Thursday, January 31, 2013

Make your Super Bowl Sunday epic with Visa!!!

Last month, I had the honor and pleasure of being filmed for Visa's "Make it Epic" Super Bowl campaign.  I had a wonderful time spending the day in New York City with some of the others who were part of the two days of filming. The campaign is all about how to make your Super Bowl Sunday - WHICH IS THIS SUNDAY, PEOPLE!!! - an epic day. From the ambiance to the attire to the food, Visa is asking people how they plan to make their Super Bowl Sunday a day to remember. Oh, and they're giving away cool stuff, so tweet #Visa (with the hashtag #makeitepic) and let them know how you plan to make your Super Bowl Sunday epic. And check out Visa on Facebook. Anyway, back to the filming. I was lucky enough to make it into a few a the videos. Here's the one that is just me...

Here's one I'm in with former NFL star running back Marshall Faulk...

And here's one I'm in with several others, including 3-time Super Bowl champion and current ESPN NFL Analyst Mark Schlereth!

There are several other videos, so be sure to check them out on YouTube. My sincere thanks to Visa and everyone who took part in this. It was such a treat, and I am excited to see the finished products. Don't forget to let Visa know how you plan to make this Super Bowl Sunday an epic day...I hope you win something! And have a great time this Sunday. Make it epic!!!

*DISCLOSURE: I am blogging on behalf Visa's "Make it Epic" campaign and will receive compensation for my time & contribution to their campaign, but the thoughts, words, and promotions on this page are mine, not Visa's.)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Which Texas BBQ joint will be the star of 2013?

Which Texas BBQ joint will be the star of 2013? Name just one! And feel free to give the reasons for your choice.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Stinkin' Good Green Chile party!!!

Earlier this month, I had some friends over to the house to try the 4 green-chile sauces that Mark Schlereth sent me. We had carnitas, baked chicken, basmatic rice, black beans, sweet onions, red & green bell peppers, white & blue corn tortilla chips, cheese, lettuce, the 4 sauces: pork (medium), pork (hot), chicken (medium), & vegetarian (medium). As you can see, both old & very young enjoyed it!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Shooters BBQ (West, TX)

I've made many stops for baked goods in West, TX, but until last week I'd never ventured any farther than the Czech bakery right on the access road (I-35, Exit 353). This past Tuesday, I exited in West and wanted to see the town a bit. Well, lo and behold, just as soon as you head off the access road and into town, there's a BBQ joint on the left. I'd never heard of it, so I posted a picture of it on Twitter to see if anyone could identify it. No one did. Shooters BBQ in West, Texas. Anyone been?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Franklin Barbecue featured on Unique Eats

Last night, I found Unique Eats: BBQ on Hulu. Unique Eats is a show on the Cooking Channel, and this episode (Season 3, Episode 6) aired on June 12, 2011. So, obviously, I'm late finding this, but so bet it. I'm guessing many of you haven't seen it either. The episode highlights a few BBQ joints from around the country, and the first one highlighted is Austin's very own Franklin Barbecue.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Texas Photo Roundup ticket giveaways!

The Q Card is pleased to be one of the sponsors of this year's Texas Photo Roundup, and I am pleased to offer a couple of ticket giveaways for TPR events. I will give away one pair of tickets for each of the following:

Negotiating 2.0 Panel Discussion sponsored by Photoshelter Friday, February 8, 2013 9am-12pm A panel of experts will talk about the negotiating challenges facing commercial photographers today. Topics include: How to build a sustainable business without undercutting yourself, how to nail the creative call, how to price social media usage, the triple bid process, how to estimate when given a very tight budget, unique licensing options, and more.

"Covers to Billboards" Building and Maintaining a Career in Photography Saturday February 9, 2013 9am-12pm Commercial and editorial photographers Monte Isom and Andrew Hetherington will talk about their journeys to where they are now and what it takes to maintain a career in this industry. Not afraid to talk candidly about all the nitty gritty involved, Isom and Hetherington will discuss promotion, the web, networking, acquiring work, money, and everything in between.

For a chance to win, do any of the following: 
(1) Leave a comment below this post.
(2) Tweet at me
(3) Leave a Facebook comment below this

Everyone who does this will get his/her name in a hat, and I will draw a winner. The deadline to enter your name is Tuesday, February 5!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Stop #7 of our December Texas Q Tour: The Salt Lick (Driftwood, TX)

After leaving Opie's, our 2nd BBQ stop of the day, our late-December Texas Q Tours group spent several hours doing some non-BBQ stuff: Natural Bridge Caverns, San Antonio (Mercado, The Alamo, The River Walk), & a pitstop at Buc-ee's that turned into a jerky stop. Right on schedule, we arrived at The Salt Lick at 8:45 PM for our final BBQ meal of the trip. Once our crew passed the iconic holding pit just inside the front door, they made their way to our table at the back...

