Monday, March 31, 2014

Touring & tasting Cuvee Coffee (Spicewood, TX)!

The 1st stop of our March 22 public Texas Q Tours trip to Spicewood was Cuvee Coffee. As always, owner Mike McKim was a fantastic host. Almost as fantastic as the Fu Manchu mustache he was rockin'.Our group enjoyed a tour and then a tasting of Cuvee's cold brew. I've toured Cuvee several times, but I learn something new about coffee every single time. Mike knows his stuff, and he gives a great tour. Thanks, Cuvee!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

2nd Annual Houston BBQ Festival next Sunday!

Last month, I posted some info on this year's 2nd Annual Houston BBQ Festival. Now, it's just about time for the event. The festival is one week from today! We are hosting a private BBQ tour, so we will be unable to attend. So, from afar, we will be thinking about our friends who run the event. It was a great event last year, and I have no doubt it will be even better this year. Can't wait to read the tweets and see pictures. To those of you attending: Which BBQ joint(s) at the festival are you most looking forward to visiting?

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Wanna be the official smoker sponsor of our 5th Annual Gettin' Sauced!?

Earlier this week, we announced the date of and venue for our 5th Annul Gettin' Sauced! contest and festival. Now, we're on the hunt for one smoker business to be the official, exclusive smoker sponsor of this year's event. If you're interested, email us, and we will send you sponsorship information and other details. Official, exclusive sponsorships will be available for other business types, and I will announce them soon.

Friday, March 28, 2014

"The 60 (Plus) Coolest People in Food & Drink in 2014" (The Daily Meal)

Who's "cool" in the world of food and drink? According to The Daily Meal, it's these folks. On the list are a couple of Texas BBQ guys: Dallas' Tim Love and Austin's very own Aaron Franklin.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Upcoming public Texas Q Tours trips

Instead of having to go to separate posts to find all of our upcoming public Texas Q Tours trips, here is a list of what's scheduled. Each trip is all-inclusive, and each starts and ends in Central Austin. We'd love to have you join us anytime!

SATURDAY, APRIL 19 - Austin - 3 BBQ trailers & 1 brewery

SATURDAY, MAY 31 - Austin/Burnet/Bertram/Marble Falls - Breakfast, 2 BBQ joints, a state park, & 1 dessert stop

SATURDAY, JUNE 28 - Austin - 2 BBQ trailers & a tour of Town Lake

We also organize and lead private tours, customized to the client's wishes. If you're interested in a guided, custom tour, email us for availability and pricing.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Venue for 5th Annual Gettin' Sauced!

Yesterday, we announced the date of this year's 5th Annual Gettin' Sauced! (Sunday, October 19). Today, we're excited to announce the venue: Shady Springs Party Barn! Shady Springs Party Barn is a really cool indoor-outdoor venue. The indoor facilities include a barn with a built-in stage for live music, and outside...well...huge field, sand-volleyball courts, horseshoes area, playground, and more. They even have a swimming pool. Should we fill it with BBQ sauce?!?! Speaking of BBQ, the friendly folks who run Shady Springs are known to smoke a little meat. Check out the pics I posted of their smokers and pit. All just a stone's throw from downtown Austin. We are excited to partner with such a great venue (and great people) for this year's 5th annual event!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Date set for 5th Annual Gettin' Sauced!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Woohoo! We have a date for this year's Gettin' Sauced! Tomorrow, we will announce the venue. Contest & booth applications will go out soon, as will our sponsorship information. The event is months away, but it will be here before we know it. And we know how fast everyone's schedule fills up, so mark your calendars for Sunday, October 19. We hope to see you at this year's 5th annual event!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Texas BBQ Wannabe: 102

102. Swingin' Door Texas BBQ (North Hollywood, CA) - "Texas Style!!"

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)
101. Kim's Texas BBQ (San Diego, CA)
102. Swingin' Door Texas BBQ (North Hollywood, CA)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Pork, beans, & tea at Full Moon

At Full Moon Bar-B-Que (Jasper, AL), an outside-chopped pork sandwich (with pickles, onions, chow chow, & sauce), baked beans, and iced tea:

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Tour day!

