Monday, August 24, 2009

BBQ Book Review - Real Barbecue

Title: Real Barbecue
Vince Staten & Greg Johnson
Published: 2007 by Globe Peqout Press

This book is the second edition of the original which was published back in 1988. The book is described as a guide to the 100 best BBQ joints in the country, but it's really a guide to finding great barbecue with a head start of 100 good suggestions.

The authors claim to have eaten at nearly 1000 joints in research for this book. They're way ahead of me in numbers, but we're dead even in philosophy. The intro is summed up with their mantra "barbecue is more than a meal; it's a way of life." Here, here! Topics then meander through the history of barbeque, discussions about BBQ architecure, and then into one of the most sound explanations about how to find good barbeque. Most guides stop at the point where they tell you to look for a stack of wood. These guys go into detail about how that stack should look. It shouldn't be covered with a tarp, and should not be stacked neatly lest it be for show. One item this book introduced to me is the word "oleaginous" which I'll be adding to my 'cue lexicon from this point forward.

The meat of the book then delves into the authors' favorite joints in all the land. Texas is of course mentioned, but unfortunately Sonny Bryan's in Dallas made the cut. That's the only real flaw I found in this gem, so pick up a copy and enjoy it all around the country.

- BBQ Snob

Here's a list of the Texas joints mentioned:
Sonny Bryan's - Dallas
Angelo's - Ft. Worth
Hammond's - Glen Rose
Louie Mueller - Taylor
Southside Market - Elgin
Iron Works - Austin
Kreuz Market - Lockhart
Smitty's Market - Lockhart
Prause Meat Market - LaGrange
Otto's - Houston
Goode Co. - Houston

1 comment:

Drew Thornley said...

Iron Works??? Are you kidding me?!?!?!?!?!


Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.