When Texas Monthly released its list of the 50 best barbecue joints in Texas in 2013, only two Houston establishments made the cut, Gatlin's BBQ and Virgie's Bar-B-Que, with three Other Houston-area outposts, CorkScrew BBQ (in Spring), Brooks Place BBQ (in Cypress) and Leon's World's Finest BBQ (in Galveston), on the list as well. But none of these restaurants made the top ten.
Cut to 2017, and Texas Monthly's quadrennial list of the top 50 barbecue spots in Texas now features two area establishments in the top ten, Tejas Chocolate Craftory in Tomball at No. 6, and CorkScrew BBQ in Spring at No. 7. Also in the top 50 are Gatlin’s BBQ, Killen's Barbecue (in Pearland), Pinkerton’s Barbecue, The Pit Room, and Roegels Barbecue.
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This year's list, published on May 22, opens with the laudatory fightin' words, "we are living in the golden age of Texas barbecue," along with the suggestion that we're also living through a beef rib renaissance, undoubtedly the most delicious renaissance to live through. This year is all about the urban barbecue destinations and a wide variety of specialties, from pork chops to sausage, at that.
There is a brief rumination about the 'dark side' to it all, in that the cost of barbecue has increased dramatically as the meat itself has become better quality, with local sourcing and Prime beef becoming the heart and soul of the state's smoked offerings. Plus there are those insane lines at the state's many barbecue hotspots, fueled by social media and Yelpers alike.
If you're perfectly fine with standing in line for great barbecue, then Texas Monthly has the event for you. The magazine will celebrate its top 50 list with its inaugural event MeatUp on Saturday, June 24 at Silver Street Studios, where guests can sample barbecue from the area's top pitmasters.