BBQ History

Eastern North Carolina BBQ at Skylight Inn

Skylight Inn cooks whole hogs over wood coals in Ayden, North Carolina just like they did when they first opened in 1947. This past weekend I embedded myself with Samuel Jones, the third generation of the Skylight Inn family, at BBQ on the Neuse. The event was centered around a whole hog cooking competition pitting eighty-four teams against one another. Their steel cookers, propane tanks, and cherry-red hogs were on display across the festival grounds,…

Brisket Hash in El Paso

They’ve been smoking briskets over mesquite since Tony’s The Pit Bar-B-Q opened in 1958. Tony Vargas Sr. started the place, but according to Martha Vargas, it was her husband Tony Vargas Jr. that’s responsible for its most famous menu item – brisket hash. Mrs. Vargas recited the ingredient list without hesitation when I visited recently. “It’s brisket trimmings, and potatoes. [Tony Jr.] added bell peppers, onions, and the spices. It’s also cumin, garlic, Worcestershire, and…

Texas Barbecue Appreciation Society

For forty years, Paul Burka has been a part of Texas Monthly. His retirement officially begins today, on Texas Independence Day. His legacy will live on in Texas Monthly’s list of the best and worst legislators, and his celebrated career has made an impact on Texas politics. But what few know is that before his career in journalism, Burka was a Texas barbecue lobbyist. Paul Burka’s love affair with Texas barbecue began on October 8, 1966. Griffin Smith…

A Timeline of Lockhart Barbecue

The Texas Legislature designated Lockhart, Texas as the “Barbecue Capital of Texas.” That, you probably knew along with the fact that it is home to five barbecue joints. Kreuz Market, one of Texas’s oldest, opened all the way back in 1900, while Mad Jack’s BBQ Shack is just two years old. Black’s Barbecue, Chisholm Trail Bar-B-Q, and Smitty’s Market all opened in between, but plenty more has happened on the barbecue scene in this town of…

Bryan Family Artifacts and Mementos

This week on TMBBQ we’ll take a look at the Bryan family’s barbecue legacy. From Elias, to Red, to Sonny Bryan and beyond, the Dallas roots of this family tree run deep, but the branches extend well beyond Texas. With so much family history, there are plenty of artifacts and mementos that I’ve captured images of. There are just too many to share in the upcoming stories, so here’s a look at some great ones. Many of…

1940’s Era Menu from Martin’s Place

During an interview with Steve Kapchinskie of Martin’s Place in Bryan (since 1925), he mentioned a copy of an old menu that he had in his records. The menu is from the forties,and he was kind enough to scan it and send it for us to post it here. Martin’s Place started as a barbecue joint and has remained so ever since, but the menu has changed quite a bit. In the forties it was one…

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