Monday, January 15, 2018

2018 Houston BBQ Festival tickets on sale now

The fest takes place April 15 at a new location, the Humble Civic Center.  25 BBQ joints from Houston and beyond.  Blake's BBQ, Blood Bros. BBQ, The Brisket House, CorkScrew BBQ, El Burro & the Bull, Fainmous BBQ, Feges BBQ, Gatlin’s BBQ, Gerardo’s, Harlem Road Texas BBQ, Jackson Street BBQ, Killen's Barbecue, Lenox Bar-B-Que, Louie Mueller Barbecue, Pinkerton's BBQ, Pizzitola’s Bar-B-Cue, Ray’s BBQ Shack, Roegels Barbecue Co., Southern Q BBQ, Southside Market & BBQ, Spring Creek Barbeque, Tejas Chocolate (& BBQ), The Pit Room, Tin Roof BBQ, and Truth BBQ.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

R.I.P. Hubert and Shari Green

Daniel Vaughn's blog reports that Hubert and Shari Green, former owners of North Main BBQ in Euless, passed away just before Christmas.  That was my favorite local BBQ joint for many years.  Back in the day, their ribs were the best to be found anywhere. Thank you, Mr. Green, for all the wonderful meals I had there.  My sympathies to his family and many friends.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Planning ahead

Red Dirt 2018 is scheduled for May 5, lineup released on January 25 and tickets go on sale on February 1.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

8th annual Blues, Bandits, and BBQ, Oak Cliff

sampled 11/18/17
This was our third year in a row at this fun little event held in a city park in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas.  There were about 30 teams competing for trophies and bragging rights.  For $25 you got to sample a bit of everything for the People's Choice award.  The crowds are always small and you never have to wait in long lines.  Several blues bands took turns playing on the small stage during the afternoon.
The main issue this year was the wind.  Planning anything outdoors in North Texas this time of year is always iffy.  Sustained winds blew through at 20 mph with gusts up to 40.  A number of tents, pans, and plates were casualties.  Temperatures were in the 60's which made for a pretty nice Fall day, even with the wind.
The food was a mixed bag of mostly average competition BBQ.  Sample size also varied widely from a full boat with sides, to just 1 piece of sausage.  Few samples had good smoke flavor.  Brisket was all over the map from inedible to very tasty.  The best brisket I had came from these guys.

Pulled pork was at almost every stand but only one had whole hog this year.  None of it stood out to my taste buds.
I think I had ribs at 4 stands but each was either under cooked or over cooked.  Sausage showed up at about half the stands but there was one that really stood out.  Midway Hollow Meat Company had a home made jalapeno cheese sausage that was just awesome.  It was a little wetter than the Kreuz variety that I love, but it also had more heat and a casing with a nice snap.  They got my People's Choice token.  In fact, I went online and tried to see if they had a local location where I could get more of that sausage.  Sadly, I can't seem to find anything online.  If I can find them I want to buy more of that sausage!  I could never get a good photo of the sausage being sliced because they always had one of the longer lines.
Four of the stands had candied pork belly so that has definitely become a thing.  1 was great, 2 were average, one had no meat, just fat.  There were also lots of little pulled pork and brisket tacos, and even a bacon/doughnut sandwich.
I still think this is one of the best bargains on the BBQ festival circuit.  There is lots of good food, music, kids throwing footballs, folks bring their dogs, and it's just a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  We will be back next year!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Veterans Day BBQ at Lakewood Brewery

3 local craft beers plus BBQ with proceeds going to benefit a veteran's charity.  Get tix before they are gone.

Thanks to Scott for the heads up.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Blues, Bandits, and BBQ coming November 18th

Tasting tickets available now.  This is a fun event with lots of tasty BBQ.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Smokey Mae's BBQ, Mansfield

Sampled 10/21/17
A band I enjoy was supposed to be playing this place tonight so I took the 40 minute trip down to Mansfield to check out the Q and hear some tunes.  This place opened May 6 and is set up like a central Texas BBQ joint or similar to Hard 8 which has several locations in North Texas.  You enter through the pit room and order off a warming pit.
The pits that do the real work are off to the side in the same open air building.
They have a large selection of meats to choose from, but I stuck with brisket, sausage, and pork ribs. 
I also added some big armadillo eggs (peppers stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon) and some Texas fries. 
I got through the line pretty quickly and moved out to the bar area which is where the live music was taking place.  My fries and armadillo eggs were delivered hot and crispy to my table and I grabbed some of their complimentary pinto beans by the drink counter.  Unfortunately, my food photo was a bit messed up as I dumped half my cup of beans on the ribs while trying to set up for a photo. 
I won't say this was the worst BBQ meal I have ever had, but it was right up there.  If you look at that brisket it looks great.  However it failed the pull apart test in a major way.  I literally could not pull the brisket slice apart with my bare hands.  I sort of had to gnaw on it like a stick of beef jerky.  There was zero smoke flavor and the fat was un-rendered chewy rubber.  Yikes.  Next I tried the ribs and they were a little more tender, but only just so.  Again I had to gnaw the meat off the bone.  There was no smoke flavor but there was a bit of bitterness which might have been from some slightly green mesquite smoke or maybe from some spice combination I could not recognize.  They were also very dry, even though I had dumped bean juice on them.  The sausage was very average fine ground with tough casing that needed removal before swallowing.

The highlights of the meal were the french fries and the pinto beans. 

Despite the shortcomings of my meal they were doing a great business and there were more people in the bar than in the main dining room.  The band I drove down to see never showed up and I did not wait around for them.  Maybe they had stopped to eat some dinner elsewhere before the gig.