Hitting the road today for this month's public Texas Q Tours trip! Today's trip is all about Spicewood, with stops at Opie's Barbecue, Stone House Vineyard, & Cuvee Coffee. Follow along via Twitter, both @ManUpTexasBBQ & @TexasQTours. We'd love to have you join us for one of our monthly public tours. Tours are on the schedule for April 19, May 31, and June 28. And, as always, if you want a customized, guided tour for yourself, your family, your friends, you coworkers, etc., email me for availability & pricing.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Texas BBQ at Shady Springs Party Barn (Austin, TX)

Shady Springs Party Barn is an indoor-outdoor party/event center just a stone's throw from downtown Austin. You can rent the venue only or go big as big as the full package, which includes catering. Want Texas BBQ? They have it covered. Check out their smokers and cowboy-style pit (grate with hot coals underneath):

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Best non-beef BBQ item in Texas?

Texas is a beef state. When it comes to BBQ, Texas is a brisket state. Beef ribs are more plentiful at Texas BBQ joints than anywhere else. There is no doubt that it's all about the beef here in the Lone Star State. But Texas BBQ joints offer lots of non-beef items: chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, etc. Of all the non-beef BBQ items you've eaten in Texas, which one is your favorite? Name the item and the BBQ joint!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

BBQ baked potato at Jim 'N Nick's (Jasper, AL)

Last week, I had lunch at Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q in Jasper, AL: cheese biscuits & a baked potato with smoked turkey, green onions, lettuce, & pickles.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Dinner at Full Moon (Jasper, AL)

One of two meals I had last week at Full Moon Bar-B-Que (Jasper, AL): outside-chopped pork, with sauce, chow chow, pickles, squash casserole, & collard greens. Cornbread I ordered not pictured. With hometown boy C.J. Harris still alive on American Idol, they put the show on the TVs.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Bracket time!!!

It's time again to join our March Madness bracket contest! If you want in, email us, and I will send you an invitation. Alternatively, feel free to leave your email address as a comment below this post. Prizes will be as follows:

1st Place: Gettin' Sauced! 2014 BBQ-sampling wristband & The Q Card
2nd Place: 2 seats for the price of 1 on our May 31 Texas Q Tours trip & The Q Card
3rd Place: Gettin' Sauced! koozie & The Q Card
4th Place: The Q Card  
5th Place: The Q Card 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Best BBQ during SXSW?

If anyone who came to Austin for SXSW and had BBQ reads this, I'd love to know what you ate and if you liked it. If you had BBQ from more than 1 joint, which was your favorite?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Q&A with Johnny Fugitt (

Johnny Fugitt decided to hit the road for BBQ & write a book listing his Top 100 joints. Recently, his travels brought him to Austin. While he was in town, I met him for dinner. I was very happy to meet such a nice guy and want to support him. To that end, here is a Q&A with him (with contact & social-media information at the bottom):

Q: In your own words, will you tell our readers about your endeavor?
Sure!  I'm on a culinary crusade to find the best barbecue restaurants in America and the project will culminate in the publishing of The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America book.  I'm visiting famous, historic places like Rendezvous and Black's, but also lesser known places in search of those hole-in-the-wall hidden gems.

Q: Why are you doing this? What prompted it?
I noticed that there are a lot of local lists (Texas Monthly's Top 50 is the largest and most complete), but not a definitive, nationwide ranking of barbecue restaurants.  Also, most of what I've seen are lists rather than rankings and I like rankings.  There are scores of barbecue books, but most of these focus on recipes, history, etc. rather than restaurants. 

