Friday, February 28, 2014

Wunder Pig Barbecue Co. opens Saturday in Austin

Austin is getting a new BBQ trailer. Wunder Pig Barbecue Co. is set for its soft opening tomorrow at 6 PM at the Empire Control Room (606 7th St.). Normal hours will be Wed-Sat from 9 PM until sold out. Grand opening is this Friday, March 7.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Yesterday's lunch at Opie's

Yesterday, I had lunch with some folks at Opie's Barbecue (Spicewood, TX). Here's some of what we had: jalapeno sausage, spicy corn, tater-tot casserole, pinto beans, half chicken, brisket, sweet-&-spicy baby backs, cran-raisin slaw, & cobbler

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

June 28 Texas Q Tours trip!

The itinerary is set for our June public Texas Q Tours trip! On, Saturday, June 28, we're staying right here in Austin for a  3-stop trip! You eat & drink. We drive. And, since it's late June, you know it's gonna be hot; so, for the first time, this tour includes a water activity. Here's the itinerary:

Stop #1: Kerlin BBQ
Stop #2: Texas Rowing Center - 1-hour, guided tour of Town lake, with choice of watercraft
Stop #3: la Barbecue 

The trip will depart around 10:30 AM and conclude no later than 3:30 PM. As always, tickets are all-inclusive, non-refundable, transferable. Itinerary subject to change. Each ticket is $100. You can purchase via the PayPal button below. If you wish to pay via another medium, email us. Hope to see you June 28!

2013 Readers' Choice Awards

All of January, I accepted readers' votes for our 2013 Readers' Choice Awards. It was almost a clean sweep for Louie Mueller Barbecue. Voters really showed up for the Taylor joint. The winners:

Brisket - Louie Mueller Barbecue
Sausage - Louie Mueller Barbecue
Pork Ribs - Louie Mueller Barbecue
Beef Ribs - Louie Mueller Barbecue
Chicken - Snow's BBQ
Turkey - Louie Mueller Barbecue
Sides - Louie Mueller Barbecue
Dessert - Louie Mueller Barbecue
Service - Louie Mueller Barbecue
Atmosphere - Louie Mueller Barbecue
Overall - Louie Mueller Barbecue

Monday, February 24, 2014

2013 Readers' Choice Award: Best Pork Ribs

Our readers have spoken. Their pick for Best Sausage of 2013 is...

Louie Mueller Barbecue (Taylor, TX) - 68.97% of votes 

Others receiving votes: City Market, Davis Grocery, Franklin, John Mueller, Kreuz, la Barbecue, Micklethwait, Opie's, Pecan Lodge, Smoke Shack, Snow's, Stiles Switch

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Texas BBQ Wannabe: 100

100. White Smoke - A Texas Smokehouse (Tokyo, Japan) - 

White Smoke is Tokyo’s FIRST and ONLY Traditional Texas Smokehouse delivering a uniquely authentic American dining experience by introducing the “Low and Slow” method of smoking meat, from the old smokehouses of Central Texas, to patrons of Tokyo.

Traditional Texas Smokehouses follow the following principles:

Smokehouse Principles
1: 100% Wood smoking
White Oak (real wood) is used to create 100% of the smoke and smoke flavor; no artificial flavors are ever used to create any flavors of smoke in food
2: 100% Wood heating
Heat from wood (not gas or electricity) is mankind’s most traditional, healthy and natural cooking method
3: Low & Slow
Low-temperature slow smoking is a method that enhances a meats natural tenderness and juiciness
4: Dry Seasonings
While sauces often hide or cover the natural flavor of meat, dry seasoning preserves the natural flavor of meat
5: Beef is King
American beef is low in fat and gives a healthy and clear beef flavor from traditional Texas “Low and Slow” smoking

Food Concept

All our meats are low in fat featuring lean yet juicy and tender American Beef
We feature natural flavors with minimal use of high calorie sauces
The history of smoking dating back to our earliest human civilizations

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) - RIP
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)
81. Texas Best BBQ (Valley Village, CA)
82. Selma's Texas Barbeque (Moon Township, PA)
83. Texas BBQ House (Phoenix)
84: Bludso's BBQ (Compton, CA)
85. Wayne's BBQ Shack (Superior, CO)
86. Little Miss BBQ (Phoenix, AZ)
87. Wise Barbecue Company (Los Angeles)
88. Hickory River Smokehouse (multiple locations in OH & IL)
89. Jim's Pit Bar-B-Q (Reddick, FL)
90. Burnt to a Crisp Texas Smokehouse (Los Angeles)
91. Smoke Ring (Rome, Italy) 
92. Texas BBQ Grill (Chehalis, WA)
93. Texas Joe's (London, England)
94. Texas Stockyards BBQ (Lady Lake, FL)
95. Bubba's Texas Style Bar-B-Que & Saloon (Shanghai, China)
96. Hill Country Barbecue (Brooklyn, NY)
97. Hill Country Barbecue (Washington, DC)
98. Double J Texas BBQ (Havelock, NC)
99. Bar-B-Q Shack (Brighton, England)
100. White Smoke - A Texas Smokehouse (Tokyo)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

2013 Readers' Choice Award: Best Sausage

Our readers have spoken. Their pick for Best Sausage of 2013 is...

Louie Mueller Barbecue (Taylor, TX) - 44.8% of votes 

Others receiving votes: Black's, Hays Co., la Barbecue, Lockhart Smokehouse, Kreuz, Micklethwait, Smitty's, Snow's, Stiles Switch 

Friday, February 21, 2014

la Barbecue among GQ's 25 Best Restaurants in America for 2014

People love "best" lists, and for food, there is never a shortage of them. GQ has just published its list of 25 Best Restaurants in America, 2014. Austin's la Barbecue made the cut, at #13. GQ writes,

13. La Barbecue
Austin, TX
Everything You've Heard About Texas BBQ, but Better
There are only two kinds of barbecue joints. One has been around forever and each time you visit you’re praying the pitmaster hasn’t retired and the meat gone all to hell. The other kind has just opened and you know in your heart it’s not as good as the old kind, even though everyone is talking about it. La Barbecue is the exception, new and as thrilling as Cowtown Rodeo.
It isn’t pretty, that’s for sure. It subscribes to the new school of barbecue aesthetic, which means it’s almost a dump. You enter a compound with a dirt floor and chain-link fencing,  pick up your food at a trailer, sit at a picnic table under what could be a second-hand revival tent, and hope the clouds overhead don’t spit cold rain on your ribs. All that’s missing is a junkyard dog. The barbeque is some of the best ever, as good as barbecue gets, maybe better if you’re talking brisket and beef sausage, the foundations of Texas barbecue.
That sausage, much like a knoblewurst and probably German in origin, is smoky, coarse, chewy, spicy and meaty, so good I nearly skipped the brisket, I was so full. That would have been heartbreaking. The brisket is so exquisite you can ask for it lean, usually a mistake, and it will come out soft and savory, not even close to dry. Get a slice on the fatty side and you’ll be asking yourself if this might be the greatest beef you ever ate. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

May 31 Texas Q Tours public trip!

The itinerary is set for our May public Texas Q Tours trip! On, Saturday, May 31, we're heading off on a 4-stop trip! You eat & drink. We drive. It's a great way to kick off the summer. Here's what's on tap:

Stop 1: Royers Pie Haven (Austin) - breakfast & drink
Stop 2: Hwy 29 BBQ (Bertram) - meal & pit tour
Stop 3: Inks Lake State Park (walking, lounging, and/or swimming) 
Stop 4: Opie's Barbecue (Spicewood) - meal & pit tour 

The trip will depart around 9:30 AM and should return around 5:00 PM. As always, tickets are all-inclusive, non-refundable, transferable. Itinerary subject to change. Each ticket is $100. You can purchase via the PayPal button below. If you wish to pay via another medium, email us. Hope to see you May 31!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Brooks' Place brisket winner

The winner of our whole-brisket giveaway from Brooks' Place, Alex Chapman, picked up his smoky prize and tweeted a couple of pics. Guess our invite got lost in the mail!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

2nd Annual Houston Barbecue Festival

Last year's inaugural Houston Barbecue Festival was a fantastic event. (Use the "Houston" tag on the right column, for pictures and videos from the event.) It's time for Round 2! Unfortunately, I can't attend this year, but you should check it out. Here's the press release, with all the details:

WHAT: The 2nd Annual Houston Barbecue Festival will celebrate and recognize what is unique about Houston barbecue. Specifically, we want to:
    Recognize the talent, hard work, and dedication of the owners and pitmasters that make Houston barbecue great.
    Make the citizens of Houston (and Texas, and the U.S., etc.) aware of the long history of barbecue here and that the quality of Houston barbecue is comparable to other regional styles of barbecue.
    Make Houstonians true connoisseurs of barbecue by offering samples of great barbecue so they can choose to patronize those barbecue joints committed to only the highest quality of barbecue.
    Celebrate the diversity of Houston barbecue by including the many styles of barbecue found here.

WHEN: Sunday, April 6th, 2014 from 1:00-5:00pm. VIP Admission at 12pm.

WHERE: Reliant Park, Purple Lot. Parking entrance on South Main Street.

COST: General Admission ($50) includes entry into the festival and unlimited sample portions from each participating Houston barbecue joint. VIP Admission ($90) includes entry into the festival one hour early (at noon) and unlimited sample portions from each participating Houston barbecue joint. A T-shirt and one (1) drink ticket are also included. To ensure a quality event for everyone involved, ticket sales are limited. All tickets sold in advance, online at No ticket sales at the door. A bar (beer and wine) and live music will also be included.

About the Houston Barbecue Festival
In its second year, the Houston Barbecue Festival will build on the success of the inaugural festival by including more Houston barbecue joints for a larger audience of Houston barbecue lovers. Expecting 20-24 barbecue joints and 2000-3000 guests, the event has moved to Reliant Park, one of the most prestigious and recognizable event venues in Houston.

