Reviews

Austin’s BBQ and Catering

Only two BBQ joints in Texas have made it into Texas Monthly’s Top 50 BBQ in 1997, 2003, and 2008 without being in the top 5. One is Schoepf’s in Belton and the other is Austin’s in Eagle Lake. I’ve had this one on my wish list for some time, so I was excited to give it a try and see what’s so special. A good sign upon arrival was a haphazard pile of pecan…

Maywald’s Sisterdale Smokehouse

In 2007, John Maywald had a restaurant building that he couldn’t lease out, and he was more than skeptical about using it to run his own place. After nearly four years of sitting vacant, he decided along with his spouse and some friends to fish rather than cut bait. He hasn’t yet quit his accountant day job since he was used to the grind of the weekend warrior circus that is competition barbecue, but they…

Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew

Austin has traditionally been a jumping off point for barbecue trips to famous towns like Lockhart, Luling, Taylor, and Llano. Great barbecue seems to surround Austin, but the city has been getting a reputation of its own as a barbecue destination. Some have even started to question if there’s a need to trek the forty-five minutes from Austin to Lockhart. Franklin Barbecue started these questions, and the Austin crowd got louder after John Mueller’s return….

Whup’s Boomerang Bar-B-Que

This is a tiny joint in a small town with a compact patio and a tight parking situation. I was momentarily trapped between another car and a sleeping dog in the narrow drive that leads past the smoker to the gravel road behind the joint. Orders are taken at a window on the patio that has just a couple of tables. Traffic in and out of the driveway is brisk given that most of the…

Fargo’s Pit BBQ

Most professional food critics will make at least three visits to a restaurant before completing a review or issuing a star rating. Given the miles that I travel (without a traveling budget) in search of smoked meats around Texas, I don’t get this luxury. I routinely provide a rating based on a single visit, which can be a bit nerve-racking knowing I may have gotten the best or worst version of what any joint can…

Gatlin’s BBQ & Catering

It was the end of a long day. My friends Nick and Clark had stayed with me bite for bite through six other barbecue joints and we were on our way to Houston to eat at this mightily heralded joint in northwest Houston that’s just over a year old. Greg Gatlin had his heyday on the gridiron as a defensive back for the Rice Owls, but barbecue is his game now. He was manning the…

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