Thursday, September 30, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010: Wilhite's B-B-Q (Creedmoor, TX)

About a week after I first heard of Wilhite's B-B-Q in Creedmoor (on FM 1327, between I-35 and US-183), Brad and I made the short drive from Austin. There isn't much along the road, we were looking for it, and we still missed it. Had to call 'em and find out that the restaurant adjoins the Valero gas station.

The man in charge (the one I spoke to on the phone) was standing in the doorway waiting for us as we pulled up. He greeted us with a smile and a big handshake. Wilhite's has a laid-back vibe. Their menu is quite diverse, but we stuck with BBQ, obviously. The rock pit area is rustic. Service is really good. The flavor and glaze of the pork ribs were pretty good, but the ribs themselves were really rubbery,. The brisket made a good sandwich. Ordered plenty to go after we finished. Didn't try the sausage. Yes on the sauce.

Brad's scores - Brisket: 7.75; Pork ribs: 5.25; Atmosphere: 8.25; Service: 8.7; Overall experience: 7.65

Drew's scores - Brisket: 7.65; Pork ribs: 5; Atmosphere: 7; Service: 9; Overall experience: 7.3

Overall Man-Up score: 7.475

Wilhite's BBQ on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Coverage from Taste of the South!

Man Up Texas BBQ, LLC, is honored to have two of its ventures (Man Up: Tales of Texas BBQ and The Q Card) highlighted in the current edition of Taste of the South magazine. Sincerest thanks to Brooke and all of the Taste Mag staff for including us. And be sure to follow Taste Mag on Twitter.

Saturday, September 18, 2010: Chief's BBQ & Grill (Austin, TX)

I had heard of Chief's BBQ & Grill but had no idea it's just a 5-minute drive down the street from the house. Brad and I hit it up for lunch a couple of Saturdays ago. Since we were the only ones dining in, I didn't get the funny glances from nearby patrons I usually get when I start snapping close-ups of the food. Not that I care; just saying.

The guy behind the counter was very friendly. Not surprisingly, he was wearing a Red Sox hat. (We Sox fans are good people.) Brad and I split a 3-meat plate (brisket, pork ribs, and ham). I didn't have the fries, and the green beans and corner didn't really have any taste (I didn't care, b/c I rarely get sides - it was just a good deal.), but the meats were good. The brisket was a tad too dry, but the flavor was on, and the smoke ring was prominent. The pork ribs had a great crust to them. I would have liked a bit more meat on them, but they were not fatty at all. I would get them again. And I would definitely order the ham again. The pieces were pretty thin, but that won't be a problem next time when I order all meats, b/c I'll load up on the ham and stack the pieces. All in all, 3 good meats. I'll go back - and not just b/c it's so close to home but b/c it will be a good protein fix.

Brad's scores - Brisket: 7.5; Ham: 7.5; Pork ribs: 8.25; Fries: 8; Overall experience: 7.68

Drew's scores - Brisket: 7.2; Ham: 8.75; Pork ribs: 8.6; Overall experience: 7.88

Overall Man-Up score: 7.78

Chief's BBQ on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

2 Gameday Giveaways of The Q Card this weekend!

Announcing the giveaways earlier than the previous two weeks, to give you plenty of time to ponder your predictions for 2 games: (1) SMU @ Rice (Saturday at 6 PM Central) &, breaking from the nascent tradition of only doing giveaways for intrastate games, (2) Texas-Oklahoma (Saturday at 2:30 PM Central). Get your predictions (winner and final score) to me through whatever means: comment below this post, email, Facebook, Twitter, whatever. Each giveaway closes at the respective kickoff.

Main Street Bar-B-Q (Dripping Springs, TX) is now closed.

Main Street Bar-B-Q (formerly Riley's) is now closed. No word on whether another BBQ joint will take over the space. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this means that there is now no BBQ joint in Dripping Springs.

Event Announcement: The County Line Pitmaster Cooking Class (San Antonio)

Cut and pasted from the press release:

County Line offers monthly “Pitmaster Cooking Class”

WHAT: County Line is hosting its first “Pitmaster Cooking Class”--presented by its own BBQ pitmaster and chef Garrett Stephens--on Friday, October 1, at 7:30 p.m. at the County Line restaurant on IH-10 West.

Class participants will enjoy a full serving of each of the four courses as Stephens demonstrates how to prepare each dish, taking questions from the guests as he cooks. Everyone receives a recipe book, with space to take their own notes.

