the visit was positive. I was hoping to sit outside, but was told they didn't serve food on the patio. Not sure why, but that started the night off very poorly. The night improved, but please note...outside seating is a must, so it will hurt the overall ranking. I was surprised though, that my recent experience did not quite live up to my expectations. Perhaps my expectations were a little too high, or perhaps I have just finally found more authentic, flavorful BBQ during this recent BBQ quest. I ordered the 5 Meat Sampler platter and dessert! I had to try everything, you know. Overall, the meat was above average, but nothing amazing. As you will see in my scores below, there is still room for improvement. Beef ribs - the size distracts you from the meat. These ribs were definitely from TX cows (aka very large, everything is bigger in TX), but I have certainly tasted better. Pork ribs - These ribs were pretty solid. Brisket - Good taste, nice cut of meat. Turkey - Turkey was the best meat that night. It was great! Sausage - I'm just not a sausage guy. seriously though...Pecan pie (a la mode) - This made the evening! Even though I was overly stuffed, I still made room for dessert. I love Pecan Pie, and TCL served up a mean slice. The ice cream was what put it over the top though! Overall - Good restaurant, atmosphere, and food. I wanted to sit outside...make it happen!"

Drew's rankings - Brisket: 7.8; Pork ribs: 8; Beef rib: 4; Sausage: 8.1; Smoked turkey: 9.1; Overall experience: 8.1

Kalese's rankings - Brisket: 8.0; Turkey: 7.5; Pecan pie: 8.0; Homemade ice cream: 9.8; Overall experience: 8.0

Greg's rankings - Turkey: 9.7; Ham: 8.5; Mashed potatoes: 9.5; Caesar salad: 9.5; Blackberry cobbler with homemade ice cream: 9.8; Overall experience: 9.3

Amir's rankings - Beef ribs: 7.5; Pork ribs: 8.5; Brisket: 8.0; Macaroni and cheese: 9.0; Overall experience: 8.75

Russell's rankings - Beef rib: 9.2; Turkey: 9.0; Beef brisket: 6.75; Pork ribs: 6.5; Overall experience: 7.5

Julianne's rankings - Pork ribs: 8.9; Sauce: 6.5; Macaroni and cheese: 9.5; Pecan vinagrette salad dressing: 9.1; Bread: 9.8; Overall experience: 8.67

Todd's rankings - Beef ribs: 8.68; Pork ribs: 9.22; Brisket: 9.29; Turkey: 9.52; Sausage: 8.5; Pecan pie (a la mode): 9.65; Overall experience: 9.19

Overall Man-Up Ranking: 8.5

County Line on the Hill on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 24, 2008

BBQ Brainstorming

Here are some places we might visit in the weeks ahead (listed in no particular order):

1. The Smokehouse (San Antonio)
2. Old Coupland Dancehall (Coupland)
3. Cooper's (Llano)
4. Schoepf's (Belton)
5. Vitek's (Waco)
6. Uncle Dan's (Waco)
7. Railroad (Kyle)
8. Green Mesquite (Austin)
9. Mann's (Austin)
10. Ruby's (Austin)
11. Lambert's (Austin)
12. Artz Rib House (Austin)
13. Black's (Lockhart)
14. Chisholm Trail (Lockhart)
15. C&J (College Station)
16. J. Cody's (College Station)

Anyone have any thoughts on any of these? Any place(s) we should add to the list?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

BBQ 101: What is Barbecue?

For the first BBQ 101 post, seems fitting to start with the basics.

