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Texas BBQ Road Trip Report


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This is some of the most fitting evidence that Texas is indeed another country.

What a riot!

I wonder if this is how the Sterns got started. They certainly have competition now.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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I love this thread, and am sorry to see it end.

But, TexNewMex....

Thanks for the memories

Of brisket, ribs and more

Of hot links by the score

You may have had a gut-ache but you never were a bore

So thank you, so much.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Well, you've definitely earned your place on the boards for sure, now! Look forward to hearing more about these upcoming projects. Richard Kilgore is a good contact on some of the Taquerias in the DFW area. I enjoyed the thread greatly as well.

But, I'm not letting you off easy: any final thoughts? Do you crave cue at all even? :raz: Any standouts? All around best place? What single item was the best? Which place do you wish you'd eaten the cue on site at?

ETA: Nice kitchen!

Edited by Kevin72 (log)
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Oh wow. This was brilliant. The tasting party at the end brought it all together.

*slow clap*

I never knew sausage was a big part of barbecue tradition. Is this true only in Texas? Or do other regions also feature sausage?

I'm looking forward to the taqueria thread.

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And before you go, will you answer us your own question...

BBQ - "Is it really that great?"

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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First Great report and trip!!!

Simply amazing and fine pictures to boot.

I know others have asked but what places did you like best for each of the 3 types of meats...

1. Brisket

2. Ribs

3. Susage

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But, I'm not letting you off easy: any final thoughts?  Do you crave cue at all even?  :raz:  Any standouts? All around best place? What single item was the best? Which place do you wish you'd eaten the cue on site at?

ETA:  Nice kitchen!

any final thoughts?

Actually the trip was an eye opener for the most part, I guess I have always taken BBQ for granted.....I thought the local chains were good enough for the occasional dinner, but now...maybe in a pinch..... when I am in search of bbq and they don't have a pit....not worth the time! I am a little bias now. I think I am going to visit a couple of chains, just see what I use to eat.

Do you crave cue at all even?

As much as I want to say no.....I can't lie....during the third post the photos were making me hungry, so I took some of the beef I had chopped up out of the freezer, mixed it with a little sauce...heated it up and made a little sandwich....I wanted to recreate a real sandwich....so the bun had to be toasted just right.......I may have a sickness!

gallery_46975_3362_1525535.jpg

Excuse the plate, those are the only one's I get to use. If the president came to dinner, we might get to use the vera wang.

Any standouts?

The one place that I enjoyed for all around food, setting, people....was Louie Mueller's in Taylor.

What single item was the best?

I liked the Prime Rib at Cooper's....it was great.

Which place do you wish you'd eaten the cue on site at?

I wish I could have stayed and eaten at City Market and/or Smitty's those were the two places I really wanted to hang out for awhile.......and Mueller's...its so hard to choose.

Thank you on the kitchen....it would be nicer if we had a gas stove....

LISBY OUT!
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Okay ... I feel like a total moron.

I've been reading along with the rest of you, and it wasn't until I saw the pictures of the party, that I realized that TexNewMex hadn't been eating the BBQ along the way but was in fact saving it for the party. I damn near yelled out loud when I saw the curry dinner, which I thought was on top of 4 or 5 BBQ meals! :laugh:

I'm still impressed, just slightly less so now. :raz:

We have NOTHING like this in British Columbia. I am utterly and completely jealous ... and am looking into air fares as we speak.

A.

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And before you go, will you answer us your own question...

BBQ - "Is it really that great?"

You know what?.....It really is Great!.......Honestly, I had my doubts....I use to ask myself what the hubbub was all about and now that I have seen it, smelled it, tasted it and experienced the smoke the heat and met the people who create it.......I can say that they make something very special down there.....it may sound cheesy, but its true.

I think its like that all over the US........I bet on the coast in Maine it’s the same with, maybe......... Lobster Rolls .......I bet there are tons of places to have one and each place is unique in its own way, the cuisine is probably steeped in as much tradition as Texas BBQ.

and I am sure the south.....Memphis, KC, Atlanta, NC have something to say about the subject also.

LISBY OUT!
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First Great report and trip!!!

Simply amazing and fine pictures to boot.

I know others have asked but what places did you like best for each of the 3 types of meats...

1. Brisket

2. Ribs

3. Susage

1. Brisket

Kruez was good, City Market very good as well

gallery_46975_3362_482747.jpg

I liked the smoke flavor, the crust and the clear meat

gallery_46975_3362_1149405.jpg

Pure Flavor.

