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Get in-depth coverage of news, reviews and conversations about Texas barbecue. It's basically Christmas every day for barbecue-lovers.

Southern Smoke BBQ reviewBlake Woodson hated his job as a wire-and-cable salesman in Dallas so much that he took a job that required a seven-hour commute. He manned the pit room at Brick Vault Brewery & BBQ in Marathon after the Reese brothers left to run their joint in San Antonio. Woodson maintained a one-month-on/one-month-off arrangement for about a year. The months he was back in Dallas, he worked in the kitchen of the Lakewood Country Club. While making those road trips back and forth, Woodson always passed through the halfway point of San Angelo, but the West Texas city of 100,000 didn’t register as more than a pit stop. That is, until he learned that a brewery in town was looking for a pitmaster.Luke Horton wanted to…

The post A Barbecue Joint and Brewery Bring a Much-Needed Pairing to San Angelo appeared first on Texas Monthly.

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trip guide port aransas fishing boatUntil around 1910, the sweet and salty coastal town of Port Aransas went by the name Tarpon, because of the abundance of the big, torpedo-shaped fish that once attracted droves of anglers to Mustang Island. Although tarpon mostly disappeared from these waters decades ago—these days you’re more likely to catch redfish, red snapper, or trout—you can still find signs of the mighty Megalops atlanticus here. At the historic Tarpon Inn, silver-dollar-size scales from trophies caught locally (including one that President Franklin D. Roosevelt reeled in during a trip to Texas in 1937) cover an entire wall in the lobby. The nearby Port Aransas Museum devotes an exhibit to the tarpon heyday, which lasted from the 1880s to the 1950s. You can sit in the back…

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Get in-depth coverage of news, reviews and conversations about Texas barbecue. It's basically Christmas every day for barbecue-lovers.

A pickleball match on a covered court at Dreamland, in Dripping Springs, on July 23, 2022.Many pickleball devotees first take up the paddle at the urging of a friend. For a disproportionate number of players, that friend is billionaire Steve Kuhn. A financial executive turned philanthropist, Kuhn last year opened Dreamland, a Shangri-la of first-date-appropriate activities including disc golf, miniature golf, and, crucially, pickleball. The 86-acre facility in the Hill Country town of Dripping Springs, one of several such compounds popping up across the state, offers fifteen courts, as well as a beer garden for post-play imbibing. About 6 years after Kuhn started playing pickleball, on the advice of his nephew, the 53-year-old is now a leader among a group of Texas bigwigs betting on the game’s continued growth. He’s also the founder of Major League Pickleball, one of several…

The post The Real Dill: Powerful Texans Are Betting on Pickleball appeared first on Texas Monthly.

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Get in-depth coverage of news, reviews and conversations about Texas barbecue. It's basically Christmas every day for barbecue-lovers.

Highway 170 along the Rio Grande connects Presidio to other border areas.Once a week, Adrian Billings drives his white Chevy pickup from his home in Alpine, Texas, to Presidio, a city along the Mexican border. This summer he’s been taking his son Blake, who’s home from college, with him. The drive, through mountains and desert on a two-lane highway across which actual tumbleweeds roll, takes an hour and a half.Billings is a family doctor, one of only a handful in this part of West Texas. He offers a one-stop shop for his patients’ ailments: heart murmurs, kidney stones, et cetera. Most of the time he works in Alpine or the nearby city of Marfa. But he makes the weekly drive to Presidio, because without doctors like him, it wouldn’t have medical care. There’s no hospital and…

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Get in-depth coverage of news, reviews and conversations about Texas barbecue. It's basically Christmas every day for barbecue-lovers.

