What to have at a barbecue?
Does your idea of a good vacation involve smoked brisket, sausage links, and beef ribs? We’ve got the perfect thing for you—a road trip through the Lone Star State, stopping at author Robb Walsh’s favorite spots.
1. Clark’s Outpost
101 Highway 377, Tioga, TX
People used to drive for hours to eat the famous barbecue at Clark’s Outpost in the tiny town of Tioga, north of Denton. The place is not what it used to be, but the pork ribs are still good and so is the ham. The side dishes and desserts are the main attractions these days. There are green salads, baked potatoes, french fries, and corn on the cob, among many other vegetables. An appealing array of elaborate desserts is also offered, including bread pudding, Dutch apple pie, and a chocolate meringue pie that’s over a foot tall.
2. Neely’s Sandwich Shop
1404 E Grand Avenue, Marshall, TX
The Brown Pig, made with chopped barbecued pork on a bun with mayo and shredded lettuce, is the signature sandwich at Neely’s Sandwich Shop, and it’s become so iconic that most people mistakenly call the restaurant Neely’s Brown Pig. When the place was founded in 1927 as Neely and Sons, the chopped pork sandwiches sold for just fifteen cents each. Hickory is burned in the restaurant’s steel barbecue pit, so the pork butts, briskets, and hams are all wood-smoked. Bill Moyers, a Marshall native and Neely’s fan, called it “the best sandwich between here and China.”
3. New Zion Missionary Baptist Church Barbecue
2601 Montgomery Road, Huntsville, TX
This combination Baptist church and barbecue joint has been called the Church of the Holy Smoke. You sit down and eat family-style at community tables in a little church hall. A Southern Pride stainless-steel oven has replaced the old-fashioned steel pits, but the tender East Texas–style ribs and brisket are still passable. Above all, save room for the wonderful homemade sides and desserts.
4. Martin’s Place
3403 S College Avenue, Bryan, TX
Third-generation pitmaster Steven Kapchinskie runs Martin’s Place, which is named after his grandfather, Martin Kapchinskie, who opened the business in 1924. The barbecue joint was owned by Steven’s father, Albin Kap- chinskie, until his death in 1980. The restaurant is frozen in time because, as Steven explains, “if I change anything, I have to get a building permit, and then I’d have to redo everything to code. Even if I just bought a new stove, I’d have to get a vent hood.” Ask for a tour of the ancient pits.
5. Leon’s “World’s Finest” In & Out B-B-Q House
5427 Broadway St at 55th, Galveston, TX
This is a good place to grab some ribs to go for lunch on the beach, but if you want to sample some awesome sides, sit down at one of the eight tables. The potato salad is the best you’ll ever have at a barbecue joint.