Goldis Sausage Co.

You won’t find brisket or pork ribs at Goldis Sausage Co, but you will find some of the finest sausages you have ever put in your mouth.

Keenan Goldis, owner and chief sausage scientist, operates this trailer behind Crow Bar on South Congress. Somehow it managed to slip by my radar even though I live right down the road. Well, I’m about to make up for all that missed time.

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Curly’s Carolina, TX

The barbecue revolution of Austin has finally spread into Round Rock. Curly’s Carolina, TX is the official representative for new school barbecue up there and I had the pleasure of trying it out at a recent soft opening.

It should be clear by the name that Curly’s Carolina, TX seeks to blend two styles of barbecue. However, it wasn’t until I arrived that I learned it was South Carolina and not North Carolina being represented here. I’m actually very unfamiliar with South Carolina barbecue so naturally I was excited.

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Two Bros. BBQ Market

Let me tell you about the last time I was in San Antonio.

It was 2002 and I was on my way from Kentucky to a camp way out in BFE Texas to meet some folks who, like myself, would be attending Texas Tech. I stopped in San Antonio with my mom and brother, saw the Alamo and ate a Whataburger. That’s it. That’s all the San Antonio experience I have in my whole life.

Luckily, I recently had to take my wife to the airport in San Antonio and had the opportunity to eat at a few different restaurants.

What I found shocked me.

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Freedmen’s Bar

Just off the corner of 24th and San Gabriel sits an historic building. The rustic, stone facade gives way to a small, but comfortable interior that looks as if it was plucked right out of the early 1900’s.

A pre-prohibition style bar, adorned with bold wood and surrounded by comfortable leather chairs, spans the length of the main room. A dramatic wooden door conceals one of the nicest patio areas in Austin. The unmistakable scent of burning post oak fills the air.

Freedmen’s Bar is not like the other BBQ joints in Texas.

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Duke’s Brew & Que, London

Just a few hours after arriving in London I had developed an insatiable desire for barbecue. Unfortunately, my British friends told me barbecue is somewhat elusive in Britain. Challenge accepted, fellas.

After a bit of research I found Duke’s Brew & Que just 1 mile from my flat. We headed out with low expectations and a fistful of pound sterlings to find some British barbecue.

From the outside Duke’s looked like…a British pub. The staff was incredibly friendly with Nick, a young, fashionable and incredibly attentive server taking care of us. We grabbed our seat outside and studied the menu. Continue reading “Duke’s Brew & Que, London”

Cantrell’s Bar-B-Que

Cantell’s Bar-B-Que is in East Nashville, on a quiet street corner, tucked away in a neighborhood. They’re also one of the few decent BBQ joints open on Sunday.

I ordered the spare rib plate with mac and cheese and turnip greens. I also had the pork shoulder sandwich. Both plates came with hot barbecue sauce.

The ribs were basically not seasoned and essentially void of smoke. They did have a nice pork flavor and were very tender.

The shoulder sandwich was a tad tougher than I care for, but still decent, even though the bun had been soaked to a mush.

I didn’t feel like the food I got was fresh. There was no smoke in the air and nothing that indicated I was in a BBQ joint (other than the menu).

I’m hopeful that Nashville has significantly better BBQ than Cantrell’s. it wasn’t bad in a pinch, but I can’t see myself returning.
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Whup’s Boomerang Bar-B-Q

About 25 miles east of I-35, smack in the middle of Waco and Temple, sits a small, unassuming barbecue joint called Whup’s Boomerand Bar-B-Q. Whup’s is situated in a very small “country” neighborhood, just off a main road. If there was no sign in the front you’d probably miss it altogether.

The pit boss and owner, Ben Washington, grew up the son of a railroad worker and has been around barbecue all of his life. When he was young, his father routinely cooked cabrito (baby goat) in a 50 gallon drum smoker. His uncle, who greatly influenced Washington’s cooking, was a chef for decades.

Ben Washington, owner and pit master at Whup's.
Ben Washington, owner and pit master at Whup’s. Photo credit: Robert Lerma

Washington worked as a sales/delivery man for Pepsi for 25 years. In 1991, he opened a BBQ joint in Marlin that ultimately failed 4 years later. However, in 1999 Washington left Pepsi after 25 years of service and opened Whup’s.

Pepsi’s consistency and dedicated to quality control was an inspiration for Washington. “When you open a Pepsi, it tastes the same every time. That’s how I want my product to be.” That kind of mentality is the sign of a dedicated, mature pit master.

Since Whup’s is off the beaten path, I decided to order basically everything off the menu. I got a sausage, hot link, pork ribs, moist and lean brisket, chicken leg and thigh, baked beans and potato salad.

Holy Trinity (plus a hot link and a chicken lag/thigh)
Holy Trinity (plus a hot link and a chicken lag/thigh)
Moist brisket from Whup's.
Moist brisket from Whup’s.

The brisket, which cooks for 12-15 hours over mesquite, oak and sometimes pecan wood, had a great smoke flavor and, aside from a bit of dryness in the lean, was very tasty. The moist piece in particular was excellent and sported an almost crisp piece of fat that melted in my mouth.

The sausage and hot link both had a nice flavor and good smoke level, but were a bit overshadowed by the brisket.

The pork rib, however, was nice and smokey and gently separated form the bone, but didn’t “fall off”. The meat was soft and the salinity was generally well balanced.

The chicken thigh was as soft as butter and absolutely delicious. The skin, though not as crisp as I dream about, was still very good and I consumed it with vigor.

Finally, the beans and potato salad were fairly average, but still complemented the meat very well. Particularly the coolness of the potato salad.

Whup’s isn’t really near much of anything, so it is definitely a destination spot for fellow barbecue travelers. However, I definitely recommend a visit. If anything, you’ll enjoy eating very solid barbecue in a country setting.

Click here for a REALLY MASSIVE panorama of Whup’s.

Converted to Snow’s BBQ

“So early.”

That’s all I could manage to say to Robert, my BBQ travel companion and talented photographer, at 4:45am on a Saturday morning. The last time I went to Snow’s BBQ it was early, but not nearly this early.

Robert and I were on the road by 5:25am that Saturday and made it to Snow’s at around 6:30am. Thankfully, we had tons of caffeine.

When we arrived the scene was surreal: dawn light penetrating through the thick, sweet, oak smoke billowing from the numerous pits and blanketing the whole area in a velvety haze. Red hot coals peeping out of small cracks in the fireboxes, staring back at us like the eyes of a fictitious dragon in the dark. It was as if witchcraft was being performed, except instead of “eye of newt” there was “brisket of cow”, “ribs of pig” and…sausage.

When we arrived I saw Tootsie, a pit master in her 47th year of cooking barbecue, stirring a huge pot with a long wooden spoon. Maybe this was barbecue witchcraft after all…

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