Reviews

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,…

Smokin’ Guns BBQ

With the rising cost of meat, specifically beef brisket, inexpensive barbecue is becoming rare today. It’s especially difficult to find a decent version of it. Finding $20 per pound brisket isn’t a challenge in Austin, Dallas, and Pearland, but that doesn’t fly in Corsicana. At Smokin’ Guns BBQ on the west side of town you’ll pay just $12.95 for a pound of hickory smoked beef, and a three meat platter with two sides is a whopping…

Chuck’s Bar-B-Q and Burgers

“The good smell in Evadale” is the tag line painted on a wooden fence beside Chuck’s Bar-B-Q and Burgers which sits about thirty minutes north of Beaumont. Folks say the local paper mill produces a stench, and the smoke from owner Chuck Howard’s pit is sometimes the only relief. I didn’t get a whiff of any pulp, but the “burger” end of the name is what perfumed the dining room just after the lunch hour….

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