A hunk of brisket at VooDoo BBQ & Grill begins its journey suspended over a bed of pecan and oak logs. Coated in a dry rub of local spices, the meat slowly turns on a rotisserie rod for up to 16 hours, its skin crisping while the inside stays a warm pink. The chefs smoke all their beef brisket and pulled pork over logs from Louisiana-based trees to lend them the region's unique smoked flavor, even at the risk of confusing passing botanists. They lightly coat grilled sausages, chicken, and burgers in three signature sauces inspired by the state's Cajun recipes. To complement their menagerie of smoked and grilled meats, they sling a variety of southern sides such as corn pudding, greens, and potato salads. At each of the 13 locations, the aroma of roasting meat fills a space of dark-stained wood and wrought iron; dining rooms awash in a palette of reds, greens, and oranges buzz with the sounds of jazz and blues.
Silver Grill Cafe is a rustic refuge for savory Tex-Mex fare, succoring the famished masses with hearty dinner plates and breakfasts served all day. Elephantine though devoid of elephants, the menu touts golden-fried appetizers, meat-replete barbecue, and russian nesting burgers in sizes for all appetites. Pioneer your meal with a border-blurring appetizer of barbecue nachos, then settle down on a customizable three-meat plate with options such as turkey, ribs, brisket, pulled pork, sausage, and more. Breakfast options include the chorizo mexicano, which hosts enough eggs, spicy sausage, and tortillas to fill both an empty belly and a pair of ears seeking protection from the neighbor's early-rising rooster. Between bites, take advantage of free WiFi to look up new chewing techniques.
Like many Texans, Todd Ashmore grew up eating barbecue at gatherings with family and friends, but when backyard cookouts weren't enough for him, he began driving for miles in search of the perfect sauces and meats. Eventually, Ashmore decided to create his own supply, opening Opie's Barbecue so that he could consume sauce-covered brisket, ribs, and pork chops with his family and friends at any time. Sunlight pours in over sturdy wooden tables and chairs in Ashmore's clean, casual restaurant, where he often savors the aromas of the eatery's signature sweet and spicy sauce alongside customers while clad in his usual flip-flops-and-shorts ensemble.
Mann's menu is the work of owner Jim Mann, an artist whose medium is meat and whose canvas is your face. No-nonsense noshers can order meat by the pound—sausage ($11.99), brisket ($12.99), ribs of bovine ($9.09) or porcine ($12.99) origin, pulled pork ($12.99), and more. To keep a hand open for impromptu gong solos, have Jim slap some of that meat between ground-wheat slabs for a barbecue sandwich ($5.59) and side it with potato salad, turnip greens, or black-eyed peas ($2.59 for one serving, $4.99 a pint). Larger appetites have their choice of combo plate with two sides (two meats, $11.59; three meats, $12.99; four meats, $15.79; veggie plate, $7.59). Once your plate looks like a pig exploded on it and your mouth and clothes are gloriously slathered in barbecue sauce, potato salad, and flecks of cobbed corn, finish up your power lunch with a jumbo Texas sweet tea ($2.29) and banana pudding ($2.89), then go nail that job interview.