The Best of Texas Monthly's 2017 BBQ Fest

Photography by Weston Carls

I highly suggest running a 10-miler before heading to the Texas Monthly BBQ Fest. Well, at least that's what I did at 7 a.m. when I ran the Run for the Water race. After burning about 1,300+ calories, my appetite was growling for meat. Here's what stood out to me, a BBQ wannabe fitness junkie.

Best Portion Size

I was shocked to see no one at this stand when I walked up. What was carved and served up to me was shocking. It was a brisket sandwich serving size. I was getting delicious little bites all over the map, but Austin's Micklethwait Craft Meats takes the crown on this one. Y'all are too kind!

Most Unique 

One of the most unique offerings I had was the bacon burnt ends from Heim BBQ. It was sweet with a satisfying texture and, better yet, you got three servings of them. You won't find this on their regular menu.

Best Pork

As soon as the flood gates opened to let the hundreds of VIP patrons in (one hour before general admission) I went to the first stand I saw, Hays County BBQ. This was the only pork chop I saw and it was clean, simple, peppery, juicy, I could go on. This was a sign that it was going to be a good day. I'm just sad I forgot to take a picture of this one!

Most Delightful Dessert

Coming in ranked at #6 BBQ in Texas by Texas Monthly, Tejas Chocolate Craftory did not disappoint. What caught my attention was their name. Are they putting chocolate on their brisket? Weird. No, they first started making chocolate bars and selling them at farmers' markets. After their success, they moved into the oldest building in Tomball, Texas. Chocolate making wasn't cutting it for their livelihood so they started low and slow with barbecuing and cutting brisket too. Besides that, I was pleasantly surprised that the word chocolate meant they were offering a dessert! Their pumpkin spiced dessert accompanied with dab of chocolate mousse drizzled with chocolate syrup topped with whipped cream was heavenly. It was an awarding change to eating meat all day. 

Franklin Barbecue

‚ÄčLongest Line

This one goes to Franklin Barbecue. I couldn't believe my eyes. Could it be that most people going to the #TMBBQFest aren't from Austin? This line does move, but coming in second is Snow's BBQ and their line moved faster. 

Best Name Award

How could you not give it to Cattleack BBQ especially with these smiling faces!


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