This year's festival will feature most, if not all, of last year's list of the who's who of Houston's best barbecue. Currently confirmed are: Blake’s BBQ, The Brisket House, Brooks’ Place BBQ, CorkScrew BBQ, Fainmous BBQ, Gatlin’s BBQ, Gerardo’s, Killen's BBQ, Lenox Bar-B-Que, Pizzitola’s Bar-B-Cue, Ray’s BBQ Shack, and Tin Roof BBQ.

Additionally, the festival will include a few newcomers to the Houston barbecue scene: Feges BBQ, Oak Leaf Smokehouse, and Pappa Charlie's Barbeque. Baker's Ribs, a veteran of the Houston barbecue scene, will also be a new participant this year. 

Also new for 2014 will be a lineup of select out-of-town barbecue guests who will be rolling into Houston to showcase their barbecue side-by-side with Houston's best. More details on this at a later date.

Additionally, staff from Texas A&M University's BBQ Genius Counter will be answering attendees' questions about all things barbecue, backyard or otherwise.

Returning as a founding sponsor, Texas Original Pits will have a selection of their Houston-made smokers, grills, and fire pits for sale. 

Charitable Partner
The Houston Barbecue Festival has partnered with Vita-Living, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency in Houston, Texas that has supported people with disabilities for over 30 years. They currently serve almost 500 clients in seven counties through their residential, case management and foster companion care services. Vita-Living is recognized as a leading proponent of integrated community living and an expert in the care of individuals with complex disabilities and behavioral challenges.

"We were looking for a partner in an under-served charitable area," explained Chris Reid, festival organizer. "Public funding for care of those with disabilities has decreased considerably in recent years. So, on behalf of the Houston Barbecue Festival staff, restaurants, volunteers, and sponsors, we are happy to contribute a portion of all tickets sales and sponsorships to help Vita-Living in this important mission."

The needs of Vita-Living’s clients will not go away. They continue to be vulnerable throughout their lives and require lifelong services. For that reason, 88 cents out of every dollar donated to the agency goes towards the lifelong care of Houstonians with disabilities.

"I'm so happy that Vita-Living can support the local flavor of barbecue in this great city," said Jillian Day, Director of Development at Vita-Living. "We're very grateful for the opportunity to partner with another organization that represents the best of what this city offers; namely, opportunity and innovation. It will also be a great way to recognize our volunteers since everyone loves great food."

Monday, February 17, 2014

2013 Reader's Choice Award: Best Brisket

Time to begin announcing the results of our 2013 Readers' Choice Awards. On January 1, I announced the categories and began accepting votes. Voting last through January 31. Every vote received was counted. Without further ado, the readers' choice for Best Brisket of 2013 is...

Louie Mueller Barbecue (Taylor, TX) - 50% of votes 

Others receiving votes: Black's, Franklin, Hutchins, la Barbecue, Pecan Lodge, Stiles Switch 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Inside Louie Mueller Barbecue

Some interior pics at Louie Mueller Barbecue (Taylor, TX), taken during our January Texas Q Tours visit:

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

Ten 50 BBQ headed to Richardson, TX

Yesterday, I received the following press release re: the opening of Ten 50 BBQ in Richardson, Texas:


Chili’s Founder Larry Lavine Launches Concept Featuring Wood-Fired, Central Texas-Style BBQ, Made-From-Scratch Texas Comfort Food

RICHARDSON, Texas – February 13, 2014 – Restaurant industry pioneer Larry Lavine is planning a summer 2014 launch for Ten 50 BBQ in Richardson, a restaurant that will feature authentic wood-fired, Central Texas-style BBQ along with homemade sides, pies and other Texas comfort food. The 10,000-square-foot restaurant will be located at 1050 N. Central Expressway in Richardson, north of Arapaho Road and east of U.S. 75, adjacent to DART’s Arapaho light rail station.

The restaurant will be located inside a newly remodeled building offering 275 seats for lovers of Texas BBQ and Texas hospitality. The restaurant will smoke its meats using nothing but wood – including hickory, mesquite, oak and pecan, depending on the item – in its rotisserie and offset smokers, and it will feature superior grades of beef to create a world-class BBQ experience.

Currently planned menu items include slow-smoked brisket, ribs, pork roast, chicken, turkey and several varieties of sausage, plus fresh-cut fries, fresh vegetables and house-brined pickles. Meals will include complimentary fresh-baked bread and jalapeno pinto beans. Available side dishes will range from German potato salad with house-smoked bacon and maple sweet potato casserole to three-cheese mac and cheese and roasted corn. Desserts will include a variety of homemade butter crust pies.

“Our guiding philosophy is that authentic Central Texas-style BBQ is the state’s greatest comfort food, and that outstanding Texas food and hospitality stand the test of time,” said Lavine, the founder of Chili’s and numerous other successful restaurant concepts. “We have been experimenting to perfect the art of BBQ and will take the care needed to ensure our meats and made-from-scratch dishes will consistently be great. We have also traveled the state over many years sampling the best BBQ and talking to top pitmasters, from highly acclaimed BBQ joints like Franklin and Snow’s to hole-in-the-wall places. We believe with great products and a dedicated team we will provide an authentic Texas BBQ experience.”