...and placed their orders.

Very shortly thereafter, their dinners arrived, and it was all camera phones and all smiles.

Before they loaded back into the van to head back to the hotel, our group got together for a farewell pic.

Make no mistake: These East-and-West Coasters can eat! They mowed down 7 BBQ meals (not counting the BBQ they had on their own and the non-BBQ food they had during the trip) in 2 days and were still standing and smiling when it was all said and done. If I may take the liberty to speak on behalf of, well, Texas: Job well done!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Stop #6 of our December Texas Q Tour: Opie's Barbecue (Spicewood, TX)

After starting Day 2 of our late-December BBQ tour at Cooper's in Llano, we drove our Texas Q Tours crew back down Hwy 71 to Spicewood and pulled into the parking lot of Opie's Barbecue, for their 2nd meal of the day.

Once inside, the crew took a look at the array of proteins and started placing their orders.

Then, they settled into with huge spreads and went to work.

After they stuffed themselves, they got a private tour of the pit from pitmaster Marco Oglesby, who'd just returned to work after being sick for a time (Welcome back, Marco. We're glad you're better!).

Before leaving, the group paused for a photo in front of the serving pit...

...and then did some clowing around outside in front of the old roadside smoker!

Back in the van and off for some non-BBQ stuff before their final BBQ meal of the trip...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Stop #5 of our December Texas Q Tour: Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que (Llano, TX)

After a 9-hour Day 1, our Texas Q Tours group slept hard and then got up early for Day 2. A day that would run 13.5 hours, from start to finish. With caffeine in hands, we started the trip with a calm, beautiful drive out Highway 71 to Llano. Pulled into the parking lot of Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que for their first meal of the day.

The folks at Cooper's set us up with a nice spread in the overflow room, and our group settled in for "breakfast."

After the meal, our group was given a private tour of the mesquite-coal-fired pits, where they learned about the process of pit cooking, Cowboy style, something you don't see in these parts as much as you see traditional smoking or rotisserie-style cooking.

After the tour, we set off for the group's 2nd meal of the day...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dai Due Hunting School (Medina, TX)

A couple of weeks ago, The Wall Street Journal published a full-page article on Dai Due's hunting school in Medina, Texas, run by a guy from Austin. The author, who attended one of the weekend schools, writes: "I was at Madroño Ranch: 1,500 acres of prime Texas Hill Country, home to a herd of approximately 44 bison as well as countless visiting boar and deer who travel over its low fence. Usually the site of an environmentally focused arts residency program, a few weekends a year it hosts a destination hunting school. Hog School is organized by Jesse Griffiths, owner of Austin's Dai Due butcher shop and supper club, author of 'Afield: A Chef's Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish' and, to those in the butchery know, a figure considered to be something of a rock star." The school takes attendees on hunts and teaches them the process of butchering and preparing the kill for the dinner table. For information on upcoming schools, see here. The article (which gives some love to Black's Barbecue in Lockhart) has a sidebar, with some quick information. It reads,

"The Lowdown: Dai Due School in Medina, Texas

Getting There: Madroño Ranch in Medina, Texas, is an easy drive from either San Antonio (about 1½ hours) or Austin (about 2½ hours). Major airlines serve airports in both cities.
Getting Ready: Guests are required to have a Texas hunting license; a nonresident five-day license will set you back $48 and can be ordered online through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department ( If you're starting off in Austin, consider a trip down to the Lone Star Gun Range near Lockhart, about an hour south of town. After your practice, head into Lockhart for barbecue at Black's (215 North Main St., ).
What to Bring: Layered hunting garb—camouflage and earth tones are recommended, along with sturdy boots. A camera and notebook are useful for the butchering and cooking classes.
Getting In: Dai Due runs a handful of weekend-long events each year. The next hunting event, Jan. 18-20, is already full. Check the listings on the Dai Due website ( ) and sign up for their mailing list to learn about upcoming slots. Weekends cost $1,875."