The October 1 menu includes:
• Jose Cuervo Tradicional Prickly Pear Margaritas
• Hatch Green Chiles Stuffed with Chive Cream Cheese and County Line Sausage
• Grilled Caesar Salad
• Memphis Rubbed Pork Shoulder served with Green Apple Cole Slaw
• Grilled Peach & Pound Cake Kabobs with a Jack Daniel’s Sauce
• Beers and ales from Freetail Brewing Co.

Welcome reception begins at 7 p.m. and then the class will begin at 7:30 p.m. The cost for this live cooking demonstration, recipe book, cocktail reception and four-course dinner is only $30 per person (does not include tax and gratuity). Complimentary craft beer will be provided by Freetail Brewing Co.

Since the grill will be fired up, the cooking class will be held outside on the restaurant’s shaded patio; in case of rain, the class will be moved inside.

Sponsors include Freetail Brewing Co., Barbeques Galore, Whole Foods Market and Jose Cuervo Tradicional.

NOTE: The next Pitmaster Class is planned for Friday, November 19; follow County Line on Facebook or call the restaurant at 641-1998 for updates on the monthly class schedule.

WHEN: Friday, October 1
Welcome reception at 7 p.m.; class begins at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: County Line, 10101 IH-10 West (between Wurzbach and Huebner roads)

To make a reservation (space is limited), contact Garrett Stephens at 210.641.1998 or Follow County Line on Facebook for updates on the class schedules, the restaurant’s music events, and other specials at County Line.

Monday, September 27, 2010

QOTD: What's the best airport BBQ in the U.S.?

Following up on yesterday's post about my go-to BBQ spot in the Charlotte airport, today I ask where to find the best airport BBQ in the country. I can't suggest that Brookwood Farms is the best there is, b/c I haven't had all that there is. But, without a doubt, it is far and away the best airport BBQ I've had. What tops your list?

Harlon's or Pappas in Houston (IAH)?
Cousin's, Dickey's, or Railhead in Dallas (DFW)?
The Salt Lick in Austin (AUS)?
Corky's or Interstate in Memphis (MEM)?
Neely's or Whitt's in Nashville (BNA)?
Brookwood Farms in Charlotte (CLT) or Raleigh-Durham (RDU)?
Somewhere else?

Coming up...

New Question of the Day (today at 10 AM)

Pics from first visit to Wilhite's B-B-Q (Creedmoor)

Review of first visit to Chief's BBQ & Grill (Austin)

Meet another Man Upper

New Texas BBQ Giveaway

More Texas BBQ Wannabes

Pics from Brad's visit to Mesquite BBQ (Mesquite)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Layovers well spent.

Last Sunday and Monday, I had layovers at my favorite airport, Charlotte-Douglas. Have I, more than once, picked certain flight patterns b/c they had Charlotte layovers? Of course. I won't get into the myriad reasons Charlotte's airport is my favorite, but chief among them is that CLT is home to Brookwood Farms Carolina Pit BBQ, which I've hit up every time I've been through Charlotte. I've lost count how many meals I've had from Brookwood Farms, but I can tell you that my meal (always pulled pork with sauce, 2 sides, cornbread, and a large iced tea) always hits the spot. Sunday's early lunch and Monday's dinner were no exceptions. Maybe I wouldn't enjoy it as much if the meals were sandwiched between cramped flights with who knows what types of airborne nastiness circulating around an air-tight cabin, but I think the place is legit. Didn't have camera, so these are the best pics I've got:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

J&J Breakfast BBQ & Burgers (Austin, Texas)

I should've learned by now to keep a camera in my car, for the unplanned stops. Last night was one of them. I was on West Parmer and saw a BBQ place on the left, so I U-turned it and stopped in for dinner at J&J Breakfast BBQ & Burgers. The place was clean, had plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, and a couple of big tv screens (my beloved Red Sox thumping the Yankees on one of them, and the Horned Frogs and Mustangs getting under way on the other).

