Smoked in Texas

Mel-Man Sandwich

The Mel-Man sandwich is the product of a barbecue epiphany. The East Texas specialty, which consists of brisket and sausage chopped together instead of layered on top of each other, is named after a man who once hated barbecue. It’s big, hard to eat, and best with plenty of barbecue sauce. It’s also addictive. Mel Garcia started working for Bodacious Bar-B-Que back in 1984, and he didn’t think much of the cuisine when he got the…

Smoked in Texas: The Hillbilly Pacifier

Hans Muller is a second-generation baker in Fort Worth, but he’s no stranger to smoking meat. His lunch menu at the Swiss Pastry Shop includes a smoked cuban sandwich, the Fort Worth Cheese Steak made with smoked prime rib, and he’s now working on a recipe for homemade pastrami. If you’re lucky, the specials board just inside the door might include something smoked like the Hillbilly Pacifier, a dish I found there last week. On…

Smoked in Texas: Beef Short Rib at Provisions

Barbecue and other smoked foods are making their way into fine dining faster than I can spit out liquid smoke. Often smoke is used as just another layer of seasoning, or maybe the barbecue is portioned and presented with a flourish on the plate. Not so at Provisions, the more casual half of The Pass & Provisions in Houston, where a hulking smoked beef rib is tucked into the dinner menu in between chicken saltimbocca and a…

Pastrami Beef Ribs

When I first saw a pastrami beef rib on the menu at The Granary in San Antonio, my heart nearly skipped a beat (no blood pressure jokes, please). It was late 2012, and I’d never seen such a thing. Six months later, after I was named the Barbecue Editor, it was one of the first things I ate as part of my new job duties. The verdict? I wanted to love it, but it was…

Smoked in Texas: Mushroom Pastrami

Oliver Sitrin is no stranger to pastrami experimentation. During his time as chef at Blind Butcher on Greenville in Dallas, he’s taken his thin-sliced beef pastrami and piled it high on rye (a traditional presentation, to be sure), as well as tucked it into an egg roll. He’s made tender duck pastrami, paired it with duck bacon, and served it on a pretzel roll. And now, at the new Goodfriend Package Store on the other side of town, Sitrin…

Smoked in Texas: Smoke-Brined Fried Chicken

The best fried chicken in Dallas is served at a barbecue joint. Any self-respecting pitmaster might cringe when I suggest the fried chicken to prospective customers, but chef and pitmaster Jeffrey Hobbs at the Slow Bone Barbeque in Dallas is plenty proud of his unique smoke-brined fried chicken. Hobbs credits their chicken supplier as a factor in the fried chicken’s taste. They use the same supplier as Chicken Express for both the fried and the…

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