Reviews

The BBQ Shop

The smell of manure hit me when I broke the seal of the rental car door in Farwell, Texas. Just a mile and a half south of town is a sprawling cattle feedlot, and traveling the ninety minutes from Amarillo I drove through towns like Bovina and Hereford. Just by the names you now they’re not growing tulips out here on the Plains. This is cattle country. You can see New Mexico while standing in the gravel parking in…

Evie Mae’s Barbecue

The best barbecue in Lubbock is in Wolfforth, Texas. That might be news to you even if you’re a student at Tech because Arnis and Mallory Robbins just opened their trailer doors three months ago. After a stint with a landscaping company in Tucson, they decided to come back to Texas with their young daughter Evie Mae to pursue a barbecue dream. They didn’t make it easy on themselves. First, they’re cooking with all wood…

Bodacious Bar-B-Q (Marshall)

Popular restaurants all over the world have signature dishes, some even have just one item that makes them a dining destination. You go to Katz’s Deli in New York for pastrami, Mary’s Cafe in Strawn, Texas for chicken fried steak, and nobody complains about the fish at House of Prime Rib in San Francisco. At Bodacious Bar-B-Q in Marshall, Texas you go for the ribs. “A chain!” you ask? Yes. Bodacious is a mostly East Texas (there…

El Machito

Restaurateurs dismissing the use of all wood cookers saying “the city won’t let us cook with wood” no longer have an excuse, at least not in San Antonio. Just beyond a low counter that they call the altar at El Machete, there’s a crackling mesquite fire, the flickers of which you can gaze at from the dining room. There’s a commercial kitchen hood above, and animals speared onto rebar in between. This is barbecue in the…

Pioneer BBQ

Pioneer BBQ has been around a while in the middle of Nixon, a town about an hour southeast of San Antonio. It was operated by the Chambers Brothers out of Luling, then a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses who eventually put the business up for sale on Craigslist. That’s where Shawn Collins found it when he was shopping for cooking wood from his apartment in Brooklyn. He bought it. Shawn’s fiancé Amy Powell is from the…

Smoke Shack BBQ

Three years ago I ate some promising barbecue from a food truck in the shadow of I-410 in San Antonio. Chris Conger was doing it all that day inside what was called Conger’s Smoke Shack, cooking, slicing, and making change. Last year he had stowed away enough change to make the jump into a steep-roofed building along Broadway just north of the swanky Pearl district. The food truck is still hanging around the highway at lunch time,…

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