2.Ribs

Smitty's and Saltlick were Great!

gallery_46975_3362_258299.jpg

The Ribs were tender nice pink color...flavor, flavor, flavor

gallery_46975_3362_256415.jpg

Cooked on sauce was the ringer here....

3.Sausage

City Market.....

gallery_46975_3362_1149405.jpg

I loved the hand made sausage rings...like I eluded to earlier....I had never tasted anything like it....awesome!

Also, I can't be held responsible for saying one is my favorite and down the road something else is my favorite.....at some point it starts to run together...next year I am taking a minidisc so I can make a good voice recording...sort of like a medical examiner.....

"slight smoke ring on the anterior end of rib some bruising"

Did I say next year?

LISBY OUT!
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I feel like I just gained 5 pounds reading this thread, and now that it's over, I must wipe a stray tear from my eye, because they haven't invented Smell-0-Internet yet. You have truly contributed to the collective food community with this in-depth investigation. And the dog is cute, too.

No way I would have the fortitude to bring all that meat back unmolested - yes, I know you nibbled, but I would have been strapped to a gurney and wheeled right into Carnivore Recovery Services within the first 24 hours...

Thanks for sharing the pics and words.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“A favorite dish in Kansas is creamed corn on a stick.”

-Jeff Harms, actor, comedian.

>Enjoying every bite, because I don't know any better...

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We have NOTHING like this in British Columbia.  I am utterly and completely jealous ... and am looking into air fares as we speak.

A.

To make it easier when you get here..........You can have this.

gallery_46975_3362_427886.jpg

LISBY OUT!
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I never knew sausage was a big part of barbecue tradition. Is this true only in Texas? Or do other regions also feature sausage?

I am not sure.....it has something to do with germans and immigrants, I wish I knew the whole story, but I know someone who could probably tell you......

Jaymes is the one with the BBQ history knowledge.

LISBY OUT!
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I may have to go to town today thanks to you.

At last we have a BBQ place here, calls itself Texas BBQ. It has excellent ribs, I haven't tried the sausage yet, no brisket but tri-tip instead. Tri tip was tender and tasty with a nice smoke ring but a bit on the dry side.

Guess I was trying to say that even here in CA we have sausage.

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Before I really chime in--I just took in the entire thread after avoiding it for some weird reason, and now that I've taken it in, I have to say:

This ranks as The Single Best Delurk in eGullet History.

Fabulous trip, great narrative, and I wish I had been along for the ride only because I can't taste any of what you had from this distance.

And before you go, will you answer us your own question...

BBQ - "Is it really that great?"

You know what?.....It really is Great!.......Honestly, I had my doubts....I use to ask myself what the hubbub was all about and now that I have seen it, smelled it, tasted it and experienced the smoke the heat and met the people who create it.......I can say that they make something very special down there.....it may sound cheesy, but its true.

I think its like that all over the US........I bet on the coast in Maine it’s the same with, maybe......... Lobster Rolls .......I bet there are tons of places to have one and each place is unique in its own way, the cuisine is probably steeped in as much tradition as Texas BBQ.

and I am sure the south.....Memphis, KC, Atlanta, NC have something to say about the subject also.

You had asked back at the start of this thread:

Are there any other regions like this in the U.S. with such a concentration of well-known or famous bbq joints?

Regions? Probably not. And I doubt you will find anywhere else in the country with as much good BBQ per capita as the towns you visited.

But a trip to Kansas City--it's only 600 miles up I-35--will reward you with a slew of excellent places, including lots of well-known ones (Arthur Bryant's, Gates', Rosedale, Fiorella's Jack Stack) and others that have made a name for themselves lately (Oklahoma Joe's), all in a single metropolitan area. KC being a rather sprawling metropolis, you may end up doing as much driving there as you did on this trip, but you won't be covering as much territory. As big cities go, none rival Kansas City for outstanding 'cue, and I don't care what they think in Memphis.

And speaking of unique local cuisine:

Do they really call them hoagies out your way?

--Sandy "Hog Island Shipyard no longer exists--it's now Philadelphia International Airport--but the sandwich it made famous lives on" Smith

Edited to add: Speaking of great writing and vivid imagery, I've got to commit to memory your phrase "napalm summer breeze". We've had more than a few of these up here in the humid Delaware Valley^W^WGreater Philadelphia region this summer.

Edited by MarketStEl (log)

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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I never knew sausage was a big part of barbecue tradition. Is this true only in Texas? Or do other regions also feature sausage?

I am not sure.....it has something to do with germans and immigrants, I wish I knew the whole story, but I know someone who could probably tell you......

Jaymes is the one with the BBQ history knowledge.

