Reviews

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…

Schoepf’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que

If you’ve traveled down I-35 between Waco and Austin, you’ve probably wondered about Schoepf’s. Red billboards in either direction beckon. The name is noticeable if only for its phonetically challenging spelling (they say it “shuffs”). It might also be in your consciousness if you’re a longtime reader of Texas Monthly, which included it in the Top 50 BBQ Joint lists in 1997, 2003, and 2008. If you wonder why it didn’t make it onto the latest one, blame Miller’s Smokehouse…

Winners BBQ

De’Andre Jackson never thought he’d be cooking barbecue for a living. As a football star out of Garland, he started for the Big 12’s Iowa State. Entering his senior year, some had him graded as the third best cornerback in college. An ACL-tear toward the end of the season kept him from being drafted, and his NFL dreams were over before they could really get started. After a year in the CFL, he decided finishing…

Heim Barbecue

For all chefs, there are moments in their culinary careers that forever shape them. Moments when principles are seared into their brain by mentors, books, or classes only to manifest in their cooking techniques for life. For Travis Heim, owner and pitmaster of Heim Barbecue, in Fort Worth, one of those illuminating experiences came early in his career, during a two-week stint at a now closed barbecue joint in the mid-cities of the D/FW area.”They would marinate brisket overnight in…

Hard Eight BBQ

Dining at Hard Eight BBQ is as much about experience as it is about the meal. During a recent visit to the original Stephenville location, I lined up with thirty other people, an impressive crowd for 1:00 p.m. on a Friday. Together we stood together facing cord upon cord of neatly piled mesquite and two giant burn barrels raging so hot that the perimeter is ringed by warning signs. Smoke poured from a half dozen stone-clad steel pits; the last…

B-Daddy’s BBQ

The challenges of running a barbecue food truck weren’t lost on B.R. Anderson when he opened B-Daddy’s BBQ, in San Antonio, in 2012. After all, he was the third owner of the trailer he bought, stepping in after the other two gave up on their ventures. But in restaurants, it’s often innovate or perish. So Anderson made some changes, starting with getting rid of the pellet cooker and the gas smoker. “I don’t cook with gas,” he told…

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