I ordered a pulled-pork sandwich and iced tea. The iced tea was weak (as it is at lots of places [perhaps a majority, even] - brew that stuff, people. Steep it. Tea should be dark!), but the sandwich wasn't. (I read a review from someone who found the pulled-pork sandwich to be so bad that she asked for her money back. Certainly not the case with mine.) I actually wouldn't call it pulled pork. When I think of "pulled" pork, I think of long, stringy pieces of pork that were, well, pulled piece by piece. This sandwich was chopped pork. It reminded me of the chopped pork shoulder sandwiches, with crusty ends, that I grew up eating in Alabama. The sandwich was excellent in its simplicity. Bun and pork. That's it. Good size. The size of a large sandwich at most of the places I go that offer small/regular and large sandwiches. I added pickles and sauce (which I thought was great), and the entire sandwich was piping hot. The pork itself wasn't outstanding, but the sandwich worked. $3.99 plus tax. If I'm ever in the area, I'll stop in again. Speaking of breakfast BBQ, I could down one right now, actually. Breakfast of champions. Again, didn't have a camera, so this phone pic is the best I could do:

J&J's Breakfast BBQ & Burgers on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 24, 2010

Texas BBQ Wannabes: 46-48

46. Texas Ribs and BBQ (Clinton, Maryland)

The Silver Spur Texas Smokehouse BBQ (Elm Grove, Wisconsin)

Elmer's Authentic Texas BBQ (Battle Lake, Minnesota)

Updated list:

1. Texas Smokehouse (Decatur, AL)
2. Hill Country Barbecue (Manhattan)
3. Dallas BBQ (Manhattan)
4. Tim's Texas Bar-B-Q (Beijing)
5. Capital Q (Washington, DC)
6. Little Texas (Iasi, Romania)
7. Back Forty Texas BBQ (California)
8. West Texas Barbeque Co. (Jackson, MI)
9. Dr. Hogly Wogly’s Tyler Texas BBQ (Van Nuys, CA)
10. Barn Burner Texas Barbeque (Pasadena, CA)
11. JR’s Texas Bar-B-Que (Sacramento, CA)
12. Texas West BBQ (3 California locations)
13. Tootie’s Texas Barbeque (Cathedral City, CA)
14. Armadillo Willy’s Real Texas BBQ (Los Altos, CA)
15. The Original Texas Barbecue King (Los Angeles)
16. Longhorn Barbecue (3 Washington locations)
17. Bubb's Big Texas Style BBQ (Big Bend, WI)
18. The Texas BBQ Company (Northborough, MA)
19. DJ's Texas Style BBQ (Lewiston, ME)
20. Serious Texas BBQ (3 Colorado locations)
21. Abbey's Real Texas Bar-B-Q (San Diego, California)
22. Jake's Authentic Texan Bar B-Q (Rensselaer, NY)
23. Buster's Texas Style Barbecue (3 Oregon locations)
24. Howard's Texas Barbecue Service (Portland, OR)
25. Bennett's BBQ - Texas Style BBQ (Colorado, Tennessee, & North Carolina)
26. Kin Folks Texas Style BBQ (Altoona, IA)
27. Cecil's Texas Style Bar-B-Q (2 Florida locations)
28. Shaw's Texas Style BBQ (Hercules, CA)
29. Backwoods BBQ - Mesquite Smoked Texas Style BBQ (Corona, CA)
30. Cedar River Smoke House - Texas Style BBQ (Renton, WA)
31. Big Al's Texas BBQ (Lehi, UT)
32. East Texas BBQ, LLC (Huntsville, AL)
33. Bonehead's Texas BBQ (San Francisco, CA)
34. Texas Pride Barbecue (Huntsville, UT)
35. Bart's Texas Style BBQ (Traverse City, MI)
36. Roland's Bar-B-Que Company (Hot Springs, AR)
37. Ralphies Texas Style BBQ & Ribs (Fairmont, WV)
38. Taste of Texas Bar-B-Q (Spencerport, NY)
39. Danny's Little Taste of Texas (South Windsor, CT)
40. Taste of Texas BBQ (McCook, NE)
41. Lockhart's BBQ (Royal Oak, MI)
42. Big John's Texas BBQ (Flagstaff, AZ)
43. Big Star Texas Barbeque (Flagstaff, AZ)
44. Big Mouth BBQ (Great Falls, MT)
45. Bull Durham’s Texas BBQ and Steakhouse (West Chester, PA)
46. Texas Ribs and BBQ (Clinton, MD)
47. The Silver Spur Texas Smokehouse BBQ (Elm Grove, WI)
48. Elmer's Authentic Texas BBQ (Battle Lake, MN)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

One more giveaway for the weekend...