Mimi Swartz's 1995 story on issues facing the health care system won a National Magazine Award for public interest journalism.I wrote “Not What the Doctor Ordered” in 1995, which seems a lifetime ago by any standard, but especially when it comes to the world of medicine. The story predated not only the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, but also the wrangling over health care that happened in between then and now. (In the article, I mention “the failure of the Clinton plan,” and it took me a few minutes just now to recall Hillary’s doomed attempt at revamping the medical landscape in that era.) It was inspired by a much-beloved, old-fashioned neighborhood doc in Houston, the kind who knew not only his patients but also his patients’ kids and most of his patients’ friends, who were also his patients and, often, his friends. His…

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Get in-depth coverage of news, reviews and conversations about Texas barbecue. It's basically Christmas every day for barbecue-lovers.

Although it doesn’t open until September 2, Carriqui, one of several new restaurants debuting at the Pearl complex next month, already has a storied past. The space is centered around a wooden house that was built in 1890 for German brewmaster Fritz Boehler, who ran it as a biergarten, saloon, boarding house, and general store, serving many employees of the nearby Pearl Brewery. A century later, it was known both as the home of the beloved Liberty Bar as well as the building with the distinct slant that it had developed over the years. In 2014, several years after the Liberty moved to its current location in King William Historic District, Silver Ventures, which had successfully developed the Pearl area, bought the building and began…

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Carriqui-restaurant-San-Antonio-historic-building-Boehler-houseIn the classic metaphysical thought experiment known as the Ship of Theseus, a wooden vessel has its planks replaced one by one as they wear out, and the question is whether the end product is the same boat—and if not, at what point it became a new one. The same could be asked of the San Antonio building that sits at the corner of Avenue A and Grayson Street just north of downtown and that, beginning in September, will be the home of a wildly ambitious new restaurant, eight years in the making, called Carriqui. Most anyone who spent time in San Antonio between 1985 and 2010 knows the building. It’s the one that housed the original location of the iconic Liberty Bar, which now occupies…

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Get in-depth coverage of news, reviews and conversations about Texas barbecue. It's basically Christmas every day for barbecue-lovers.

Donald J. Trump speaks during CPAC Texas 2022 conference at Hilton Anatole in Dallas, TX on August 6, 2022.“Are you going to call Trump a domestic terrorist?” the woman asked. It was Saturday afternoon at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, and I had just identified myself as a reporter to two attendees eating lunch in the food court. The woman, who looked to be in her fifties, told me she had traveled to the influential political convention from out of state. She declined to give her name or occupation. “We’re just so sick of the media telling lies about us,” she said. The man sitting across from her, an eighty-year-old Vietnam veteran named Frank Dirnbauer, was more forthcoming. Dirnbauer, who works as a retail electricity broker, had driven to the conference from his home in Wylie, a half hour’s drive northeast…

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Get in-depth coverage of news, reviews and conversations about Texas barbecue. It's basically Christmas every day for barbecue-lovers.

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones attempts to answer questions about his emails during trial on August 3, 2022 in Austin.There have been no shortage of instructive moments during the first of four defamation trials that Infowars host and longtime Austin conspiracy theorist Alex Jones faces this year. But the one that explains his worldview—and the damage that he’s wrought on our collective psyche in the decade or so since he evolved from being a local weirdo with a radio show to one of the key figures in shaping American politics—was a blink-or-you’d-miss-it reference during his testimony on Wednesday. Jones had insisted, on and off for years, that the Sandy Hook massacre was a “false-flag” hoax perpetrated by the government in order to create political cover that could be used to come after citizens’ guns, with “crisis actors” hired to perform their grief at the loss…

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History of Offset SmokersThe steel offset smoker is ubiquitous in Texas barbecue. Its torpedolike cooking chamber, with a tall smokestack on one end and a low-riding firebox on the other, is the symbol of Texas-style barbecue in and outside the state. The gentle, controlled cooking environment it offers by way of indirect heat has become the preferred method for smoking meat, and new pitmasters are nearly unanimous in their adoption of it. Some would even deem it required to produce “traditional” Texas barbecue. But this is a relatively new allegiance, even younger than our devotion to smoked brisket. How did we get from digging our pits in the ground with a shovel to building them with torches and welders?Barbecue in what is now the United States began as…

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