The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Sunday, December 31, 2017

So long Year of the Figet Spinner

Selfie taken today as we drove around collecting necessities for the cold forecast to siege the area for the next several days. Currently a declining 28F.  I initially typed 28C and stared at it wondering what was wrong with that for a minute or two.  Pilot stuff.  I haven't looked at my logbook but I do believe it has been a full year since I last flew.  It doesn't feel like my last flight at the controls, but it does feel like I have no intention of teaching again.  I wonder how this will go ... I'll let the flight review lapse ... let the instructor certificates go without a reup ... when I'm to frail to handle the yoke someone will say,  OMG, you were a flight instructor back in the day when people actually hand flew ... maybe they'll let their plane take me up.

Here's a good thing about that sorta pissy observation - I never really wanted to die inside an airplane and I have significantly decreased the odds of that happening for me.  Except I just remembered something important - Gliding is really cool.  I can almost hear the sound of the air curling around the fuselage, it is mesmerizing.  I can almost make a commitment to looking into the local gliding clubs.  That would be good for me.  I may be able to overcome my shyness in support of that.

I noticed that it has been a long time since the last entry here. December was spent preparing for a visit from all five of our kids.  It was really great having all of them home, sleeping under the same roof, for what will be quite rare in the years ahead.

Three, Four, Two, Five and One

This wasn't the best of the batch of pictures of them together, but I like this one because it"s a picture of patience by my sons for the fun their sisters were having.  There is an 18 sec vid of Three skipping a stone which will become a treasured memory of mine.  I haven't really sorted through all our pictures yet - Five said she would create a photo book of our time together.  I would love that.

More shortly.  I'm going to get back to journaling more often. 



Happy New Year!  I'm looking forward to it.  2017 was a good one.  


Monday, December 4, 2017

I was thinking that we all, each of us, have stories that we choose not to tell.  We keep them secret, forgotten perhaps, because to tell them would open the soul in a way that feels exactly naked.  Then it occurred to me that probably people don't really spend the time to formulate a version of  many of their stories (because we stay busy with life management chores).

I have noticed that when I write down my thoughts on something I have read or seen or experienced first hand that the time to select the best words to recount the moments seems to clarify what actually happened, how I responded to it and most usually how I would have liked to respond "better" if given another opportunity.

I miss writing.  I have been filling my days up with being busy, too busy to write, too busy to really think.  During this quieter time though, I have noticed that I've gotten better at being thankful.  Thankful in general.

 Recently an acquaintance told me that he was going to the funeral of a person who I also know though not as well as he.  I asked, what do you think happened next?  I expected some variation on a spiritual theme, but he surprised me by answering  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing. Death is the end.  And he asked me what I thought of that.  I think he was giving me a chance to batter him with religious indignation, he seemed to be bracing himself, but I just said what I think which is I don't know same as nobody really does know. I said I believe in God as the creator/redeemer, but I'm not so certain as most people I know seem to be about what happens next.  I do believe that our souls are eternal.  Mostly I tend not to imagine the mansions and streets of gold ... the canon of hymns seems to have played many very minor and maybe metaphorical elements up so much that they amount to inducements to do right (or burn).

I think the Bible is about a relationship.
I think it's a picture of "not grace" so that the need for grace might be better understood.
I think it is an evolving story of grace.
I think "we" have gotten a lot of it tangled up.
I think the un-knotting begins with love, and I think we learn about love by leaning in to it.

As hard as I try though, I'm not great at relationships -  I misunderstand, say the wrong thing or the right thing sometimes at the wrong time.  Sometimes saying nothing makes messes in my relationships too.

I would be very sad if my relationships were predicated by "the prize" I could give in exchange for another's ... what?  Love, presence, companionship?

I think that "mansion" is a new "wrapper" for my soul, your soul.  I'm just a little creeped out by  living in a tent.  It's cool because of the novelty but the limitations are increasingly evident as time goes on.  Tent living is a humbling experience.  I like it for about 5 days.

I think God might be providing time with the invisible presence choice for me to learn how to "love" well, or at least better, the people I do have tangible relationships with.  It's pretty easy for me to navigate superficial relationships.  I smile and say hi to strangers (for example) in a way that hopefully makes them feel seen.  I think I'm pretty good at relationships with my immediate family and probably with my oldest friends (mostly because they love me ... I'm not great at remembering birthdays and sometimes forget the names of their kids).