Throw the Cowboys-Texans game (Sun @ noon Central) in the mix. Same contest rules as for the other two Gameday Giveaways (TCU @ SMU and Baylor @ Rice).

This weekend's Gameday Giveaways

Last weekend, The Q Card had a giveaway for the closest prediction for the Texas-Texas Tech game's outcome. This weekend, we've got 2 more giveaways for a couple of intrastate gridiron faceoffs: TCU @ SMU (Friday at 7 PM Central) and Baylor @ Rice (Saturday at 7 PM Central). One card for each game's closest prediction. Same setup as last week. Tell me the winner and the score. Submit it as a comment on the blog or Facebook, reply or DM on Twitter, or email me. Each contest closes at its respective kickoff.

BBQ Pro Shop Giveaway Winners

Huge thanks to BBQ Pro Shop, for volunteering for our very first Non-Texas BBQ Giveaway. A bottle of Hill Country Barbecue sauce and a shaker of Plowboys BBQ rub were up for grabs:

(1) For the sauce: What well-known griller did Gretchen once work for?

Answer: Elizabeth Karmel

Winner: David Cantrill (Conroe, TX)

(2) For the rub: What food business did Jeff work for, while growing up in Highwood, Illinois?

Answer: Poeta's Food Mart

Winner: Lori Hansel (Austin, TX)

Here's more on BBQ Pro Shop (from the webpage just linked):

BBQ Pro Shop is the place to find only the best quality Barbecue utensils, accessories, spices, barbecue rubs and smokers to help you grill like pro. We bring with us years of experience in working with some of the best smokers and grillers in the business. We strive to carry only the highest quality products, we would not sell anything we do not use ourselves.

Growing up Jeff worked at Poeta's Food Mart in Highwood, IL. Famous for it's homemade italian sausage, Jeff worked Highwood Days as a teenager and grilled thousands of sausages and marinated skirt steaks that were sold at the festival for Poeta's. Jeff worked as a caterer and grilled for Poeta's as well. He learned to make Italian sausage, de-bone chicken breasts and trim beef tenderloins. His Poppy taught him to BBQ on the gas grill that was always on the deck at his childhood home and he often grilled for the family.

Gretchen moved to Chicago from Buffalo and met Jeff while working for Elizabeth Karmel and learned the art of grilling from the master. Gretchen worked on the Weber Grill account for many years and honed her skills in cooking attending many James Beard dinners and learning how to grill from Elizabeth and the many experts they came in contact with. Gretchen taught Jeff that there was more to life than skirt steak, burgers, sausage and chicken breasts. Gretchen took Jeff to the world famous Memphis in May BBQ Contest and their life changed forever.

Gretchen and Jeff began to grill together after getting married in 2000 and they honed their skills, getting their first Primo Smoker and learning to smoke ribs, chicken and sausage. They love to grill everything and the only thing that goes in the oven is stuff that just will not work on the grill. (Mostly chicken fingers for their two children) Jeff has mastered ribs and is working on smoked brisket. Their specialty is beer can chicken and their annual Thanksgiving feast which includes BBQ Turkey, always cooked on the grill, never in the oven and many racks of smoked baby back ribs. Ribs became a tradition because Gretchen's father Harold was not a fan of turkey. Now the ribs are the biggest hit and the crowd grows every year.

BBQ Pro Shop was born out of a love for BBQ smoking and grilling. We kept finding all of these wonderful products that we used every time we grilled and could not find anywhere to buy them on a consistent basis. Now we have a stock room full of Willingham's, Sarah's Sea Salt, Reniassance Rub, 17th Street Sauces and Grill Friends tools which comes in handy. BBQ Pro Shop is our gift back to the world of BBQ, we have had the pleasure of knowing the love and fellowship of the BBQ community and sharing that with the world is our mission.

We hope you enjoy all of our products as much as we do and please have a look at our BBQ Pro Shop Blog for more information and updates about what we are cooking, BBQ Joints we have visited and new products.

To all of you, from both of us at BBQ Pro Shop - Thank you, thank you, thank you for your business and Happy Grilling!

Gretchen and Jeff
Owners and Operators

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

QOTD: Texas v. ?

Thus far, our Battle BBQ feature has pitted Texas against Alabama, Georgia, Kansas City, Memphis, Mississippi, New York City, and North Carolina. Whom should Texas face next?

Drifters BBQ (Nashville, TN)

And, of course, we didn't miss the chance to Lunge Across America: