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2013 Top 50 BBQ Joint Closes

The phone rang. “Mr. Vaughn, this is the Parker County Sheriff’s office.” There wasn’t actually an officer at the other end of the line. It was Big Jim McLennan calling, the pitmaster at Hashknife on the Chisholm in Peadenville, Texas. He has always been good at making jokes, but it was refreshing that he was in good spirits. The day prior to this call was the final day in business for his beloved barbecue joint…

BBQ News: 5/23 – 5/30

-A deal was announced yesterday that “would be the biggest takeover of an American company by a Chinese concern.” That deal was for the Shuanghui Group to purchase Virginia based Smithfield Foods which is the largest pork processor in the world. -Tune in to Austin’s KLRU next Thursday from 8:00-9:30pm for a special showing of the BBQ with Franklin series as well as The Kings of BBQ Barbecue Kuwait, a documentary that tells the story of several…

Recap: Daniel Vaughn at Austin’s BookPeople

As if defending the TMBBQ Top 50 weren’t enough, Texas Monthly Barbecue Editor Daniel Vaughn is also in the middle of his book tour for The Prophets of Smoked Meat, which brought him last week to the city he now says is “the capital of Texas BBQ.” That’s right: the one that’s also the live music capital and the actual capital. Vaughn’s  comments to the crowd and answers to the Q&A at Austin’s BookPeople provided…

Restaurant Impossible: Bryan’s Smokehouse

Robert Irvine is the host of Restaurant Impossible on the Food Network. He travels around the country to help bring failing restaurants out of the doldrums. In March he brought his crew and $10,000 to Lufkin. Lynn Bryan, the owner of Bryan’s Smokehouse was in desperate need of some business. When the show finally aired a couple days back we learned that Bryan had been bringing in only a few hundred dollars a day. The…

Four Reasons NYC Can’t Claim BBQ Capital Status

A month ago I wrote a friendly rebuttal to Robert Sietsema, the (former) Village Voice food critic who wrote an inflammatory piece back in March arguing that New York City was the country’s newest barbecue capital. I pointed out that Sietsema was simply a misguided New Yorker who was understandably giddy about having a few decent smoked meat options within the five boroughs. Good old Josh Ozersky (whose rejection of traditional barbecue I wrote about yesterday)…

In Praise of “Old” Barbecue

Traditional barbecue is having a moment, not just in Texas but around the country. So it’s natural to wonder when the backlash might come. Though it may be overdoing it to call Josh Ozersky’s story in the Wall Street Journal, “The New Barbecue,” a call to arms, he does do a strenuous job of dismissing traditional pit-smoked meats and lavishing praise upon cooks who are “shaking up” the established ways. Leave it to a New…

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