Reviews

Terry Black’s Barbecue

It was big news when the Austin American Statesman announced fourteen months ago that Black’s Barbecue was opening an Austin branch. It looked like the Black barbecue family from Lockhart was expanding. Running the place would be twins Michael and Mark Black, nephews of Kent Black who manages the legendary Lockhart location. Everyone seemed excited about this new branch in the barbecue family tree, then things got ugly. A few weeks after the big announcement, Kent…

Hickory Hill BBQ

It was a phone call that brought me back out to Hickory Hill BBQ. It sits along a stretch of State Highway 31, right on the western edge of the East Texas pine curtain. I’d driven by it a few times, but always found it closed, then owner Kerry Shaw called to alert me that I was missing out on the best barbecue in the world. “We’re trying to be number one in the world.”…

Specht’s Store

In 1908, German immigrant William Specht bought some property outside Bulverde, Texas, about twenty miles north of San Antonio. He took over the operation of an existing store, and by the early twenties erected a building that, according to the Bulverde Standard, was originally a dance hall. Being next to Camp Stanley it was popular as a watering hole for the nearby soldiers. Those services weren’t always welcome, and on January 24th, 1918 Specht was…

Stillwater Barbeque

With a history formed by ranching and railroads, Abilene sounds like a city destined to have good brisket. It was founded in 1883 after cattle ranchers and land speculators convinced the railroad to swing north of former county seat Buffalo Gap, and a new city was born. After the railroad came through, cattle no longer needed to make the long trek up the Great Western Trail to Kansas. Still, good brisket is hard to find here….

Triple J’s Smokehouse

The smokers were everywhere. Co-owner Rhonda Scales had led me through a swinging door into the kitchen where a hulking rotisserie pit was churning with tomorrow’s briskets. “We use all oak,” she told me as we walked out the back door. Split oak logs were piled around two more trailer-mounted rotisseries, a Southern Pride and an Ole Hickory, that were loaded with poultry, links, and boudin. “We only use wood. The gas is just to…

Baker’s Ribs – Houston

Two weeks after this review ran, Russell Roegels ended his franchise agreement with Baker’s Ribs and rebranded the business as Roegels Barbecue Co.  Great barbecue at a chain restaurant? I was skeptical to say the least, but in Houston I stopped at the lone Baker’s Ribs location in town. I’d heard it from friends, colleagues, and the store’s owner via Twitter that this was destination worthy barbecue. Having had a number of serviceable meals at…

1 2 3 4 45