Unfortunately, I'm not as schooled on BBQ history elsewhere, other than Texas, so don't know about the sausage thing.

I do think that the popularity of "hot links" (which, TexNewMex, is what you have to call that kind of sausage if you're gonna be a Texas boy, as that distinguishes it from the patties, etc., you get at breakfast) in Central Texas is, as you say, due in large measure to the Germans and Czechs that settled the area.

But the African-American-owned joints also often feature sausage, so I suspect it's fairly universal.

Interesting question.

And sorry to say that I don't know the answer.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I never knew sausage was a big part of barbecue tradition. Is this true only in Texas? Or do other regions also feature sausage?

I am not sure.....it has something to do with germans and immigrants, I wish I knew the whole story, but I know someone who could probably tell you......

Jaymes is the one with the BBQ history knowledge.

Unfortunately, I'm not as schooled on BBQ history elsewhere, other than Texas, so don't know about the sausage thing.

I do think that the popularity of "hot links" (which, TexNewMex, is what you have to call that kind of sausage if you're gonna be a Texas boy, as that distinguishes it from the patties, etc., you get at breakfast) in Central Texas is, as you say, due in large measure to the Germans and Czechs that settled the area.

But the African-American-owned joints also often feature sausage, so I suspect it's fairly universal.

Interesting question.

And sorry to say that I don't know the answer.

Actually, it's not universal.

I've yet to run across a barbecue joint either here or in Kansas City that barbecues sausage.

Philly I wouldn't put too much stock in--such 'cue traditions as exist around here are all imports--but the absence of sausage from KC 'cue is significant.

Ribs, yes. Brisket, yes. Chicken, yes. Burnt ends? A Kansas City specialty and just about unique to the place. Sausage? Nope.

I suspect that this is the unique contribution of the Germans to Texas barbecue.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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the wonder of the central texas hot links is in part that i've never seen sausages like that anywhere else. they're loosely packed, stand up to hours of smoking and are just generally damn good. good enough that i've actually considered paying the shipping to have them sent up here to philadelphia. i haven't pulled the trigger on that deal yet, but maybe soon...

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the wonder of the central texas hot links is in part that i've never seen sausages like that anywhere else.  they're loosely packed, stand up to hours of smoking and are just generally damn good.  good enough that i've actually considered paying the shipping to have them sent up here to philadelphia.  i haven't pulled the trigger on that deal yet, but maybe soon...

You could probably learn how to make them. I don't think the sausages themselves would be too hard to make. Getting the smoking down is an art, of course, and you'd have to buy a smoker. But you'd quickly become the most popular kid in school...

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And speaking of unique local cuisine:

Do they really call them hoagies out your way?

--Sandy "Hog Island Shipyard no longer exists--it's now Philadelphia International Airport--but the sandwich it made famous lives on" Smith

No, I don’t think most do. I think that was all me.......I would really classify it as a Roadwich.

I think the reason I said hoagie, was because that’s what my grandma called that type of bread.... oblong split top with sesame seeds......I had never really thought about what defines a hoagie.

When we were visiting her house and happened to get hungry all of us kids would run into the sewing room and she would be in there doing some grandmaly type task .........she would of course act putout and busy and just say....

"why don’t you throw some ham on a hoagie roll"

That was the only bread in the pantry, besides the generic black and white labeled bread from piggly wiggly.

LISBY OUT!
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the wonder of the central texas hot links is in part that i've never seen sausages like that anywhere else.  they're loosely packed, stand up to hours of smoking and are just generally damn good.  good enough that i've actually considered paying the shipping to have them sent up here to philadelphia.  i haven't pulled the trigger on that deal yet, but maybe soon...

I am close to doing the same thing.....I keep thinking about them and I would really like to taste them again...luckily I have a wedding reception to go to in Austin at the end of October....so there is sausage in my future.....I just hope I can wait it out.

Check out Mueller's site.....Sausage..........go to photos and then to Process and there are some great photos of Bobby Mueller making sausage.

LISBY OUT!
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the wonder of the central texas hot links is in part that i've never seen sausages like that anywhere else.  they're loosely packed, stand up to hours of smoking and are just generally damn good.  good enough that i've actually considered paying the shipping to have them sent up here to philadelphia.  i haven't pulled the trigger on that deal yet, but maybe soon...

You could probably learn how to make them. I don't think the sausages themselves would be too hard to make. Getting the smoking down is an art, of course, and you'd have to buy a smoker. But you'd quickly become the most popular kid in school...

you'd think, but apparently everyone's hot links recipe is a secrety secret. salon did an article about it a while ago--here's a link.

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