Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2M Smokehouse (First Impression)

Amber and I love the brisket tamales that we got from the Smoke Shack BBQ last year. We wanted some more this year so we made the trek to San Antonio. I had to include one more barbecue stop, right? 2M Smokehouse opened in San Antonio on December 3rd. We were out of the country and could not make the grand opening. Pitmaster Esaul Ramos and high school buddy Joe Melig have been doing Saturday pop-ups while the building was being finished. Does the name Esaul Ramos sound familiar? It should be. He was the head man at La Barbecue for over a year and trained under John Lewis before that.
It was cold that morning, and when we arrived, there were only four people in front of us. Esaul greeted when we got to the counter and was slicing all of the meats. Amber got the brisket tacos with pico on homemade tortillas. I ordered the two meat plate of moist brisket and pork ribs with potato salad and chicharroni macaroni. I also added a link of the pork and Oaxaca cheese sausage. The brisket was cooked perfectly. Tender and juicy. It was definitely one of the better briskets I have had. The smoke and flavor rounded out the brisket nicely. The rub had some Spanish influences with salt, pepper, garlic, and cumin. While eating pork ribs, I was disappointed that I did not get more. They were really good. Not as saucy as La, the sweet meat pulled away from the bone without a struggle. Although I prefer a beefier sausage, the pork and Oaxaca cheese sausage was outstanding. It had a nice flavor assisted by cilantro and Serrano peppers. The snappy casing could barely hold in the gritty pork. It was almost too cheesy if that is possible.

Amber's taco was really f-ing tasty. Brisket, homemade pico on a homemade tortilla? Simple but satisfying. You also get tortillas instead of the standard white bread if you order a meal. The homemade pickled nopalitos (cactus)/Serranos/bell peppers, onions, and cucumber were great compliments and helped cleanse the palate for the next bite. The macaroni and cheese with chicharrones was wonderful. The pork rind added a crunchy texture to it, and the Oaxaca cheese acted like a glue to hold the bite together. My only complaint from the meal is the potato salad. Compared to the rest of the meal, it was boring and bland.
I love that so many new places hit the floor running now. 2M Smokehouse's ;BBQ game is already elevated and could only get better. They have only been open for 15 days when we dropped in. That is win-win for all of us. As more word gets out, the line will only grow. Get there early and be patient. The 2M gang might want to start investing in another 1,000 gallon Austin Smoke Works smoker to keep up with demand. I am already looking forward to my next visit and trying out the rest of the menu.
Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 2731 S WW White Rd, San Antonio, TX 78222

Monday, November 21, 2016

Hou BBQ Throwdown 2016

Saint Arnold Brewery
Amber and I are going to Europe so we dropped our dogs off with her family in Lubbock this weekend. The Hou BBQ Throwdown was being held on Sunday so we only spent 14 hours in Lubbock. I had an excellent time last year, and I was not going to miss this year's event. All the participants elevated their BBQ fusion game this year. The competition was fierce, and with each new bite, you were in store for something wonderful and/or unique. Everyone who attended the Throwdown went home as winners.
The calm before the rush
Blood Bros. BBQ - Gochujang Beef Belly Burnt Ends

Gochujang Beef Belly Burnt Ends w/ Korean salad and pickled onions
Brooks’ Place BBQ - Brisket and boudin stuffed bell peppers w/ a beef oxtails twist
Brisket and boudin stuffed bell peppers w/ a beef oxtails twist
The Brisket House - Beef rib ala Veracruz

Cubed beef rib, Veracruz sauce, served over rice and pico de gallo
Corkscrew BBQ - Smoked chile mac-n-cheese

Creamy cheddar mac-n-cheese, smoked hatch green chile with pepper crusted prime beef rib
Feges BBQ - Beef belly burnt ends, pimento cheese grits, braised greens, bourbon cane syrup, pickled red onions, and chives
Beef belly burnt ends, pimento cheese grits, braised greens, bourbon cane syrup, pickled red onions, and chives
Killen's STQ - short rib tamale, smoked beef ravioli, and smoked short rib umami
Short rib tamale, pork belly and brisket chile de arbol con carne, queso fresco, and micro cilantro
Smoked beef short rib ravioli, port demi cream, parmesan, and fall black truffle
Smoked short rib umami
Midtown Barbeque - Smoked prime rib with chimichurri sauce
Smoked prime rib with chimichurri sauce
Pappa Charlies Barbeque - Short rib vindaloo with paneer queso
Short rib vindaloo with paneer queso
The Pit Room - Chopped brisket taco with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and salsa roja
Chopped brisket taco with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and salsa roja
Pizzitola’s Bar-B-Cue - Pulled pork & waffles
Smoked jalapeño, cheddar and green onion waffle with pulled pork, pit-candied pecans and sweet pork sauce
Ray's BBQ Shack - Muddy Waters sausage
Seafood sausage with shrimp, crawfish, crab meat, and pork
Roegel’s Barbecue Co - Smoked pork belly with surf and turf boudin
Smoked pork belly with surf and turf boudin
Tejas Chocolate Craftory - Santo braised smoked pork cheeks tostada
Santo braised smoked pork cheeks, pinto whip, avocado verde cue sauce, pickled red onion, and cilantro on a crisp corn tortilla
Tin Roof BBQ - Smoked tomahawk prime rib
Smoked tomahawk prime rib with Back Pew milk stout Au Jus and horseradish cream

A judge digging in
Judges table
Judges: Eric Sandler, Pat Sharpe, Wayne Mueller, Lily Jang, and Robert J. Lerma
Judges' Choice : Killen's STQ
People's Choice : Feges BBQ
"The tray"
Until next time, happy smoking...

