Reviews

Zeke’s BBQ

Sometimes all it takes to seduce me into a high-mileage gamble on a barbecue joint are a few meat photos on Facebook. Unless you’re taking the circuitous route to nearby Wichita Falls, Windthorst, Texas isn’t really on the way to anywhere. But a mere five-hour round trip from home isn’t a bad investment for a true hidden gem, and I was betting on Zeke’s BBQ. Chris Pettyjohn’s path to becoming a barbecue joint owner was also roundabout. He is a…

The Salt Lick: An Appreciation

The image above is probably the most well-known in Texas barbecue. A photo of, or with, the iconic pit at the Salt Lick is on par with braking for our state’s bluebonnets along the highway. This particular photo fetched me nearly 3,000 likes on Instagram. My best image of a Franklin Barbecue brisket? 1,163 likes. The open pit’s flaming live oak and the tendrils of sausage hanging above mesmerizes, so much so that Salt Lick literally…

Truth Barbeque

Last year, Leonard Botello IV decided he wanted to open a barbecue joint. The big hitch in his giddyup? He needed a smoker. He started searching for a workable, used pit, and pretty soon “a Klose pit came up on Craigslist in Cleveland,” he recalled. Ohio, that is, not Texas. According to Botello, the seller didn’t really know what she had on her hands and asked for only $4,700. (They can easily go for up to…

Julian’s BBQ

To the people of Corpus Christi, I’m sorry about your barbecue. I tried just about every joint in the city a couple of weeks back, and there wasn’t much good news to report. There was one bright spot, though: Julian’s BBQ. With a black cowboy hat, a black shirt, and a red bandana up over his nose, Julian Zapata feeds live oak logs into two steel pits that sit just behind the ordering counter of his…

King’s Hwy Brew & Q

Emilio Soliz began his barbecue career in a good spot. As a young man, he was the pitmaster at Two Bros. BBQ Market when they were named to the Texas Monthly Top 50 joints. Soon after, Anthony Bourdain visited and snapped a photo with Soliz—his reputation was on the rise. Then came a falling out with ownership that led to his departure, and Soliz and his wife, Christi, got a trailer of their own called Sweet Christi’s…

Old 300 BBQ

Even if the 300 migrants first given land grants in Texas didn’t make it to Blanco, Old 300 BBQ is still a good lesson in Texas history. The Hill Country joint is dubbed in honor of those original settlers; their names adorn the walls and modified Texas battle flags are etched into the concrete floor (“Come and Eat it”). The restaurant’s name lets you know to expect classic Texas barbecue, and that’s exactly what they deliver. If you came for brisket,…

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