Q: Where have you been? Where is left on your list?
I've visited St. Louis, Kansas City, Memphis, Nashville, Oklahoma City, parts of Arkansas, a fair amount of Central and Eastern Texas, New Orleans, Iowa, Minneapolis, Wisconsin, Chicago and a few little random spots in between.  I've done most of the middle of the country.
My goal is to canvas America.  I expect the rankings to be heavy on the South and centers of barbecue, but I want to give barbecue restaurants in places like Oregon and Vermont a chance to go toe to toe with the big barbecue boys.

Q: How many places have you visited, and how many more do you plan to visit?
I'm at 109 restaurants in about four months.  There have definitely been some great spots along the way and some that haven't been so great.  Since I'm already at 109 having only covered the middle of the country, I could easily hit 200-300 before I'm finished.

Q: Without giving anything away, can you tell us some of your thoughts/reactions to places you been and things you've eaten?
Sure.  Let me first say that I'm reviewing the whole restaurant experience and not simply a plate of food.  Meat is paramount in barbecue, but sides, restaurant ethos, sauce, service, value, etc. all factor into the restaurant experience as well.  With that said, I enjoy both the old school, spartan, slightly dirty, picnic table kinds of places as well as clean, modern spaces with nontraditional items.  I think both can be great barbecue experiences and I expect to have quite a bit of diversity within the rankings.  I've seen famous restaurants struggle to maintain quality with increased demand or as they open new locations, but I've seen some restaurants that have grown well and been able to handle success.
The toughest part of the project is the rankings.  Within a day, I might find that I prefer the ribs and sides from one restaurant, brisket and feel of the restaurant at another place and the pork and sauce from a third.  At the end of the book I'll have a section with awards for individual items and a few lists like my "Dream Texas Meal" with one item from one restaurant, another item from another restaurant, etc.

Q: What's your favorite BBQ city thus far? 
Even though my barbecue roots are in Kansas City, I think I've enjoyed Memphis and Austin the most so far.  Barbecue permeates Memphis unlike any other place I have been.  In addition to the historic joints, there are some great hole in the wall places.  Austin's scene is exploding and the city itself is a lot of fun.  I expected great brisket and found it in Austin, but I also had some great ribs, complete meals and overall barbecue experiences while there.  I'm also really looking forward to visiting the Carolinas this spring.  It doesn't compete with these spots, but one city that surprised me was Nashville.  It will always play second fiddle to Memphis, but Nashville's contribution to the barbecue world of the cornbread pancake pulled pork sandwich is not to be missed.  A picture of one can be found on my blog here:

Q: What you learned about BBQ during this process?
I've learned a lot.  I've learned that that barbecue is continuing to evolve.  Barbecue served as it was 20 years ago will probably not cut it today.  Standards have been raised.  I've learned that the barbecue community is tight knit and incredibly passionate about their work.  I've learned how difficult it is to survive in the restaurant industry and met a lot of owners who put in very long hours.  I've also learned, of course, a few tips and tricks about smoking meat and preparing great food!

Q: Once your book is published, any future BBQ plans?

Nothing set yet, but I hope to continue to be involved in barbecue.  I might consider joining a competition team - more for the camaraderie than as a serious competitor.  I'll write if I find a good outlet for it.  Some restaurant owners have asked for my thoughts on their food, new menu items, their operations, etc. and I would be happy to share some of my experiences as a consultant as well.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que to open in Austin

Read yesterday via Eater Austin and Austin360 that Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que is heading to downtown Austin. The Llano joint is planning to open a location in Fall 2014 in at 217 Congress Avenue. Check out the location's Facebook page, which writes:


We are proud to announce that 217 Congress will be home to the newest Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que!

Featuring authentic Texas BBQ, live music and a full bar on Congress Avenue, Cooper' will open its doors in the fall of 2014. We were BBQ before BBQ was cool. — at 217 Congress.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

"The 10 Best Barbecue Chains in America" (The Daily Meal)

The Daily Meal has published a slideshow of The 10 Best Barbecue Chains in America. I've been to 5 of the 10. How many have you visited? What do you think of the list?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014