Not sure about grilled goat? Then head to Brady this Labor Day Weekend (August 29-30, 2014) for the World Championship BBQ Goat Cook-Off, now in its 41st year.
When out-of-town guests visit me in Tyler, and their mouths water for barbecue, my choice, hands down, is Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q. The half-century-old eatery has grown into one of the Rose City’s hottest go-to dining destinations. The joint dishes up a tasteful blend of smoked meats, old-fashioned tradition, and live roots music—plus a slogan I can feel good about: “Be Kind. Have Fun.”
Senior Editor Lori Moffatt recently chatted about briskets, patience, and the importance of fat with Tyler restaurateur Nick Pencis, who revitalized a much-loved Tyler barbecue joint, Stanley’s. Stanley’s dates to 1959, but Nick and his wife, Jen, have modernized the menu and introduced the restaurant to a new generation of barbecue-lovers, all while keeping the longtime clientele happy—no easy feat.
Tom Perini grew up in Abilene in the ’50s, but spent weekends on his family’s ranch 15 miles south at Buffalo Gap. He loved cowboying—being outside, working with cattle, and cooking for the hands. Perini was so good at cooking steaks that other ranchers, including Watt Matthews of the famous Lambshead Ranch in Albany, asked him to cater their shindigs. Matthews even steered Perini’s career from raising beef to cooking it. In 1983, Tom Perini turned the ranch’s hay barn, at the end of a long dirt road, into the rustic Perini Ranch Steakhouse.
Robb Walsh’s new book, Barbecue Crossroads: Notes and Recipes from a Southern Odyssey, is full of tasty barbecue recipes. Here’s a brisket recipe, as well as supplementary recipes for mop sauce and barbecue sauce.
We weren’t looking for just any barbecue restaurants. We had no interest in places that used electric or gas-fired barbecue ovens. We were looking for the keepers of the flame—the last of the old-fashioned Southern barbecue pits,” explains Texas food writer Robb Walsh in the preface of his new book Barbecue Crossroads: Notes and Recipes from a Southern Odyssey.
A series of limestone ledges partially surrounding the small lake inside Meridian State Park has long been my go-to place when I need to disconnect with the hectic world and enjoy a quiet interlude with nature. Just over an hour’s drive from my home in Fort Worth, the park’s cedar thickets, rocky hills, and serene water, tucked away in the landscape that gives way to the Hill Country, restore me when city life wears thin.
During the decades I’ve been traveling and photographing in Texas, I’ve had the pleasure of consuming more than my fair share of great Texas barbecue. Smoked beef brisket, pork loin, and sausage have sustained me for many a mile, but until recently I’d missed out on the savory meat of the humble goat, also known as cabrito. Sure, I’d sampled cabrito at Cooper’s Old Time Bar-B-Que in Llano—at the urging of my more experienced companion and barbecue expert, John Morthland—but the meat of the goat had, in my mind and on my tastebuds, always been overshadowed by the holy trinity of Texas ’cue.
I grew up in a grocery store in Amarillo. My dad and his brother took over the family business from their father when they returned from World War II. In 1962, when I was ten years old, I started going to work with Dad on Saturdays. I carried around a milk crate to stand on so I could work produce or bag groceries, my apron rolled up so I wouldn’t trip on it. The store was a marvelous place for a little kid, but the best part, the heart of it, was the meat market. Central Grocery was known around town for its fine meats, and the star of the operation was the butcher. The butcher was special: He didn’t sack groceries, run the register, trim the lettuce, or stock the shelves. The meat market was off limits to me—its floors were slick, the knives were sharp, and the butcher was not to be disturbed.