Reviews

The Big Bib BBQ

There’s no sign over the door—at least not for now—but somehow that doesn’t seem to matter. The Big Bib BBQ and its new attached event space anchor the corner of an aging strip center along Austin Highway in northeast San Antonio. It’s under construction, and the awnings are being replaced, but barbecue fans had no trouble finding it. Even on a Tuesday, lunch was hopping. The line never seemed to ease up during the hour I was…

Thorndale Meat Market

Central Texas was once known for its meat market-style barbecue joints, i.e. meat markets that had a barbecue business on the side. Many of those places are gone, or they have converted into barbecue-only businesses. A few holdouts remain, including one shining example: the Thorndale Meat Market. About an hour northeast of Austin, out on Texas Highway 79, the tiny town of Thorndale is like many small towns in Texas. A few residential neighborhoods, a couple of gas stations, a…

18th & Vine Barbeque

I’ve never eaten at a restaurant more often before a first review than this one. Including opening night, I’ve enjoyed seven meals at 18th & Vine since they opened the doors in early October. It helps that the restaurant is just fifteen minutes from my house, but it also takes a while to get through the menu—or rather menus. Between lunch and dinner, there are forty individual items to choose from, and I’ve eaten nearly every…

Fatboy’s BBQ

In 2009, Shannon Bankston and Heather Hoff opened a barbecue shack back in the tiny Northeast Texas town of Ladonia, population 612. Before long they sought out a bigger audience and moved Fatboy’s BBQ to the next county over, specifically to a roadside stand in Cooper, Texas, population 1,969. Fatboy’s popularity in the slightly larger small town grew enough to support yet another move, this one into a larger building complete with interior seating, along Texas Highway 24, where…

Desert Oak Barbecue

Back in April, I gave El Paso some tough love. I had tried and failed to find good barbecue there, and I wrote about my futile search in an article called “BBQ in Far West Texas? I’ll Paso.” With a headline like that, it’s no surprise that the piece resulted in more comments than any post ever published on TMBBQ.com. The protestations didn’t bother me; I knew I’d change my mind when the city changed it’s quality of barbecue….

The Smoking Oak

Until relatively recently, when I heard (and sometimes gave) barbecue recommendations for places located along the edges of Texas, often the tip came with a qualifier: “It’s good for ___.” Fill in the blank with East Texas, The Panhandle, or the Valley. Even our Top 50 BBQ lists had a built-in geographical handicap. An above-average joint in Austin might not be able to crack the list, but move that joint to the Lower Rio Grande…

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