Sunday, September 19, 2010

Texas Monthly BBQ Festival

This afternoon in Austin's Long Center was the first of hopefully many Texas Monthly BBQ Festivals. TM got together 20 joints from their top 50 BBQ picks in the June 2008 issue and had them all cook up samples for hundreds of hungry BBQ fans. It was great event to showcase some of the best BBQ has to offer, and it was also a great chance to meet and visit with the proprietors. There were also a few vendors including Wyatt McSpadden selling his great Texas BBQ book and those great t-shirts, and the Q Card was for sale, but I've already got mine.

Wild Blue BBQ

They came from near and far, but none further than Wild Blue BBQ from Los Fresnos, Texas. They're just 10 miles from the southern tip of Texas, and traveled over 6 hours to get to the event. They were also the only joint to serve a sandwich, and that chopped beef on a sweet white roll was moist and delicious.

Wild Blue BBQ sample

One great interactive item was a photo-op wall which proved popular to the crowd. Everybody seemed to be posing for a photo under the neon sign.

BBQ fans

Buzzie's Bar-B-Q plate

Buzzie's Bar-B-Q had the most impressive portion with a little of everything. I'd never tried this place before, but their brisket was outstanding today.

Wayne Mueller and a BBQ fanatic

I grabbed a hefty sample from Louie Mueller Barbecue, which was my winner of the day. The beef rib was tremendous, and the brisket was some of the best I've had from LM, not to mention a solid pork rib and spicy sausage.

Cousin's mobile smoker

Most all of the joints were cooking on site, where they had little time to prepare since regulations didn't allow them to set up until 7:00 am for a noon start. The group from City Meat Market in Giddings was working hard all day keeping their fire going. Cousin's brought in a mobile Oyler smoker custom made for them by J&R Manufacturing.

City Meat Market smoker

Kerry Bexley and Tootsie from Snow's

Another great brisket was from Snow's in Lexington. Kerry Bexley is the owner, and he's popular with the ladies. The Crown Royal girls said they couldn't get enough of his sausage. I was a big fan of the brisket and ribs coming from the Hashknife tent.

Hashknife on the Chisholm

Stanley's Famous Pit Bar-B-Q Crew

I think Stanley's was the team having the most fun at the event, and it continued as the People's Choice winner's were announced. They debuted a new recipe sausage which was a huge improvement from their previous offering. I really enjoyed the grind and the spice level and it's from a local (to Tyler) sausage maker.

When the winners were announced it took a while for it to sink in that they had just won over the best-of-the-best in Texas. Johnathan, the pitmaster at Stanley's, hurried to text a photo of the award to his wife who couldn't make it to the event.

The final winners were:
Beef Ribs: Cousin's
Pork Ribs: Stanley's
Sausage: Cousin's
Brisket: Buzzie's and Snow's (tie)

It was truly a great event, and well attended. I can't wait for next year, and I hope all those out there who weren't able to get a ticket this year will jump at the chance to get tickets to 2011 event. You can sign up here to be the first to know.

- BBQ Snob


Lori Middleton said...

All I can say is, WOW! What a great event! My husband and I were in a meat coma when we left. Can't wait for next year!

Jeff said...

Meat coma would be the best way to describe it. What a day, we had a blast.


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.