Last weekend, Texas Monthly threw a big barbecue party and everyone was invited. Everyone, that is, who was on the barbecue ball - as I heard these tickets sold out during pre-sale (big thanks to our friend Mari, who is quite possibly the most organized person I know, and who was on the phone buying our tickets no more than 0.000001 seconds after the pre-sale began).
Let me tell you, this was a glorious event. For a mere $15, we had access to unlimited samples from twenty of the fifty best barbecue joints in the state as listed by Texas Monthly. This includes quite a few places from far-flung locales, as well as the place that earned the #1 spot on the list, Snow's Barbecue in Lexington, Texas. I was particularly excited about trying Snow's, because they are only open Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. until they run out of meat (before noon, I've heard), and I had yet to make the trek out there.
I sampled from sixteen different places and drank two Shiner brews before throwing in the WetNap and calling it a day.
One of the many "samples" I had. See why I didn't make it through all twenty?
Succumbing to a barbecue pusher from Lambert's.
Two of the items in my food bloggers' toolbox for the day.
Although I snatched de-meat from my jaws of victory, I was still able to pick out some f(l)avorites:
Brisket: Snow's. The hype is true. So tender you'll still be able to eat it when you're 100 years old.
Sausage: City Meat Market. I like a coarser grind to my sausage, and theirs was just right. Juicy but not heavy, and the flavor was terrific.
Beef Rib: Louie Mueller. Pepper crusted and so good that I wanted to keep eating it even though this was the 16th sample I'd tried.
Pork Rib: Ehhhhh. I love pork ribs, but surprisingly, I didn't find one here that stood out from the rest.
Sides: Most places didn't bring sides with them, so this really shouldn't be a category, but I wanted to give a shout-out to Wild Blue BBQ from Los Fresnos, who was serving up by far the most moist, most amazing cornbread I've ever had in my life.
Looks like the others at the Festival (at least, the ones who bothered to text-vote) didn't agree with my picks, with the exception of Snow's. People's Choice award winners here.
A very small portion of the aftermath.
After this photo was taken, we stumbled to the car and collapsed into meat comas.
Texas Monthly says this will be an annual event. Click on the link to the left on this page to get on the mailing list for info about next year's MeatFest. See you there!