>Time for me to get busy, but I'll be back<

Sunday, November 26, 2017

2017 Texas Monthly TOP 50 BBQ list - my notes and pictures

As I understand it, Texas Monthly magazine publishes an article (about every four years) announcing their BBQ team of writer/contributor's favorite bbq places around Texas.  In 2014,  after eating at Louie Mueller's place and becoming interested enough in BBQ because of them I googled Texas BBQ and found the Texas Monthly Top 50 list. 
 
Brisket smoking in the backyard with my dad tending it, cold beer in hand ... and a paperback for company, was just a part of my childhood that I took for granted.  (My dad keep a Folger's coffee can half full of water, or maybe beer, idk, inside his smoker.  I think he thought the steam helped maintain an ideal moisture content, but I'm guessing.) I, like probably most Texans, took great brisket, smoked links and ribs, served up with Momma's incredibly scrumptious sides  (I still have people asking me for her potato salad recipe) for granted.  Smoked turkey for Thanksgiving and smoked ham at Christmas was a given.  My dad, every once in awhile, even smoked fish caught fresh from the Gulf creating special occasions out of salt air.  Homemade flour tortillas and sweet tea were a given at any of these meals ... I grew up taking mouth watering cobblers. pies, banana pudding and Daddy's beer box for granted. My brother designed and built his own pit and promised to make one for us once we got back home and settled in somewhere. 

But I digress.

My husband and I have made a delightful hobby of visiting the establishments on the Texas Monthly list.  We're visiting places that we wouldn't have had the good fortune to wander in to (like Manchaca, just South of Austin,  and Jefferson, up in the NE quadrant - I hadn't know it was a port city before the CoE blew up the Great Red River Raft sometime in 1873). We get to visit with Pit Masters who are almost invariably fun story tellers and always share their passion for what they do and how they do it. An unexpected bonus has been the friendly fellowship with strangers during the waits. Franklin's provides folding chairs and one can order mimosas if so inclined during the wait ... most places seem to have a BYOB policy even though we don't. 

About half of the establishments on the 2017 list are first timers.  I have to say BBQ is becoming cool ... it's not just good eats anymore ... and the sides ... talk about stepping it up a notch or ten!  There was a place down towards the beach on the 2014 list.  He had one dollar bills stapled to every vertical surface and said he had catered BBQ for President Obama.  All of his proteins were just fine but the potato salad and slaw were yuk, nothing a little tlc couldn't fix, but I remember him telling me that "folks don't come to BBQ joints for the sides ...".  That may be changing.

We've eaten outside at makeshift picnic tables under tin roofs with blowers beating back the heat or eight foot tall space heaters keeping things toasty enough during the recent cold snaps.  We've eaten at a few really elegant establishments and in more than a few super cool high end spots with "trendy" decor.  A handful of places have been extremely humble, and a couple could be described as holes in the wall.  Rio Grande grill served our meals on a plank of wood - that was a neat surprise.  Stile Switch uses vintage looking metal lunch trays - super cool.  However they do it is always part of the fun!

Along with curating the 2017 TOP 50 Texas BBQ joints (and therefore the world - lol) list Texas Monthly has partnered with YETI to issue challenges and truly amazingly generous prizes (complete and document in your "BBQ Passport" all fifty stops and be rewarded with a YETI Tundra 45 - best booze box available)!  We missed challenge #2 Louis Mueller's Family Tree, not because we hadn't already collected the appropriate stops, but because we didn't realize how popular (and competitive)  this FUN would be. I really wanted that 1/2 Rambler jug for road trips and for camping out at the National Seashore (saving up to buy one). Prizes may be redeemed as challenges are completed, but I didn't know that until some kids at Snow's clued me in.  The rules are readily available/you snooze you lose!

As I update this  (25 January 2018) we have 9 places left for stamps on our passports, and plans to click off  five  of them over towards Dallas and four along a drive up to the panhandle.  Hoping to finish the tour by Valentine's Day so that we can start visiting a long list of new favorites until the list is updated in 2021.


BBQ places on the Top 50 List

in alphabetical order by region
* denotes new additions this time 'round

my favorites in largest font

MAP LEGEND


AUSTIN, SAN ANTONIO, BORDER

1 2M Smokehouse*


South San Antonio feels closer to the Lower Rio Grand Valley where I was young than it actually is.  2M was most certainly cooking up and serving on a "home made" tortilla my Dad's type of BBQ brisket.  We asked for lean and we got an amazingly delicious cut that wasn't the least bit shy about the fat (ended up trimming it myself because even though my Dad said that was the choicest part, my cholesterol counter says I must demure).  Yummy!

