On the heels of of TM hiring an Daniel Vaughn as BBQ editor (see how serious they take bbq in texas), they released this list.
When my son and I went to Texas last summer we visited 18 spots and of those, 12 were on this years list of the top 50. To further up the ante TM singled out the four top spots. That short list included Franklin BBQ, Snow's, Louie Mueller and Pecan Lodge.
As I have written before, this type of BBQ (Central Texas) completely captivates my soul. I love the history and the regional components that put this type of cooking into play. The minimalist approach to cooking due to lack of resources actually makes this food so much more that the sum of its parts. Meat, salt, pepper and wood smoke come together in a synergistic way that makes this food rival any other native cuisine on the planet.
I want to give a tip of the hat to the below pitmasters that my son and I had a chance to not only meet, but to eat their food. I can only say that I am thankful that these people are keeping this tradition alive.
Franklin BBQ with Aaron Franklin
Snow's with Tootsie Tomanetz (78 years old!) & Kerry Bexley
Louie Mueller with Wayne Mueller