Every year, Texas Monthly picks what they consider to be the 50 best barbecue places in the state. (With the level of humility that many associate with Texas, this year the magazine declares the Texas top 50 to be the 50 best in the world.) Here’s the current list:
These 50 are a far cry from the top 50 in 2010 when Nancy and I were in Texas. I was strategically placed in Waco, where I was a visiting professor at Baylor Law School for a term, within a reasonable drive of most of the best barbecue in Texas. Actually, Waco is a good place for barbecue. I had consistently excellent brisket and sausage at the Rudy’s branch there, and they sometimes had Dogfish Head for $2.50. Uncle Dan’s also is good. Waco also is the home of Katy’s Frozen Custard, which is easily the best frozen custard on earth — just ask Nancy Tanner, the frozen custard expert — and the Health Camp, which has very good burgers and milk shakes. And Waco is close to West, Texas, home of the Czech Stop and wonderful kolaches.
Back to the Texas Monthly list. I thought the City Market in Luling was the best overall – top two in every category. Snow’s had the best brisket, Kreuz Market had the best sausage and 3d best brisket, and Virgie’s had the best ribs. Cousin’s was good, as were many other places. Texas is blessed with a large number of places that use real wood and have skilled pit artists. What they need is pork, lots of pork.
The current Texas Monthly list contains a lot of places that have opened up in the past few years, famously Franklin’s of the 3-hour wait, as part of general barbecue renaissance that is matched in other states by places like The Pit and Saw’s. I’ll have to get back there. In the meantime, I welcome comments about places on the list, or that should be on the list.