2 Baker Boys BBQ*  

- super friendly - great ambassadors for Gonzalez, Texas.
 Baker Boys BBQ located in historic Gonzales.
 - come and taste it, a play on words easily understood by any Texan past the age of eight - 

The brisket was slow cooked to absolute perfection even though we visited on "fish fry" Friday. It's easy to taste the craftsmanship in every delicious bite.  I liked that the pickles and onion were chilled.  Normally we don't sample the desserts but when I saw the pecan pie I asked my husband if he wanted to share a slice ...it was the banana pudding was trying real hard to outshine the meat though.  By far the best Banana Pudding I've ever scrapped the sides of a cup on!  This was a super easy going, notably friendly stop on the BBQ trail.

3 City Market


4 Cooper’s OLD TIME PIT 

- seemed like "yesterday's dried out meat.
It must be the ambience.

5 Franklin Barbecue (TM#2)

- super gracious hosts - fun, f riendly,  fantastic food - perfectly Austin

We arrived to wait in the line at 10 ... 
were notified that we would be looking at 12:30,
 and could commence ordering mimosa's at noon.  
As much as I don't really want to wait in a line like that again, 
I must admit that it really wasn't a problem.  

The food made it okay.  I really like their BBQ.
These guys really know how to make a long wait work!

Freedmen’s*

-best waitstaff at any BBQ place we've visited
Super cool location, great waitstaff, cocktails rocked, BBQ on point.
New kid on the block knocking it out of the park.

7 The Granary ’Cue & Brew

I'd try them again when I want to sit around having cocktails with friends and snacking on BBQ - proximity to THE PEARL is a plus.
These guys were so all about the "brew" when we visited that we were put off.  Ordered a quarter pound to go.  When I'm back at The Pearl I'll probably give them another go because the place was really cute.  Brisket in the frig waiting for lunchtime now.

8 Hays Co. Bar-B-Que


9 Heavy’s Bar-B-Que*


10 Kreuz Market


It was slightly better than it looks.  Coolest knives I've seen though -

11 La Barbecue


My current favorite (30 Nov. 17).  I wasn't properly prepared to love this particular BBQ spot.  It was a tad disconcerting to me that the man serving beef was sporting a nose ring.  I guess I don't have a clue about why a person would want to wear a nose ring.  To me a nose ring that pokes out from both nostrils is just disrespectful towards oneself ... and in the face about it.  I don't get it.  I don't have a cubby hole for that question, the why of it, and gosh, especially in a BBQ joint ... I understand why a cow might need to be wearing a nose ring ... it was hard to unthink about that while I was standing there placing my order.  The actual meat cutter was like a skater dude who informed us that Mueller's (below) is now (copycatting their chipotle sausage, "You know how Jalepeno (and cheese he said, but thats incorrect and I let it pass as I tend to do) Links are their thing and Chipotle Links are our thing..." (and I thought "No I did not know Chipotle Links were exclusive to y'all's place" again saying nothing even about how cows wear nose rings).  We ordered a scant 1/2 pound, no sides, no drinks and asked for our passport stamps.  

The brisket was absolutely the best.  I do adore  SNOW'S (Currently TM's reigning #1) operation. They are absolutely the epitome of what [Texas BBQ + plus the people who create it + the people who eat it] should hope, strive, to be, but/and I am convinced that La Barbecue (especially if they could get Micklewait's Slaw) is the elevated urbanized "place to watch". 

12 Louie Mueller Barbecue (TM#5)

Louie Mueller's


 We eat here so often that I forgot to take more pictures the day they stamped our book -
I absolutely love eating at Mueller's.  This was my first taste of Texas Top 50 BBQ from my stay out in Taylor in 2014.  For me this whole BBQ thing starts here, he doesn't set the bar, he is the bar ... and if I never had the pleasure of dining with the other's, this would be just fine.

Louie Mueller's

13 Micklethwait Craft Meats* (TM#8)
The meat was "too moist" for me but the sides ... wow!

14 Miller’s Smokehouse


15 Payne’s Bar-B-Q Shak*

enjoyed chatting with the owner (who is a character).

16 Rio Grande Grill BBQ*

Harlingen, down on the border, is too out of the way for a Sunday drive from the Austin area where we live but, I grew up down there so I know this young couple is bringing something uniquely special to the South Texas BBQ scene.  I loved everything about our time and the meal there.  Yum!