Monday, January 21, 2013

Stop #4 of December Texas Q Tour: Smitty's Market (Lockhart, TX)

The 4th & final stop of Day 1 of December's Texas Q Tours BBQ trip was Smitty's Market in Lockhart, TX. We left the van at Black's and burned some calories by walking to Smitty's, needing all the help we could get  to man up and eat a 4th BBQ meal.

After checking out the pit area, with the well-known fires on the floor...

...our group settled in at a table in the back and enjoyed some sides before the meats arrived.

And then the meats arrived!

Once our crew polished off that pan, I drove a very tired, very full van back to Austin, for a good night's rest. With the day coming up, we all were gonna need it.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sam Woo BBQ (Las Vegas, NV)

Not our traditional notion of BBQ and definitely not Texas BBQ, but here are some pics from a meal I had earlier this month at Sam Woo BBQ (taxi driver's recommendation) in Chinatown, Las Vegas. Not a smoker in sight, but it's duck, pork, and beef, so I think it's worth a post.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Texas BBQ Wannabe: 80

80. Texas Pit BBQ (St. Thomas, Virgin Islands)

(Picture sent to me via Twitter by Matt Gross.)

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) - RIP
6. Little Texas (Iasi, Romania)
7. Back Forty Texas BBQ (CA)
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 CA 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 WA 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 CO 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 OR locations)
24. Howard's Texas Barbecue Service (Portland, OR)
25. Bennett's BBQ (CO, TN, & NC)
26. Kin Folks Texas Style BBQ (Altoona, IA)
27. Cecil's Texas Style Bar-B-Q (2 FL locations)
28. Shaw's Texas Style BBQ (Hercules, CA)
29. Backwoods BBQ (Corona, CA)
30. Cedar River Smoke House (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)
49. Doc's Texas BBQ & Burgers (Sonora, CA)
50. Dixie's Smokehouse Texas BBQ & Rotisserie (Kings Park, NY)
51. Bob's BBQ & Mexican Grill (Pattaya, Thailand)
52. Bob's Texas BBQ (Boise, ID)
53. Hickory River Smokehouse (6 locations in OH & IL)
54. Texas Tony's BBQ Shack (Naples, FL)
55. Roosters Texas Style BBQ & Steakhouse (Nashville, TN)
56. Lee's Texas Style Bar-B-Q (Detroit, MI)
57. Texas Smokehouse Bar-B-Q (Woodinville, WA) - RIP
58. Austin BBQ (Wheaton, IL)
59. Alamo BBQ (Richmond, VA)
60. Austin's BBQ (Mountain View, CA)
61. 4C BBQ (Ponce De Leon, FL)
62. Rotuno's Texas Style Barbeque (Elyria, OH)
63. Smoke City Market (Sherman Oaks, CA)
64. The Ranger Texas Barbecue (Manhattan)
65. 4Rivers Smokehouse (2 FL locations)
66. Podnah's Pit Barbecue (Portland, OR)
67. Taste of Texas BBQ (Keystone, NE)
68. Bubba's Barbecue (Jakarta, Indonesia)
69. Molly's Smokehouse Texas BBQ (Wahiawa, HI)
70. Smokin' J's BBQ - Real Texas Barbeque (Gulfport, FL)
71. Texas BBQ & Steaks (Nha Trang, Vietnam)
72. Texas BBQ (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
73. Lynyrd Skynyrd BBQ & Beer (Las Vegas, NV)
74. Red River BBQ (Melbourne, Australia)
75. Triple A Bar (Toronto, Canada)
76. Texas Bar-B-Q (Puebla, Mexico)
77. Bubba's Texas BBQ (Philadelphia)
78. Tex's World Famous Bar-B-Q (Nashville, TN)
79. Gilley's BBQ (Las Vegas)
80. Texas Pit BBQ (St. Thomas, VI)

Friday, January 18, 2013

February 23 BBQ trip: Lockhart or bust!

It's high past time that we have another first-come, first-served BBQ trip, so today I announce our next one: Saturday, February 23. Lockhart, Texas. Meals at Black's Barbecue, Smitty's Market, & Kreuz Market. (Time allowing, we might make 1 or 2 non-BBQ stops of interest in Lockhart.) Upon our return to Austin, we will have the pleasure of a private tour & tasting at Hops & Grain Brewing. And, of course, your ticket will get you some swag. Depart Austin at noon. Tour concludes at 4:30.

When: Saturday, February 23
From: Austin
To: Lockhart
Meals at Black's, Smitty's, & Kreuz
Private tour & tasting at Hops & Grain Brewing
BBQ swag
Cost: $100 (includes meals)
Pay via cash, check, or PayPal