Merriam-Webster defines barbecue as follows:

Main Entry: barbecue
Variant(s): also bar·be·que
Function: noun
Etymology: American Spanish barbacoa framework for supporting meat over a fire, probably from Taino
Date: 1709

1 a: a large animal (as a steer) roasted whole or split over an open fire or a fire in a pit b: barbecued food
2: a social gathering especially in the open air at which barbecued food is eaten
3: an often portable fireplace over which meat and fish are roasted
[Origin: 1655–65; < Sp barbacoa < Arawak (perh. Taino) barbacoa a raised frame of sticks]

What the heck is barbecue, anyway? (from

And from bullet-proof source Wikipedia: "Barbecue or barbeque[1] (with abbreviations BBQ, Bar-B-Q and Bar-B-Que, diminutive form barbie, used chiefly in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and called Braai in South Africa) is a method and apparatus for cooking food, often meat, with the heat and hot gases of a fire, smoking wood, or hot coals of charcoal and may include application of a marinade, spice rub, or basting sauce to the meat. The term as a noun can refer to foods cooked by this method, to the cooking apparatus itself, or to a party that includes such food. The term is also used as a verb for the act of cooking food in this manner. Barbecue is usually cooked in an outdoor environment heated by the smoke of wood or charcoal. Restaurant barbecue may be cooked in large brick or metal ovens specially designed for that purpose."

Stay tuned for BBQ 101: What is Texas Barbecue?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Brace Yourself: Buffalo Brisket

The lean hearty brisket from the bison is meticulously hand-rubbed with cracked black pepper and savory spices, then slow smoked over crackling mesquite embers for hours until it is fork-tender and ready for your next festive event. (from; hat tip to Julianne)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008: Iron Works Barbecue (Austin, Texas)

Well, it was bound to happen eventually: a consensus disappointment. Man Up's visit to Iron Works Barbecue (following my first time watching the bats take flight from the Congress Avenue bridge) wasn't a screaming success. Heck, it wasn't even a non-screaming success. The few positives--kitschy decor, outdoor-deck seating option, and smoked turkey--were not enough to balance out everything else. (But it was great to have Brad's parents and two friends of theirs join us.)

The only item I enjoyed was the turkey, which was very good. The brisket was dry as a bone, and the pork loin was drier than a bone. Service was not their strong point.

Fresh on the heels of his first Man-Up outing earlier in the day, Mark took part: "Brisket - Way too chewy. Not kept at a good temperature and probably overcooked. Little flavor. Turkey - Pretty good, actually. Just the right amount of pepper on the crust, a decent amount of moisture, and very flavorful. Don't know if or how it was cooked on the same grill as the brisket. Saint Arnold Root Beer - Loved it. Very unique. Only try it if you don't mind a slight black licorice aftertaste (which I am a big fan of personally). Ambiance - Very chill. A little hokie and not quite a genuine country BBQ chill, but as good as can be done for downtown Austin. The back porch (which seats quite a few) offers seclusion and looks over a small wooded meadow. Overall - The customer service is poorer than most family-owned and operated BBQ joints. I would have no problem going there again to spread out and relax with good people and enjoy a root beer, but there are several other places in town I could do the same thing. The point of going to a BBQ place to do those things is to enjoy good meat in the process - particularly red meat, in my opinion. If I went back, though, I'd probably only get the turkey, which I consider more of a deli item and not as essential to the BBQ experience."

Mark's rankings: Brisket: 4.5; Turkey: 8.5; Root beer: 9.25; Ambiance: 8.5; Sauce: 8: Service: 3; Overall experience: 6

Ashley's rankings: Chopped beef: 6.5; Beans: 6; Potato salad: 3; Ambiance: 3.5; Service: 5; Overall experience: 6

Drew's rankings: Brisket: 5; Pork loin: 4; Turkey: 9.5; Ham: 7; Chopped beef: 6.5; Service: 4; Sauce: 5.5; Overall: 5.25

Brad's rankings: Beef rib: 7.5; Brisket: 5.25; Sausage: 6; Potato salad: 5; Beans: 5; Service: Sucked; Company: Perfection; Overall: 5.79

Mr. Istre's rankings: Beef rib: 8.95; Potato salad: 4.8; Beans: 3.79; Overall: 8.69

