Introducing The New Barbecue Joint Heavyweight Champion Of The World (Texas)
You know how we refer to the team that wins the Super Bowl as "world champions" even though technically they only played against teams in the United States and not the entire world? Well that's pretty much the same thing that applies here. Sure, Texas Monthly just released their list of the Top 50 BBQ Joints in Texas for 2021. But for all intents and purposes, if you're on the top of that list then that means you're the best BBQ joint in the world.
Don't get me wrong. There are a ton of unreal places in the Carolinas like Rodney Scott's and Lewis. There are a ton of great places in Kansas City like Char Bar and Harp Barbecue. California has a killer barbecue scene going right now with spots like Horn Barbecue and Heritage. And even if you're in the northeast, you can catch some great barbecue that could crack the list of the top 50 if they opened up in Texas instead like HooDoo Brown BBQ in Connecticut.
But Texas is the big leagues. The amount of talent is absurd, and the competition is ridiculous. It's like the SEC of barbecue but if the SEC just got rid of every team that wasn't Alabama and Georgia. So to even get a spot in the top 50 is like getting a spot on the AP Top 25. And here are those rankings if you're looking for all the places you need to add to your must eat bucket list.
And right at the top of that list? Well there's a newcomer to the list. A joint that wasn't even open the last time a Top 50 list came out.
Goldee's Barbecue in Fort Worth is your new heavyweight champion of the world. Unfortunately I've never had the opportunity to have anything from Goldee's but I've been following along long enough to see that they obviously crush all the classics and then it's all a bunch of young pitmasters running the show over there to make sure they change things up like throwing a lao sausage and mango sticky rice on the menu.
That's not to say that the old school Texas barbecue can't still kick ass. Snow's BBQ is still in the top 10. Franklin Barbecue is still in the top 10. But when you've got some younger pitmasters in the mix not only crushing the traditional side of things but also changing the game as far as menus go like my good pals over at LeRoy & Lewis putting smoked beef cheeks and smoked cauliflower on theirs.
Well that's how you find yourself with a top 5 spot on the list. Well that, and then of course, letting me tag along to help cook at The Windy City Smokeout.
I don't want to take all the credit for LeRoy & Lewis coming in at #5, but let's just say they were never #5 on this list before I got in their way a bunch for 3 days in Chicago.
Oh and I'd just like to say that as much as I appreciate and respect Daniel Vaughn's opinions on all things barbecue, I still find it hard to believe that there is any bite on this planet better than this brisket I had from Truth Barbecue in Houston.
But anyway, congrats to all the legends who made this year's list. Barbecue is a tough game. It's countless hours spent with a fire chasing a perfection that you know is never attainable, but somehow these 50 spots are all able to come pretty damn close.