Wednesday, November 24, 2010

BBQ in the News: What's the Best BBQ City?

BBQ has been the recent subject of many magazine articles chronicling 'cue around the country. The one that should provide fodder for the most amount of arguments came from Travel + Leisure Magazine where they claim to have accurately listed them in order from 1-35. We're really only interested in the top 10. From a visitor's standpoint, Memphis and Kansas City take the 1 and 2 slot which is no surprise given they have a city specific style of BBQ. For Texas cities, the order seems to be correct with #3 Austin (if surrounding areas are included), #5 Houston, #7 San Antonio and #9 Dallas/Fort Worth. How Savannah, Georgia makes it in at #6 I'll never know, and the fact that Chicago is all the way down at #16 just below Salt Lake City makes the list suspect to me. Discuss.

If you plan to travel to do some double-checking on that list, then this guide to airport dining from Food & Wine will help you find the best places to eat around the nation's airports. BBQ options include Cousin's at DFW Airport, Corky's in Memphis, Salt Lick in Austin, Brookwood Farms BBQ in Charlotte.

The Austin based blogger "Donna Cooks" didn't need a flight to get to Franklin BBQ where she provides this review. The pictures are great and the writing better than any of my reviews. She also had the persistence to go back just to try the fatty brisket. That's my kind of BBQ fan.

If you want to learn so smoke like they do over at Franklin's, then you'll need to hone your skills at the BBQ Summer Camp. Foodways Texas brings this event to Texas A&M in June 2011.

Or you could just have El Smokeador smoke it for you. One half of the blog El Smokeador Y El Smokehopper has branched out to form a catering business.

If you'll be in Dallas in early January, then be sure to check out the opening of Lockhart Smokehouse. Follow their new twitter page to get the latest updates.

Finally, I came across this press release for "Hill Country Texas BBQ". From the fact that they want to "develop and design that segment that will compete nationally" makes it sounds like a Dickey's wannabe, but I've never heard of these folks, even with Dallas Cowboy great Jay Novacek as a spokesman. Claiming to be "without a doubt the best in Texas" on their website makes them sound a bit haughty. Has anyone heard of this company?

- BBQ Snob


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the shoutout, BBQ Snob!

Anonymous said...

Living up this way, my gut feeling is Chicago is ranked so low because the most famous Chicago food is NOT barbecue, but Chicago style pizza, hot dogs, etc. Basically other Chicago food types are so famous, that BBQ isn't really thought of that much from a regional / national perspective for the city, though as your reviews have shown Chicago has some above average / excellent BBQ.

Unknown said...

If I've learned one thing about barbecue, it's that if you have to advertise you are the best in your town/county/state/country/continent/planet, odds are your joint isn't that great. This also applies for hamburgers.


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.