17 The Smoking Oak*




Got this brisket to go because we had a 7 hour drive ahead of us to get back home.  Tiny taste in the car and reheated it the next day for lunch and I could kick myself for being full and in a hurry when we got there.  It was delicious ... which the added bonus of their restaurant oozing with authentically South Texas hospitality.  I was home the second I stepped inside their doors.  Next time we're down that way I plan on making a meal there a featured event as it deserves!

18 Smolik’s Smokehouse*

19 Snow’s BBQ  (TM#1)

Easy to taste why they are TMTOP50BBQ joints Numero Uno
They're within a easy drive from us, but open only on Saturday. I enjoy everything about Snow's.
On the most recent trip I mentioned that the beans were as good as my mama's and the lady behind the counter replied, they should be they're made by Mama Tootsie.  Mr. Kerry, tending the pits, is a gracious and notably unassuming host. Somehow or other everyone there makes you feel like family.

20 Stiles Switch BBQ & BREW 




Delicious!  The proprietor/pitmaster was notably gracious - out on the floor busing tables and checking in on his patrons.  Definitely a top five for us.


21 Terry Black’s Barbecue*


The meal was super good!  Cute, comfortable place to visit again and again.

22 Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ*




The corn was PERFECTION! Next time we're in we are stocking up on corn!  Really enjoyed the meal - the taco is mine, and I could eat brisket served on a delicious flour tortilla (they know to do lime) every day of the week ... but the corn, the corn was crave worthy.  They seem to be "working" on indoor seating.  We ate outside under a shed roof with space heaters - I thought it was great!


23 Vera’s Backyard Bar-B-Que*






DALLAS, FORT WORTH,EAST TEXAS
24 4-T’s Bar-BQ*

Delicious peppery bark bomb on the thickly sliced silky brisket.  Mikey's claim may not be an idle boast! We enjoyed our brief visit with him at the counter and some of the best brisket (and yummy sauce) that we come across on this Top 50 tour.

25 BBQ on the Brazos*


Yum. Yum. And yum.  The breakfast taco was the bomb.  The food was yummy and the owner/pitmaster son were real nice people.  I'd plan ahead to stop here anytime we are up their way.

26 Bodacious Bar-B-Q* (TM#4)
Bodacious
Did not "love".  Food was okay. Ambience felt awkward. 

27 Cattleack Barbequ
e* (TM#3)
"I can explain it for you, but I can't understand it for you."
one of many cute sayings on the wall might have been funny if it didn't serve to highlight the owner's palpable arrogance

Worst customer service experience ever. By time we waited in line for about 45 minutes I was really hoping to love this place, the waits have been longer at other places without it being a problem - here, while it might have felt like a wait for a ride on a hot day at Six Flags - not fun, but worth it - here insult was served up with injury as the owner gruffly yanked his head towards the guy cutting meat next to him.  I really don't want to blast the establishment - the wonderful smell of well prepared brisket wasn't enough to overcome the pervasive scent of arrogance in the air here.  I've noticed that the Top Ten pit master's are gracious people.  (All the pictures of Texas BBQ greats made this new kid on the block look like a wannabe ... otherwise, cute, squeaky clean decor.) Leacking.

arrogance -revealing an exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities

Yeah, that is the right word.

28 Flores Barbecue*


29 Harris Bar-b-que*

Super nice owner 
Mr. Harris created the atmosphere for a wonderful visit.

30 Heim Barbecue*
Heim's - food was fine, cute place in Ft. Worth's medical district -
the "facilities" were note worthy in that several private toilets shared a common sink , so while I washed my hands, brushed my hair and refreshened my lipstick four different men stood with me at the mirror - it was odd as they were strangers and I'd say just a little uncomfortable to be sharing the bathroom with a woman.

31 Hutchins BBQ

We stood in line (for an hour) at 2:00 pm in the blowing cold for almost an hour getting acquainted with the folks around us. This place is definitely a regional favorite! Even the drive through line wrapped around the recently renovated building.  The way we heard "it",  the son took a somewhat marginal BBQ place and completely turned it around.  I took that info with a grain of salt because I know how enthusiastic folks are about their favorite places.  Got up to the meat counter where we were "re-energized" by Larry the Cable Guy and his posse.  Those are a couple of Texas Twinkies - the stuffed and sauce slathered muy grande jalapeƱos. See that sign ... this is the only All you can Eat BBQ joint I've seen ... anywhere ever ... and it goes for the price of a pound of brisket. The sides look as scrumptious as the variety of smoked meats being offered.  I really believe this place would be a raving success anywhere in  ... okay, I'll go there ... anywhere in the Country. The line was just as long when we left as it was when we arrived - BBQ worth waiting for. (I hope they will work on heating and cooling the waiting areas during the next round of facility improvements ... and maybe get some beverages available out there!)

