BBQ History

Governor Tryon’s Barbecue

Protest season seems to be upon us after the recent election. Citizens are taking to the streets to show their displeasure with a new leader, which isn’t anything new in the United States. Before the original Brexit united us, we were anything but polite. Of course you remember the Boston Tea Party, and you might even have retained some knowledge of the Stamp Act, but what about Governor Tryon’s Barbecue? It sounds festive enough, but the…

30 Years of Railhead Smokehouse

When Charlie Geren opened Railhead Smokehouse in Fort Worth, he had already failed at his previous attempt at the restaurant business. Geren said he had just “lost his ass” in a “steak and beer joint” in north Fort Worth, but decided to partner with a pitmaster friend, Harry Pilcher, to take over an empty beer barn. Thirty years later, Railhead is still a Fort Worth staple, and the spot where Geren gets lunch everyday when he’s in Fort Worth….

“Barbecue” is for Squares

I have a Twitter follower who, for a while, enjoyed pointing out when a barbecue joint spelled their name “incorrectly.” Presumably, “Barbecue” and “BBQ” were acceptable, but not “Barbeque,” “Bar-B-Q,” or its slight variation “Bar-B-Que.” He’s not alone. The AP Stylebook, generally used by journalists, doesn’t like those alternate spellings either, as they tweeted last year: AP Style tip: barbecue is cooking foods over flame or hot coals. Noun refers to both meat cooked and fire…

Eugene “Hot Sauce” Williams

The contributions of African Americans to our country’s barbecue culture are often overlooked. The influences can be hard to trace, which make it tempting to ignore them. Throughout Texas and the rest of the country, records of black barbecue culture are either gone or never existed in the first place. Most newspapers and magazines were written by and for whites, and mentions of black men and women making real social contributions were few, especially when it comes to restaurants. It…

The First Barbecue Joint in Texas?

For years, I’ve been on a quest to definitively answer a question that has plagued me since I began researching the history of barbecue: what was the first barbecue joint in Texas? Loyal readers of TMBBQ will remember that in August 2013, I wrote about the post-Civil War wave of butcher shops and the resulting first boom of commercial barbecue. As I noted then: The first mention of commercial smoked meat in [the University of North…

When Dallas Barbecued a Super Bowl Buffalo

It was six in the morning on Sunday, January 31, 1993, and Karl Kuby Sr. had just started cooking a couple of bison over an open fire in a Tom Thumb grocery store parking lot. Later that evening, after OJ Simpson flipped the coin and Michael Jackson entertained at halftime, the Dallas Cowboys would defeat the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVII (and again the next year), but not before 3,000 people in Dallas feasted on a publicity stunt. A…

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