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.
If the Aue family didn’t put Texas on the map, they at least made it tastier. Max Aue founded the town of Leon Springs, Texas in the 1800s. Years later, his son Rudolph founded Rudy’s, a country store and barbecue joint that eventually spawned more than 30 outposts throughout Texas and the American Southwest. Each one of them possesses a 100% oak-fired BBQ pit that slow cooks tender slabs of meat, adding a smoky flavor and tender texture to every bite. St. Louis pork ribs, lean and moist brisket, and jalapeño sausages are a few examples of the succulent morsels that emerge from the wood-fired pits straight to the plate. Classic sides such as potato salad and corn on the cop prove delicious accomplices, while banana pudding and peach cobbler grant every meal with a sweet and satisfying coda.
Travis Dickey opened Dickey's Barbecue Pit in 1941. To keep things simple but delicious in the early days, he created a minimalistic menu with only seven items such as beef brisket and bottled milk. By the time the '60s rolled up in a Volkswagen van, Dickey's two sons had grown up and taken over the enterprise. Using their father's hickory-smoked recipes, they expanded the business from a single restaurant to a franchise. To this day, each location uses the same tried-and-true barbecue techniques employed by the founder all those years ago. From the original seven items, the menu has grown to include spicy cheddar sausage and complimentary ice cream as well as sides such as macaroni and cheese and jalapeño beans.
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.
Lemons' Bar-B-Q crafts a barbecue-charged menu of steaks, sandwiches, chicken and seafood. Appetizing appetizers such as hand-breaded onion rings ($3.59 small, $4.99 large) deftly quell rumbling tummies as they warm up taste buds. Midday meal-seekers can nibble on a chopped or sliced barbecue sandwich ($4.99), then wipe away saucy traces with a juicy cheeseburger ($5.99). Dinner diners can dive fork-first into fried shrimp ($9.49) or chicken strips ($6.99), served with a choice of meal-rounding sides. Larger platters boasting steak, catfish, and savory roasted meats are also available for satisfying suppers. Today’s deal is valid for dine-in or carryout, allowing purchasers to pick their edible destination.
Dickey?s Barbecue Pit has smoked beef brisket in-house nearly every night since 1941, painting each morsel with a tangy house-made sauce. Pulled pork, turkey breast, and polish sausage round out the menu with meals that are heartier than a burrito wrapped in Paul Bunyan?s plaid shirt. Boxed lunches and catered buffets brim with homestyle sides such as coleslaw, mac 'n' cheese, and jalape?o beans. Once the last pickle has been crunched and the last finger has been licked, guests can savor one of the restaurant?s most cherished traditions: a vanilla cone, on the house.