Barbecue Heaven

Check out the photos.  My vote goes to Schmitty’s, in Lockhart, Texas.  Lexington Barbecue wins "most overrated."  Thanks to Arnold Kling for the pointer.


Nowhere in Memphis makes the cut? Perhaps Interstate BBQ or Rendevouz.

Regarding Memphis BBQ. Interstate: No. Jim Neely does a masterful job of marketing, but, man, that BBQ been lackluster whenever I have tried it. Last time it had the texture of crock pot cooking.

Rendezvous: Yes. The dry rub is distinctive, the ribs are always flavorful (although they could be more tender, IMHO), and I love the mustard vinegar slaw.

So, the list didn't contain any Arkansas BBQ. Let me suggest 3 places in Central Arkansas: Whole Hog Cafe (which is almost too clean, in a strip mall, but the pulled pork is transcedant). Craig's in DeValls Bluff, which has a slight mustard flavor to its sauce (but not sweet like in SC) and has a pie shop across the street of some reknown. McClard's in Hot Springs, where the fries and ribs are served together in a heap of sauce. Order a cajun tamale if you go.

BBQ and SXSW go together very well.

Very true indeed. And mexican food, of course. Did you perform?

No, I was just there as a fan (both of the music and the 'Cue). Good times. Iggy Pop is nuts. Also free beer competing against $1 pop and $2 water is nuts (and interesting economics). In both cases it's a good kind of nuts.

When Bryant's of KC is on form it's excellent, but it suffers from an over-the-top reputation, but the meat and the sides [except the beans] can be inconsistent. For more consistent KC try Oklahoma Joe's or Gates.

Folks, when in San Francisco (San Francisco? ...Yes!), be sure to check out Memphis Minnie's Barbecue Joint. The brisket and the pulled pork are especially amazing. Bob Kantor, the owner-operator, spent many years traveling through the barbecue regions researching the best barbecue and how it was prepared. His dedication really shows. I can't compare it to anything due to my own lack of experience, but it is so good, I know it can't be (relatively) bad. The meats are dry rubbed, but four of Bob's house made sauces served table side (Texas red, N. Carolina vinegar, S. Carolina mustard, and some kind of habanero hybrid sauce.)

I don't know if it's common, but Memphis Minnie's offers a selection of imported sake to enjoy with the barbecue. (Although, my personal tastes would have me sipping Del Maguey mezcal, but that option only exists at home, so far. It is the most amazing food/beverage pairing ever--if you don't mind calling a an 80+ proof liquor a "beverage".)


I've eaten (multiple times) at every single joint in the article and most of the ones mentioned here. First a disclaimer ... BBQ is a pretty personal thing; That said, Cooper's (Llano) is the best with Cooper's(Mason) coming in a close second. The Salt Lick is good fun (I've been eating there 1/month for 20 years), but I've never understood why people rate the food so highly. Same for Stubb's, go for the music, not the BBQ. Lockhart BBQ (in general) is good, but frankly I like sauce and sides.

I also REALLY like the southern-style BBQ with dry rubs and vinegar-based sauce. I wish I got to that area more often.

Lexington BBQ isn't the most overrated. It is overrated, but the most overrated by far is Rendezvous in Memphis.

Make sure to eat at Sweatman's in South Carolina for the best of Carolina BBQ.

I've occasionally wondered when the next bbq post would be...

I think the Salt Lick has a very high variance on the quality, some times it can be same league as "more serious" BBQ, but not usually, and sometimes its downright below average. Ribs and Brisket Quality seem to be non-correlated though (and its all you can eat family style so P of one being above average on any given visit is pretty good), As long as you get some positive utilitons out of atmosphere, and you BYOB and actually enjoy hanging out before eating I highly recommend it.

I haven't been to any of the Dreamlands, but hear all the ones that aren't the original in T-town are prettty crappy.

Man. I'm salivating. I might work a half day tommorow and go to Lockhart. I'm doing my own brisket and ribs this weekend for my little girls b-day party. Or maybe tri-tip and ribs if I don't feel like getting up early.

I have to back up that Maurice's in SC is amazing, BUT there's a huge issue in my mind. Mr. Bessinger, who is the proprietor, is an unabashed racist who has a tendency to spout out things like "the blacks were lucky to come to America as slaves," and other such nonsense. While I'm more than happy to say he has the right to say stupid things, I certainly have the right not to give him money to support it.

It's a shame though, it was the best BBQ on a 4 state road trip.

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