Southern Living magazine's newly published list of The South's Top 50 Barbecue Joints contains all the usual suspects. Texas representatives include Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor and two of the big three in Lockhart, Kreuz Market and Black's Barbecue.
Looking east of the Sabine River, barbecue columnist Robert Moss has included spots familiar to anyone who has traveled the barbecue trail: Big Bob Gibson in Alabama, Lexington Barbecue in North Carolina and Scott's Bar-B-que in South Carolina.
Despite the comprehensive nature of Moss's list, not a single Houston or Dallas barbecue joint makes the cut. What gives?
And yet, despite the comprehensive nature of Moss's list, not a single Houston or Dallas barbecue joint makes the cut. What gives?
In an accompanying blog post, Moss admits his is a "working list" of the best places he's been to in the past nine months. "In a region with such a broad and diverse barbecue tradition — and with so many square miles to cover between El Paso and Baltimore — this a rather daunting undertaking, and I will admit that there are still a few places on my short list that I haven’t gotten to yet," Moss writes.
Here's hoping Houston is one of those places, and that Moss has some of our top prospects on his "short list." After all, as I discussed this week on KUHF's Houston Matters, barbecue in this city has never been better. While Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn makes regular trips to Houston, it's time the rest of the country started paying attention, too.
"My travels are far from complete, and this list is still a work in progress. What have I missed out on so far? Please let us know," Moss writes. Well, sir, here goes.
Places like Killen's Barbecue in Pearland, CorkScrew BBQ in Spring and Gatlin's BBQ (coming soon to Oak Forest) have raised the bar. In turn, established places like Roegels Barbecue (formerly Baker's Ribs) and The Brisket House have stepped up and started producing higher quality products that hold their own with the best of central Texas. Up-and-coming talent like Blood Bros. Barbecue, Pappas Charlies Barbeque and Pinkerton's Barbecue ensure that Houston will continue to be a force on the barbecue front for years to come.
Surely at least two or three can find a spot on Moss's list — even if that means he has to cut down a couple of the 12 Tennessee entrants or the whopping 18 Carolina joints (North and South, nine each) to squeeze in, at the very least, Killen's, CorkScrew and Pecan Lodge in Dallas. After all, surely 25 different variations of smoked pig is sufficient to represent the style, right?
Robert Moss, come back to Texas. Give Houston barbecue its due.