Daniel Vaughn with the Earburners.


New Podcast: Texas Monthly Barbecue Editor Daniel Vaughn Talks Leafy Greens

Just kidding. The national magazine of Texas meets with the national magazine of Dallas to talk through its list of the state's 50 best barbecue joints.

I can’t imagine there’s a journalist in Texas with a deeper expense account than Daniel Vaughn. Texas Monthly dropped its once-every-four-years best barbecue list last week, filled with 50 joints that Vaughn personally verified. That’s a lot of mileage! This was the first time he oversaw the feature himself, which means when staffers reported back about finding a solid hole-in-the-wall in Laredo, the magazine’s barbecue editor booked a rental car. There’s some low-and-slow takes all over the piece—no Pecan Lodge in the top 10! No Slow Bone at all! Better luck next time, Killen’s!—that Vaughn stands behind.

On Thursday, he scooted into the Old Monk to talk these things and more with Tim Rogers and noted vegetarian Zac Crain. Order’s up:

1. Here is the full list in all its glory. As a web editor, I’m pretty impressed with the design of the Top 10.

2. Here’s The Dallas Morning News’ take on the uptick in drive-by shootings, which the department is pinning on social media. On its face, this might seem a bit silly. But let’s look to Chicago, where this is absolutely an issue. You’ll see why the police department is taking it so seriously.

3. Here’s the Tanya Eiserer story that Eric cites about Dallas’ dissolving gang unit. And the Wilonsky one about gun shopping and bad puns.

4. Background on goat yoga. I still don’t get it.

5. Texas Monthly first named the best barbecue in the world in 1973. It’s interesting reading the piece, seeing familiar names like Louie Mueller, Black’s, and Kreuz get special mentions. It took almost three decades for the magazine to do a larger list, but it settled into its current format in 1997. Here’s that piece. To note how far we’ve come, Sonny Bryan’s made the cut. Here’s their take in 2003, in 2008, and in 2013.

6. If you want more history about meat, here’s a link to Vaughn’s bookThe Prophets of Smoked Meat.

7. Yes, WOF—Warmed Over Flavor—is real. That’s why your chicken and your pork tastes funky after days in the fridge. It’s interesting! Here’s a breakdown on why.

8. Pat Sharpe is Texas Monthly’s longtime food editor.

9. Here’s a Vaughn deep cut about pastrami at Texas barbecue spots.

10. Here is Tim voicing his displeasure with the cover of Texas Monthly.

11. The News‘ food critic once dressed like a mummy during a meal. Seriously. She also once aped his legwork, years ago, in her own barbecue list.


  • Poetaster Dallas

    Dear Lord, it’s me, seeking forgiveness,

    My sin of gluttony at that barbecue business.
    Yes, Pecan Lodge, you must be familiar
    With that smoky place, I think you’ve been there.
    How else to explain such heavenly flavor –
    Mouth waters on entering, what’s not to savor?
    So back to my sin, I just have to admit
    While only two, we ordered enough to befit
    Ten more: pound of burnt ends, pint of slaw,
    The Trough, with large bone on which to knaw
    (And yes, I thought you might definitely agree
    At $eventy Five dollars the rolls should be free).
    And two craft beers each, both before noon,
    Wednesday turned to Friday, a great afternoon!
    To take home with us, we added one Hot Mess
    (In case the leftovers didn’t last, I confess)
    Please God, please forgive me, a lowly sinner,
    Soon now, please hurry, so I can return for dinner.

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