Texas Monthly Staff

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A Declaration of Barbecue War

LAST WEEK WE RELEASED our quinquennial list of the state’s top fifty joints. Today the full story is online and on newsstands everywhere. It’s packed with reviews explaining why we liked our top joints and how we picked the best (and incredible photography by Wyatt McSpadden). This year, however, we also had another object: not just to name the best barbecue joints in Texas, but to place them in a world barbecue context. Texas joints have…

A Nod to the Honorable Mentions

While the list of the best barbecue in the state of Texas (therefore, the world) is limited to just fifty joints, there’s plenty more out there to love in the Lone Star State. Our team of dedicated tasters came back from their travels with notes on everything great about Texas barbecue including sides, desserts, atmosphere, and of course smoked meat. These mentions didn’t get them into the Top 50, but they’re still worth a visit….

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Franklin Barbecue

The best barbecue joint in Texas is only four years old. This is an unusual development, but one that will surprise no one familiar with Franklin Barbecue, which, since opening in 2009, in a trailer off Interstate 35, has built a cult following for its meats. Has any other restaurant in Texas history had a consistent two-hour wait, outside, in the elements, year-round, six days a week? Franklin’s current location is a cozy old brick…

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Snow’s BBQ

For some in the small town of Lexington (population roughly 1,200), Saturdays are as holy as Sundays. It’s hard to miss these devotees. They congregate at the end of Main Street, within view of some grain elevators dressed in a gingham rust—a line of farmhands, ranchers, well-off weekenders, and groggy young Austinites who woke up in their cutoff shorts. Gathered outside the small red building that houses Snow’s BBQ, they await their turn to commune…

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Louie Mueller Barbecue

Louie Mueller Barbecue has been described as a “cathedral of smoke,” and indeed, many of the trappings of organized religion are present here: the sacramental offerings, the priesthood in their ecclesiastical red apron-robes, the flock of devoted congregants, even the disciples (Austin barbecue star Aaron Franklin credits a bite of brisket on a trip to Louie Mueller in 2002 with his own conversion to the fatty faith). At most other joints, this level of veneration…

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Pecan Lodge

Shed #2 at the Dallas Farmers Market is a vast, enclosed, and fully air-conditioned structure that essentially serves as a city-owned food court where up-and-coming restaurateurs crowd in to show off their skills. The unquestioned anchor tenant of this gastro-carnival is Pecan Lodge, a three-year-old barbecue joint producing what is the best smoked meat in North Texas. It’s easy to find because their counter is just inside the front door, and also because a line…