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Texas Monthly BBQ Festival

h
hnewburn Sep 20, 2010 11:48 AM

Was at the BBQ Festival at the Long Center on Sunday. Tickets were $14 if you ordered them beforehand and it was essentially an all you can eat BBQ extravaganza.

Very well done setup. Out on the big patio, with bathrooms and A/C inside, two big tents with lots of seating at long tables and fans, as well as the big swamp cooler fans in between the booths. 19 BBQ Vendors there (Shoepf's Old Time BBQ was absent due to the hurricane damage). A handful of other people (Shiner, Huntsville Visitors Center, Seaworld, et al. were there) and a couple of cooking demos I didn't see. Beer and full bar available, there were several containers of ice water available which was nice. Really great bands playing.

Got there at 12:30 (lasted from 12-5) , easy parking in the garage. Got a reusable HEB bag with a program, paper fan, tasting card and a couple of other things.

A few of my notes:

Stanley's Famous Pit Bar-B-Q - Best pork ribs there. Baby back ribs that are eaty, smoky, very tender, slightly sweet and peppery. Everything a pork rib should be. Crew was having a great time.

Bertram Bar B Que - Just fantastic all-pork sausage, almost like a great bratwurst, mellow not overly flavor. Only thing I bought to take home with me they were so good. Very good brisket as well.

Giddings Meat Market - Nothing memorable

Taylor Cafe - Excellent pork ribs, really thick, meaty spare ribs, not usually a fan, but I'd get into these.

Smitty's Market - Good sausage, toughest brisket that I had there and not flavorful, pork ribs were OK, brought pickles, crackers and cheese as well.

Hashknife Barbeque - Nice meaty beef ribs, nothing else memorable

Casstevens Cahs & Carry - Good beef ribs, nic texture, not overly greasy/oily good meat selection.

Buzzie's Bar-B-Q - Nothing exciting

Wild Blue BBQ - Everyone was talking about their corn pudding, akin to cornbread. Good stuff. Pork ribs were nice and tender, served mini chopped-beef sandwiches that definitely needed sauce.

Lamberts - Great pulled pork, brought escabeche as well. Good brisket, ribs OK.

TC's Ponderosa - Pineapple banana pudding and spicy saltine crackers were more memorable than the BBQ.

Baby J's Bar-B-Que & Fish - Had pulled pork, but not much to it, rest was forgettable

Snow's - Great Sausage - OK Brisket (remember it being better there)

Skipped Vincek's, I was way too full.

Others that were there that I didn't try (just no way to eat any more ) - Louie Mueller's (were essentially serving whole beef ribs / BBQ plates), Coleman's BBQ, Cooper's, Cousin's Barbecue and Kruez. I'd been to most of these before, but just way too much food.

I will absolutely go next year, just plan better to make room for more. Everyone was having a great time, sharing at tables. comparing tasting notes, wondering why Luling, Blacks and the Salt Lick weren't there. I hope somebody made money or at least broke even, it was a great experience. At 2:45 when we left, it was still going strong.

Next year, I'll bring some foil to keep leftovers, plan to stay longer, split plates of food and pace myself.

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Smitty's Market
208 S Commerce St, Lockhart, TX 78644

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    Carter B. RE: hnewburn Sep 20, 2010 12:24 PM

    Looks like, hnewburn, and I were writing our posts at the same time. Thanks for the comments. It is interesting to compare our differences since some placed I liked you didn't and vice versa. Giddings and Casstevens to think of two.

    PS. I think we work together...

    1. ellen4441 RE: hnewburn Sep 22, 2010 10:16 PM

      hi, I was there, too !
      Loved the brisket from Baby J's....and the Bertram BBQ, and Buzzie's !
      (Buzzie's and Snow's ended up tying for 1st place in the best brisket category, the peoples choice awards..... (4 15 pm ceremony)
      Fest ended around 430....safe to say everyone was stuffed !!!
      and more rain was likely... as it was raining off and on

      I agree , SMITTY'S brisket was tough!!!
      And Louis Mueller's brisket and beef ribs were tough for me, but I gotta give them a walk, cuz I caught them at the very tail end...

      Coleman's was boring too me ...(just chopped , stringy brisket in a little cup)
      you did'nt miss much

      Cousin's was decent, but not remarkable to me ...
      (not compared with the other standouts I had there)

      Agreed that the folks at Stanley's could not be NICER !!!
      I took pics of them all smiling when they won their best pork rib award...
      and one guy could not stop smiling all day...
      I would have to say that their team and Buzzie's were the friendliest..
      as well as Bertram's...

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