No hype here – Snow’s BBQ in Lexington is the real deal. Rightfully earning one of our top 2 spots on my Texas Best BBQ Top 20.
This BBQ lover continues to be impressed by Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ located on Manchaca in South Austin. Pitmaster Miguel Vidal and his team consistently deliver amazing smoky brisket, spicy sausage, best in class pork ribs and a nice range of signatures side items. Took my friends Sean Finnegan & Ginger Sofia recently and it made for a truly memorable lunch. We are not the only ones taking notice. They were included in the last Texas Monthly Top 50 and was featured two weeks ago on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives. It’s a destination BBQ joint. Go hungry!
Met Texas Pitmaster Grant Morgan I spent Saturday afternoon checking out all three BBQ joints in Llano. Coopers, Laird’s & Inman’s. At Inman’s I got a warm, small town Texas welcome and a VIP pit tour from Grant & his wife Kayla. They took over 2 years ago the business his grandparents opened in 1967. My mesquite smoked, moist brisket, cole slaw, beans & home made bread were spot on. He also let me sample his jalapeño turkey sausage – super lean, super tasty. I’m hooked on it now. Check em out next time you’re in Llano. Tell ’em Sheehan sent you. And remember, life’s too short to eat bad brisket.
Meet my new friend pitmaster Kenneth Laird. Kenneth & his wife Esther have owned Laird’s “Real Texas” BBQ in Llano for 46 years. He’s originally from San Saba TX. He served me up a tasty slice of moist, mesquite smoked brisket & some amazing beans. They don’t take credit cards so I wrote him a check, yes a $5 check. He offered to give me my lunch for free. Kenneth also proudly served in the army in Vietnam. He has 22 pieces of shrapnel in him to remember his time serving our country. Fellas like Kenneth make me so proud to be an American & why I love being on the TX BBQ trail in little Texas towns like Llano. Drop by Laird’s next time you are in Llano, tell him Sheehan
Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ is South Austin’s best BBQ. Owner Miguel Vidal is an accomplished pitmaster who has spent much of his life working in the restaurant & BBQ business. Last week’s visit had us sampling perfectly smoky brisket, spicy jalapeno cheddar sausage & tender pork ribs. Each of these three meats were simply perfect. It’s no wonder they were recently recognized as one of Texas Monthly’s Top 50. We are so impressed they’re going in our Texas BBQ Trail Top 10. I love that Miguel named his BBQ joint after his daughter Valentina.
We’re excited to welcome Creekside Cookers BBQ to the Sheehan Can Texas BBQ Trail Top 20. Kelly & his wife Melody are both full time teachers. Kelly teaches 6th grade world history & Melody is a reading specialist. But on Saturdays they sell about 400 lbs of perfect BBQ on RR 12 in Wimberley. They use pecan wood and slow smoke brisket, pork ribs, sausage, chicken, pulled pork with amazing sides too. The brisket and pork ribs get an 11 score on a 10 point scale. The cole slaw, corn soufflé & peach cobbler topped off an amazing meal on my latest Texas BBQ run. Teachers and pitmasters are some of the hardest working people I know. This dynamic duo of Kelly & Melody happen to be both. Another teacher friend, Paul Dixon works with them as well. Do yourself a favor and head down RR 12 South to Wimberley on a Saturday morning to check out their great Q — but get their early by 10:30 – 11:00am. They sell out fast!!
Thank God It’s Friday – BBQ Time, had an amazing lunch with 9 yr. army veteran & Merrill Lynch advisor Cory Boyles. Cory had perfectly smoky moist brisket, corn casserole & Mac Cheese. I had awesome turkey, coleslaw & cucumber salad. Our pitmaster buddies Lance Kirkpatrick & Bill Dumas gave us the VIP pit tour. Stiles Switch is now my #1 favorite BBQ joint in Texas. They consistently smoke great Q and their sides are fresh & super tasty. I love that they have 4 pits going most all of the time. They don’t plan on selling out. It takes a lot of dedication and hard work. Every time I take friends there they are blown away by the perfectly smoky moist brisket, tasty sausage, pork ribs, their amazing big beef ribs. Keep up the great work boys!!
Smitty’s BBQ in Lockhart is probably the coolest BBQ joint in Texas. It’s an old meat market which hasn’t changed much through the years. They serve up great BBQ – sausage links, smoked brisket, pork ribs with many tasty sides as well. As you walk in you see dark black walls, from the years of smoke and a number of open fires fueling their pits. This was the original location as well for Kreuz market before they “carried their fire” with them to their new location in Lockhart. Lockhart is known as the BBQ Capital of Texas. It’s rightly named as they have 4 excellent BBQ joints – Smitty’s, Kreuz, Black’s & Chisholm Trail. Taking good pictures for my blog takes some work too.
We love Brown’s BBQ in Austin. They have a BBQ food trailer located on S. Lamar. Thanks to my BBQ buddy John Kaechle for introducing me to Brown’s. Another Texas BBQ family operation, Daniel Brown knows how to slow smoke a beef brisket to perfection. The moist brisket we had was truly incredible. So go check them out…and take home some for your family and friends.