32
 Joseph’s Riverport Barbecue

This was one of our favorite places in 2015 when we were "doing" the previous TMTop50.  Unfortunately we planned this visit as a to go ... and I forgot to ask for the okra!  The brisket was delicious and we plan on getting back up there to spend a few days enjoying the food, friendly dining experience and looking around historic Jefferson.  I saw a couple cute B&Bs on the way out of town.

33 Lockhart Smokehouse
Yummy BBQ - super cool venue - neat pit - friendly folks

34 Pecan Lodge
Deep Ellum was swarming with hipsters and what looked like affluent homeless kids to me.  The wait wasn't long though, maybe twenty minutes and the food was super delicious. 

35 Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ


36 Top 5 BBQ*

I was super pumped about trying Top 5 because of the rub - cumin, turmeric, curry and who knows what else.  The food was great.  World class.  Mr. Greene made some time to visit with us and I loved hearing his story ... he's a sweetheart of a man.  He also, among many of the other PitMaster's we've shared a moment of two with, had a Wayne Mueller story - WM seems to get around blessing people at every stop. This guy seems to create BBQ that ministers to folks.  

HOUSTON, COLLEGE STATION, WEST TEXAS

Clicking them off!
37 Blue Moon BBQ*

38 CorkScrew BBQ  (TM#7)
This was a "pick up a half pound of brisket and go" type stop for us.  Unfortunately.  I opened the sack and unwrapped the foil while standing near my car in the parking lot.  The brisket looked perfect.  Perfect.  I couldn't resist a sample.  We've got to drive back down to Spring and dine in (or out - they have a lot of fun seating outside too). This is one of, if not the best (we still have the TEJAS stop ahead of us today), BBQ stops in the Houston area. And they have a swing.

39 Fargo’s Pit BBQ

40 Gatlin’s BBQ
super cute venue, super happy staff, super crowded with people at tables waiting for their orders ... we waited 45 minutes for 1/2 pound of brisket to go after standing in line to order. I actually suggested leaving without our little sack of delight because we had already paid and had more Top 50 BBQ stops planned for the day.  This is one of the few places on the list where one does not see the guy slicing brisket and placing it directly on your tray ... btw, that picture is of someone else's lunch ... we saw plenty of them at the pickup counter while we waited.  I'm not fussing about standing in line for good BBQ - I'm suggesting that because of the popularity they have earned they may want to take a note from most of the other top 50 places and learn how to graciously expedite the delivery of the plate ... the tables were full of people and empty of food. 

41 Killen’s Barbecue*
Another "to go" stop for us today.  I don't like this several stops in one day approach to the serious business of enjoying great food!  Killen's offered another beautiful dining area and truly excellent brisket - their sauce is a mustardy sweet surprisingly yummy connection, different from any of the other 40 someone sauces I've sampled and made the brisket even better.  I disliked that I couldn't order pork ribs by the pound - next time we're in there I'll try the rib plate because I bet they're hard to beat with that sauce.  

42 Pinkerton’s Barbecue*
I'm pretty sure there could not be a more perfect setting for enjoying BBQ - this place just "feels" right.  Very engaging and knowledgeable staff - Our brisket was to go this time, but we'll be back!

43 The Pit Room*

In all fairness I have to note that this was stop number 4 of 7 (yeah really) we had planned (and accomplished) that day.  These guys casually invited me to look at their pits (I always want to see the pits) - nice!  They are obviously pumped about making the top 50 list and just as obvious were the reasons they're there!  Super yummy brisket (red oak) and sausage that they make in house (three day process).  This was, imho, the best brisket in downtown Houston, which is saying something because all were noteworthy.

