Thursday, December 30, 2010

Free BBQ at Gov. Perry's Inauguration

From the Houston Chronicle:

AUSTIN — Organizers of Gov. Rick Perry's swearing-in ceremony are staging an event that combines Texas culinary sensibilities with the hard economic times: free barbecue.

Event planners stress that Texans still need tickets to get into the Jan. 18 event, but they're free to those who sign up in advance on the Texas inaugural website.

Inaugural spokeswoman Sarah Beck said on Thursday that organizers scaled down inaugural events, ditched the parade and are holding a free barbecue on the Capitol grounds to let "people keep more of their own money" in a tight economy. Four years ago, tickets to the barbecue were $8.

*Anyone know who's catering?

Chopped-beef sandwich ($8.50 + tax) at Cowboys Stadium

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Meet Man Up: Chris Riley

Hometown - Every memory I have growing up is from Spring, TX, but I was actually born in Oklahoma City and lived in Edmond, OK, for a year before moving to Spring.

Favorite thing about hometown - My parents still live in the same house they got 25 years ago, and my brother and sister both live in the area.

Least favorite thing about hometown - The suburbs are terrible.

Occupation - I'm one of 10 people who works the Austin region of Redbox, the $1 DVD rental machines. I drive up and down I-35 each week putting new DVDs into machines and taking old ones out.

Favorite sports teams - Houston Texans, Houston Rockets, Florida Marlins (their inaugural season was in 1993 when I was nine, so I've followed them ever since).

Prediction for UT football's record next season - 10-3

Your choice for UT's coordinator positions - Offensive: I'm okay with either Bryan Harsin from Boise State or Paul Cryst from Wisconsin. Defensive: Justin Wilcox, even though I'm not a Tennessee fan. I want young blood on both sides.

Favorite BBQ joint - Black's or Franklin. It kills me that I've never been to Opie's or Cooper's, but having been to New Zion Missionary Baptist Church BBQ in Huntsville hopefully makes up for that some.

Favorite BBQ menu item - the two meat plate at Franklin with brisket and pulled pork and a double helping of beans.

Favorite Man Up outing - I represented Man Up at the SXSW BBQ Crash Course this year. It was one of the best meals I've ever eaten. As far as regular Man Up outings open to anyone go, I'd say the time we had about 20 people at Snow's. I think my review of that trip is still the longest review in Man Up history.

Why are your reviews usually twice as long as everyone else's? - I have a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and I'm incredibly details-oriented. My fiancee also tells me I care about food a lot.

Fiancee!? - Yep, I'm engaged and getting married to an awesome girl named Jenny who actually went on Man Up's first trip to Louie Mueller's. We're also having BBQ at our wedding, but I won't say from where.

Sauce or no sauce - I used to think sauce, but then at the Crash Course I decided to combine Rudy's sauce, which is excellent and one of my favorites, and Louie Mueller's brisket, which is in my top three briskets. The result was disappointing because the flavors didn't mesh well. Since then I've been in the no sauce camp.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Some guys get all the luck.

Austin's very own Craig Holmes was the lucky winner of our Franklin Barbecue brisket giveaway. I've been anxious to hear about his prize, and here he is with the scoop:

It got a little crazy after the brisket got unwrapped so I'm sorry for not getting any more pictures. Imagine the scene if you threw a freshly skinned goat into the Amazon river and a school of piranhas went to work on it. That's about what it looked like at my house.

Anyway, I picked the brisket up about noon on Sunday and brought it home to enjoy while watching the Cowboys-Redskins game with some buddies. The brisket was about a 5-6 pounder and it was delicious...every bit as good as if we'd eaten it right there on the picnic table next to Franklin's trailer. The brisket was very moist and almost ripped apart on its own. The bark was great, smoke ring was perfect, cooked to perfection really. Most people opted for some fatty brisket cut from the point, but others (especially the ladies) opted for some leaner slices from the flat. You really couldn't go wrong with either one. We made short work of it and I was left with maybe a half pound of brisket after it was all over. It was very good and we all agreed that you should hold more contests in the future, haha!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Todd tries Silver Grill Cafe (Austin, TX)

A recent email from Todd:

I visited Silver Grill Cafe in North Austin for lunch today and had a brisket sandwich and mac 'n cheese. The brisket was average, not the worst I've had, but certainly nothing to write home about. I did enjoy the lean cuts of meat however. The mac 'n cheese left little to be desired...think cafeteria style mac 'n cheese and you're on the right track, nothing home-made about this pasta. Without a drink I spent $7.56, so their prices are slightly above-average, but well within what you would expect to pay. If I go back, I think I will try a burger instead.

Brisket Sandwich: 6.2
Mac 'n Cheese: 4.5
Atmosphere: 7.8
Overall: 5.5

Silver Grill Cafe
4005 W. Parmer Ln
Austin, TX 78727

Coming up...

Todd reviews Silver Grill Cafe (Austin, TX)

Meet another Man Upper

Pics from my BBQ sandwich at Cowboys Stadium

Our Franklin Barbecue brisket giveaway winner tells us about his winnings.

We announce the categories for our Best of 2010 awards.

Review of 2010

More Texas BBQ Wannabes

*Don't forget to vote for your favorite brisket and your favorite BBQ joint in our first-ever Readers' Choice Awards!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Texas BBQ at a wedding reception?

Have any of you (1) had Texas BBQ at your wedding reception and/or (2) had Texas BBQ at someone else's wedding reception? If so, who catered it?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

More from Opie's

Saturday, December 11, 2010: Opie's Barbecue (Spicewood, TX)

We took about 20 to Opie's a couple of Saturdays ago, including a few first timers. We (finally) delivered both of Opie's Best of 2009 award posters. Here are a few of the things we put on the table, starting with a whole rack of sweet-and-spicy ribs (one of several racks ordered):

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Event Announcement: U.S. Army All-American Bowl Welcome BBQ (Alamodome, Jan. 6)

What: U.S. Army All-American Bowl Welcome BBQ
When: Thursday, January 6, 2011, 7 PM Central
Where: Alamodome, San Antonio, TX
More info: "The U.S. Army Welcome BBQ is a Texas sized BBQ that allows the U.S. Army to welcome all of the All-American groups to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Attendees include the All-American players, marching band members, coaches, band instructors, U.S. Army Soldier Heroes, and family members. A limited number of tickets are available for family members of the All-Americans, coaches, band instructors, and U.S. Army Soldier Heroes. Please contact Janene Baird at for ticket information."

Name that brisket (Round 2)

Free Q Card to each person who emails me (or replies/DMs via Twitter) the name of the BBQ joint that serves up this brisket. One guess per person. You've got until 3 PM Central today. If no right answer by 3, then guess as much as you want, and I'll give a free card to the first correct answer. UPDATE: No correct answer, as of 3 PM. First correct wins. - Answer: Opie's

My kind of mail.

My buddy Kevin Kelly just posted a writeup and pics of the BBQ he won in one of our giveaways from Texas pitmaster John Mueller. John shipped Kevin a whole brisket all the way to Southern California. Read all about it. (Pictures courtesy of