Mrs. Istre's rankings: Beef rib: 8; Potato salad: 3; Beans: 3.5; Overall: 8

Mr. Burgan's rankings: Beef rib: 8; Potato salad: 5; Beans: 5; Sausage: 9; Miller Lite: 10; Overall: 8.5

Mrs. Burgan's rankings: Beef rib: 8; Potato salad: 3; Beans: 3; Overall: 6

Overall Man-Up Ranking: 6.77875

Iron Works Barbecue on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 17, 2008

BBQ Song

I'm in Chicago, so no Man-Up outing this weekend, but 2 outings scheduled for next week. In the meantime, and while I'm waiting on the scores to come in from Saturday's dinner outing, enjoy the estimable Robert Earl Keen's Barbeque (lyrics).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pictures of/with Kerry Bexley and Tootsie Tomanetz

The story behind Snow's

The aftermath of being named #1 by Texas Monthly: Part 1 & Part 2

Coverage of Snow's/Kerry/Tootsie from Brand Autopsy: When Being Too Good Becomes Bad & A Visit to Snow's (with video)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008: Snow's BBQ (Lexington, Texas)

If you're like me, you love polls. Rankings. Top 10 lists. Any compilation that declares something or someone to be the best. But if you're like me, you take a given ranking with a grain of salt. You take subjective polls at their subjective face value. Any number of things could influence a ranking: What were the criteria/factors? Who were the scorers? Were they qualified to judge? Did they have any ulterior motivations and biases? Was the poll on the up and up? Any undue influence? You get the point.

The same is true for Texas Monthly's BBQ08 rankings (and this blog's, for that matter), which we've mentioned in several reviews. They're just rankings, compiled be a group of people. They're not fact. Not gospel. But this in no way makes me any less interested in them. TM's rankings are, to my knowledge, the most current and relevant rankings for Texas BBQ. And for a guy who hasn't lived in Texas that long, with limited knowledge of the BBQ options out there, they are a useful guide for picking places to visit. I've used the list since I started the blog and will continue to do so (I also really like the BBQ08 pages on TM's website. Great articles and pictures.).

Prior to this past Saturday, Man Up had visited 4 of TM's Top 5 BBQ joints for 2008. All that was left was TM's choice for the top BBQ in Texas: Snow's BBQ in Lexington. After a 54-mile drive at 8:00 am on Saturday, we rounded out TM's Top 5 with a morning meal at Snow's.

The second half of the drive (between Elgin and Lexington) was a great way to start the day. Peaceful and beautiful. But it was not all downhill from there. As we turned onto Main Street in Lexington, we eyed the Snow's sign not far ahead. With windows rolled down, we passed a truck on the side of the road with raw honey for sale out of the truck bed and then got our first impression of Snow's: the smell of barbecue smoking was unmistakable.

Once we got out of the car, I went immediately for the pit for a close-up look at the meats, as my shirt soaked up the smoke that would stay with me the rest of the day. Before I get to our thoughts on the food, I have to say that the workers at Snow's—Tootsie Tomanetz, Kerry Bexley, and the rest—could not have been kinder or more accommodating, showing me around the pit and patiently answering my questions. Whatever was to come of the meal, I knew I would leave Snow's with a first-rate impression of the staff. For any Snow's staffers reading this, thank you again for being such excellent hosts.

Now to the food, scored by 5 of our party of 8.

It was Mark's first Man-Up outing, so he's up first: "Chicken - I don't know what a 10 would be, but I'm sure this was close. So tender that it almost fell off the bone and onto my fork without me picking at it. Its cigar equivalent would be the 'easy draw.' Brisket - Maybe it's because i had Iron Works' brisket to contrast it with that same day, but it was (again) very tender and juicy. Made me wanna suck my teeth afterwards to soak up every last bit. If it's not the best I've had, it's dang near. Sauce - Honestly didn't have any. That's how dad-gum good the meat was on its own. Forgot to eat my cole slaw. Atmosphere - If it weren't for that dang fly taking a little fly-crap on the lip of my tea cup, it would have been perfect. I did finish the tea, though. Cute little old ladies serving the food. Couldn't ask for anything more authentic. Overall - It lived up to its #1 billing, in my book."

Providing a much appreciated female perspective, Julianne recounts her experience: "Brisket: very moist, and cooked to perfection, didn't even need sauce, they were so good. Chicken: good but I don't normally eat chicken at BBQ places, so hard to judge. Moist though, which is hard to do. Ribs: I didn't think they were moist enough (Maybe needed more sauce). Sausage: terrible, not worth ranking. The drive was beautiful and provided a nice time to spend with family or friends. The area around Lexington is serene. Each mile you go further from Austin drops off lbs. of stress from your life. The atmosphere is wonderful. Too many flies, but still enjoyable due to the quality of food. I would recommend to anyone for at least special occasions. Not worth going every weekend."

Greg's thoughts on his second outing: "Chicken – It might have been the best chicken I've ever had. It was perfect. It was just like I like my women, moist and smoky…wait what? Brisket – It was good…I was expecting better so that might have been why I score it lower. Good with and without sauce, which you can't beat. Sauce – great sauce and it came in an Ozarka/Gatorade bottle. I have to give it props for uniqueness of presentation. Potato Salad – It's potato salad, hard to screw up and it was good. Great compliment to a great meal. Cole Slaw – I'm not a huge fan of slaw and this did little to change my mind, but not bad. Atmosphere – It was exactly what I wanted. The only way it could have been better if it wasn't 9am and there were even more people there. The TV cameras almost overcame all of that though….Overall – It might be the best experience at a BBQ joint I've had. The food was great, the people were great, and we are going to be on TV. Finally, my big break is here! If it wasn't for the fact it was 9am and I don't remember any dessert. Some banana pudding or peach cobbler would have made it perfect."

Last but never least, former meat grader Russell: "Beef Brisket: tender, flavorful and moist, but a little too stringy to get a 10 on this day. Pork Ribs: tasty and falling off the bone tender, but a little crispy (Kerry was kind enough to apologize for the crispy-ness of this item, offering the explanation that TX Country Reporter photographer, the good Mr. Strickland, had distracted him from regulating on the usual rib cooking time!). Pork Loin: extremely moist and tender on this item---maybe the best pork loin we've manned up on to date! This would clearly be my recommended item for Snow's goers. Chicken: As you all know, I'm not much of a bird-eater by nature, but there's was wonderfully flavorful and moist. My friends, despite the reviews of other folks such as TX Monthly, Snow's BBQ was not quite number one on my list, but I will say I loved the friendly folks and the authentic Texas country atmosphere. It was a nice drive out there from Austin with the fam…and running into ole' pheasant huntin' buddy Dan Strickland and the Texas Country Reporter was just a bonus. Bottom line: Go out there and man up on you some Pork Loin, Chicken and Brisket first chance you get…but get there early because the lines can be long and the good food and sweet, sweet tea doesn't last long. Stay hungry my friends."

Mark's rankings – Chicken: 9.5; Brisket: 9.9; Atmosphere: 9.95; Overall experience: 9.95

Julianne's rankings – Brisket: 9.56; Chicken: 9; Pork ribs: 8.5; Overall experience: 9.25

Greg's rankings – Chicken: 10; Brisket: 9.45; Sauce: 9.6; Potato salad: 9; Cole slaw: 8; Atmosphere: 9.99; Overall experience: 9.9

Russell's rankings – Chicken: 9.93; Pork ribs: 9.25; Pork loin: 9.95; Brisket: 9.45; Overall experience: 9.49

Drew's rankings – Chicken: 9.7; Pork loin: 9.75; Brisket: 9.7; Sauce: 9.65; Atmosphere: 9.9; Service: 10; Overall experience: 9.78

Overall Man-Up Ranking: 9.674

Snow's Barbeque on Urbanspoon