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

TMBBQ Fest 2016

Beautiful day at the Long Center
I missed last year's TMBBQ Fest because we were in Turks and Caicos for a wedding. How rude of the bride and groom to have their wedding then... I was not going to miss the festival this year. The seventh edition of the event was going to be the biggest one yet. Twenty-seven of the best BBQ joints in world converged in the ATX at the Long Center for good eats and a fun time. The Beast came all the way from Paris, France, and Evie Mae's was this year's newcomer. Here are the sights and bites of the day:

TMBBQ editor Daniel Vaughn and Aaron Franklin talking shop

Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller and Michael Hernandez of Hays Co.
Austin’s BBQ and Catering, Eagle Lake
Pitmaster: Kory Janow
The Beast, Paris, France
Pitmaster: Thomas Abramowicz

The Beast all the way from Paris, France

Smoke duck breast being glazed

Duck breast

Beef short rib

Thomas Abramowicz
The Original Black’s Barbecue, Lockhart
Pitmaster: Kent Black


Smoked chicken and waffle
Buzzie’s Bar-B-Q, Kerrville
Pitmaster: Buzzie Hughes
Cousin’s Bar-B-Q, Fort Worth
Pitmaster: Jason Cross

Cranky Frank’s BBQ, Fredericksburg
Pitmaster: Dan Martin

Evie Mae’s, Wolfforth
Pitmaster: Arnis Robbins

Arnis Robbins slicing brisket


Brisket and corn pudding
Franklin Barbecue, Austin
Pitmaster: Aaron Franklin, Braun Hughes

Aaron slicing brisket


Housemade jalapeño and cheese sausage

Housemade jalapeño and cheese sausage, brisket, and pulled pork
Freedmen’s, Austin
Pitmasters: Christopher McGhee, Juan Morales, Brad Robinson

Cuban sandwich sausage

Cured and smoked pork loin

Brisket marmalade infused donut holes

Brisket marmalade infused donut hole, brisket, pork loin, and Cuban sausage
Gatlin’s BBQ, Houston
Pitmaster: Greg Gatlin

Smoked salmon on Belgian endive with capers

Smoke beef rib and grits
The Granary ‘Cue & Brew, San Antonio
Pitmaster: Tim Rattray

The Granary ‘Cue & Brew

Brisket, pulled pork, and pork belly
Hays Co. Bar-B-Que and Catering, San Marcos
Pitmasters: Michael Hernandez, Omar Serna

Jalapeño and cheese with Ghirardelli chocolate sausage

Jalapeño and cheese with chocolate sausage, brisket, and pork belly
Hutchins BBQ, McKinney
Pitmaster: Tim Hutchins

The chopping block

Rib glazing


Brisket, rib, and jalapeño and cheese sausage
Killen’s Barbecue, Pearland
Pitmaster: Ronnie Killen, Manny Torres

Cubed pork belly

Pork belly burnt ends

Dry aged brisket

Pork belly burnt ends, dry aged brisket, and turkey sausage

Kelley and Ronnie Killen
La Barbecue, Austin
Pitmasters: John Lewis, Francisco Saucedo, Dylan Taylor, Mat Gonzo

Brisket, pulled pork, and hot guts
Lamberts Downtown Barbecue, Austin
Pitmaster: Javier Sanchez

Brisket and sausage
Lockhart Smokehouse, Dallas
Pitmasters: Damian Avila, Carolina Maldonado

Smoke tomahawk ribeye
Louie Mueller Barbecue, Taylor
Pitmasters: Wayne Mueller, Jason Tedford

Lamb pop, beef sausage, and beef rib
Miller’s Smokehouse, Belton
Pitmasters: Dirk Miller, Dusty Miller

Pork loin

Brisket, pork loin, and jalapeño and cheese sausage
Opie’s Barbecue, Spicewood
Pitmaster: Seth Glaser

Brisket, prime rib, craisins almond slaw, and butter beans
Pecan Lodge, Dallas
Pitmaster: Justin Fourton

Pody’s BBQ, Pecos
Pitmasters: Israel Campos, Veronica Campos, Margret Franco

Snow’s BBQ, Lexington
Pitmaster: Tootsie Tomanetz, Kerry Bexley
Stanley’s Famous Pit Barbecue, Tyler
Pitmasters: Nick Pencis, Jonathan Shaw
Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew, Austin
Pitmasters: Lance Kirkpatrick, Andy Stapp, Alanmykal Jackson, Bill Dumas

Chopped brisket w/ Popeye's molasses/coffee sauce and jalapeño and cheese sausage on a johnnycake

Smoked chicken with Alabama white sauce and Acapulco pico slaw
Two Bros. BBQ Market, San Antonio
Pitmaster: Laura Loomis

Pitmaster Laura Loomis cutting baby back ribs
Tyler’s Barbeque, Amarillo
Pitmaster: Tyler Frazer

Tyler Frazier

Brisket and pork ribs
Until next time, happy smoking...