I was blown away with the perfectly smoked BBQ at Freedmen’s – Austin. Located on 24th & San Grabriel, pitmaster Evan Leroy is slow smoking some of the best Q in town. This is a must visit place…check out their great selection of premium bourbons & whiskeys too. Call a taxi if necessary.
BBQ times are best enjoyed with family & friends. It’s All Good in Spicewood is a great Hill Country BBQ destination. The brisket today is perfectly moist & smoky because pitmaster Frankie Hoch is the real deal. The consistently put out a great product.
Meet 3rd generation pitmaster Jack Smith, wife Sylvia and sons Daniel & Dewayne. His granddad Jack Smith and Dad Jack Smith have been smoking tasty brisket, sausage and ribs since 1955. The BBQ I enjoyed today was slow smoked over red oak and was super smoky, moist and tasty. What a nice treat here in Cut ‘N Shoot near Cleveland. They are located at 17560 105 East, Cut N Shoot 77306, phone 936-445-1372 See picture of their restaurant now and trailer they started in 2004. We love the tradition of small town Texas family BBQ…the Smith’s know how to do it right.
Do BBQ sides really matter? If you have a favorite side from a Texas BBQ joint I want to know. Here is one that will stick to your ribs. Tator tot casserole. Bread, beans, creamy cole slaw, vinegar based cole slaw, potato salad, corn casserole, mac n cheese, squash, roasted corn, jalapeno corn, green beans…the list goes on. While the meat is most always the main attraction, perfectly prepared from scratch sides are also popular. The best BBQ joints have their own signature sides
BBQ & Beer is a great way to bring friends together. Here in Lake Travis we meet monthly at Infamous Brewing for relaxed networking. This group is called GAP (Greater Austin Professionals) and we meet the 2nd Tuesday every month from 6-8pm. In May, we had a blast by including Schmidt Family BBQ – Bee Cave pitmasters Chad Franks, Jeremy Smith & Troy Warlick. They smoked a perfect brisket for everyone to sample and also shared Central Texas BBQ tips. Tips included how to buy a smoker, the right wood, how to buy a brisket, fire management, how to prep and slice a brisket. A great time was had by all. If you want to become a better backyard pitmaster, check out Schmidt Family BBQ’s Smoke 101 class offered every 1-2 months and co-sponsored by Infamous Bewing with my buddy Josh Horowitz. Call David at 512-751-3080 to find out more details.
Texas BBQ Pitmaster legend Aaron Franklin just won the best chef in the Southwest, James Beard Award. This is a huge honor and signifies how much Aaron has done for Texas BBQ. The message the award sent. “It is a monumental shift for the culinary world to recognize barbecue like this.” He beat out many notable top chefs. But in my book, the title pitmaster is a top honor in of itself. Texas pitmasters put so much work and long hours into slow smoking tasty beef brisket, sausage, pork ribs and beef ribs. Aaron has clearly elevated the BBQ playing field and in doing so made Austin the #1 BBQ city in the USA, even beating out Memphis and Lockhart. His attention to detail, daily preparation and planning and approach to BBQ as part art and part science has led him to smoke some of the very best Q you’ll find anywhere. Franklin’s BBQ is consistently top notch. Personally, I do enjoy Franklin’s BBQ despite the line. You get to smell that smoke, anticipate for hours that moist brisket and in doing so meet some cool folks from all around the world on that line. I can also highly recommend his book.
Great time last night at Infamous Brewing with my brewmaster buddy Josh Horowitz. Josh hosted Smokey Denmark’s pitmaster extraordinaire Bill Dumas and local blues favorite Ru Coleman. Check out Infamous Brewery off 620 & Husdon Bend. Bill smoked some great brisket, tasty sausage and offered his specialty “Double Oinker” pulled pork / sausage sandwich which was a big hit by all. Highly recommend you check out Smokey Denmark’s in Austin on East 5th. Drop by to hear Ru Coleman who is a mainstay at Poodie’s Roadhouse in Spicewood on Hwy. 71
Just love enjoying on special occasions a Texas Sized Beef Rib from my pitmaster buddy Lance Kirkpatrick at Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew in Austin. They are conveniently located on 6600 North Lamar in Austin. Lance got his start at Louie Mueller BBQ in Taylor. Taylor is a legendary BBQ town and it is a big deal we have such a great BBQ joint here in Austin. They do all their smoking the old school way. Low and slow over post oak. Beyond their beef ribs I also give top scores on their smoky brisket, jalapeno cheese sausage, pork ribs, cole slaw and their signature side — corn casserole. Drop by for small town Texas BBQ in not so small Austin.
OK BBQ lovers…we all love to eat the good stuff. But most of us have no idea how to slow smoke a perfect Texas Brisket. Schmidt Family BBQ in Bee Cave with pitmasters Chad Franks & Jeremy Smith are giving you an opportunity to eat some great Q, enjoy a cold Infamous brew and learn from the pros. You’ll learn the history of Central Texas BBQ, how to pick the right brisket, how to season, what wood to use, how to smoke and even how to slice a Texas brisket. Gonna be big fun! See you November 11th in Bee Cave.