44 Roegels Barbecue Co.*
Yum!

45 Tejas Chocolate Craftory* (TM#6)
Last stop of the day for us (in other words, 7th batch of brisket I've had the opportunity to sample today) and because they have Chocolate in their company name, I really wasn't hoping for much by way of the brisket.  Oh ye of little faith ....!  Do not be deceived as I was!  This was THE BEST brisket of the day (and believe me, that observation was not fuel by hunger or brisket love).  We live in the Austin area where (honestly) it's hard, make that impossible, to chose a favorite BBQ place.  This is the one (and only) operation around the entire big BBQ loving state that I've wished to clone so that it might be available on a routine basis.  I'm saying this is a favorite place.  I just didn't have a clue that stellar brisket loves hand crafted truffles and visa versa!  And Tomball is cute.  I think these guys have a lock on destination BBQ, I know I'm ready to make the trip down there again this morning!  I'm already thinking about a girls day out with my oldest friends which will start and end with Tejas yumminess. I want to share the fun!

46 Truth Barbeque* (TM#10)
Top Notch BBQ!  I love this place.  They asked us what our favorite place so far has been and my husband was quick to offer Mueller's in Taylor.  The young man with the beard said it's his favorite place to eat too.  He added, Wayne is about the nicest, most unassuming person he has meet in the world of Texas BBQ.  What a nice thing for him to say.  The brisket here was sublime, and that's the truth!  They're definitely one of my top ten. 


Seven stops in Houston today.  We did a rise and shine at the usual dark30 ... I pressed my morning coffee as per the daily ritual  ... then we hopped in the car for a drive to Houston and a day full of (excruciatingly well planned) Top50BBQ stops.  Mr. Roegel, the proprietor at our first stop, warned us to call ahead to the others as our day wore on less we be disappointed by SOLD OUT signs on arrival at the later stops.  Good and kindly advice! That's a LAT-LONG graph devised by my husband.  The YETI challenge ends in four years ... 2021 ... we were going to do this leisurely, savoring the dining experiences, reveling in the joy of all things TEXAS BBQ at it's best.  Then we started comparing notes with some kids while waiting in line at Snow's.  Guess what.  People are blasting through the list!  A guy at Truth told me that he is on his second passport having already completed the first one completing all the challenges and stopping up tons of wonderful YETI must haves!  What?!?!  Yesterday I saw a post on #TXBBQPASSPORT which said "we've done 35 stops" this WEEK!  Wow.  I've already missed out on two of the most prized prizes!  So ... we have shifted gears.  We have accepted the reality of the challenge.  Seven stops in one day down in Houston ... Dallas and Jefferson next week (We've actually eaten at all of the Dallas area stops prior to the 2017 list coming out).  After that there's only North Texas left for us (and one in Ft. Worth which is along the way).  We'll click those off in route to a visit we have planned in Colorado ... Colorado via Tyler's.  
The real prize here has been having the opportunity to drive around stopping at wonderful places, visiting with wonderful people both in lines and at the counter.  But ... I'd like to get a Yeti 45 before they run out ... my kayak was designed to fit it as an alternative seat!


WEST TEXAS
47 Evie Mae’s Pit Barbeque* (TM#8)

I mean. it was really good brisket.  The sides weren't memorable - I took maybe two bites of the cheese grits. This is one of the top ten places and honestly, probably the top twenty-five are just as good as each other.  Probably the feel of the place and the experience come in to play when a place is breaking into the top ten.  There were maybe three other tables of people there when we dined in and the staff was definitely in re-set mode.  If you're in Pecos and want BBQ, Evie Mae's is worth the drive, if you're in Austin, stay home.

48 Pody’s BBQ


I believe there must be better brisket on all those drilling sites out around Pecos. Or maybe I wasn't in the mood to be charmed by anything including the dust on the way out of town - two separate glass breaking windshield hits during our briefest of brief stay in Pecos! 

49 Stillwater Barbeque*

another truly great spot for BBQ - Abilene is too far for just food and I don't know what else is happening there, but Stillwater has free cerveza and it seemed like a decent selection to me. 
This is by far the cutest meat cutter in the whole place and she was wearing a TRUTH hat.  These guys all get together for various events around the state so a lot of them know each other.  


50 Tyler’s Barbecue


 This is one of our favorite places - we always plan a stop here when we road trip far north.  The food is great and Tyler and his crew are just really good people.  Took this brisket to go because we left the house at 4:00am and it was around 6:00pm when we pulled into their parking lot. 

Because they stamped my number fifty spot in the passport  - last one - 
they treated me to some BBQ Swag.  I gotta figure out where to wear a trucker hat!
Sweet.
   
* new to list this time 'round