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The Real Chappell Hlll Sausage

“Wurst BBQ in Texas” was the title of the talk I gave at the Texas Dance Hall Symposium in Round Top on Saturday. I passed out samples of German sausage from Burton’s and Polish sausage from Chappell Hill Meat Market. The Chappell Hill Meat Market and Cafe was founded by the Kopycinski family in 1939. The original business was located closer to downtown Chappell Hill, but when Highway 290 was rerouted in the 1970s, the business moved to its current location at the 290 stoplight in Chappell Hill. I had a sausage sandwich at the cafe while I was picking up my sample links. Don’t mistake the Kopycinski’s sausage for the packaged products made by the Chappell Hill Sausage Company, a latter-day copycat that makes the commercial style Chappell Hill Sausage found in grocery stores.

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Church Lady Q

Check out “Made in the Shade,” my article in the August/September issue of Garden & Gun Magazine. The piece includes listings of my favorite Texas shade tree barbecue stands including this group of church ladies in Rosenberg.

Any noteworthy barbecue pits operating on the side of the road, under a tree, or in a parking lot in your neighborhood?

Legends of Texas BBQ: Martin's in Bryan

The tabletops are worn out from dominoes

The ribs are outstanding at Martin’s Barbeque in Bryan. The brisket I sampled was very moist and tender, although it had that slightly steamed texture of a brisket that had been held for awhile in foil or a sealed hotel pan. The German potatoes are a favorite here, but all the sides are excellent. But the real attraction at Martin’s is the ancient Texas barbecue joint atmosphere. The tile floor in the kitchen has been worn down to the cement and the flues above the old brick pits are covered with creosote stalactites.

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The Making of a Food Film

Southern Foodways Alliance (SFA) film maker Joe York interviewed customers at Taylor Cafe yesterday on the subjects of barbecue and philosophy. York is here in Texas shooting segments for an upcoming SFA movie tentatively titled “Southern Food: The Movie.”

I haven’t been blogging much lately because I’ve spent the last week working with York on getting some tasty bits of Texas on tape. Hopefully, SFA will allow Foodways Texas (FTX) to reuse some of York’s footage for our own upcoming short films and informational videos.

Stay tuned.

Large Barbecue


In August of 1969, The University of Nebraska Animal Sciences Department reissued this pamphlet titled “The Large Quantity Barbecue.” (Click on the link to see the whole thing–the photos are amazing!) The booklet contains step-by-step instructions for building the kind of old-fashioned barbecue pit in which the meat is buried under a covering of dirt. You dig the pit three and half feet deep and determine the length by how much meat you are cooking– six feet of pit for every 200 pounds of meat.

This was always the method used for the XIT Reunion Barbecue. The world’s largest free barbecue will be held on Saturday August 8 this year. If you go, please send me some photos.

Early Morning at Franklin

The pit at Franklin Barbecue trailer in Austin was once used at John Mueller’s on Manor Road.

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Chef Ray's BBQ Stand

Chef Ray

A smoking barbecue trailer was drawing a crowd to a convenience store parking lot in north Houston. It was Friday evening around six and people were ready to party. Some of the customers hung around and joked with the guys passing out the rib and sausage plates. One guy sipped a beer and joined in the conversation from the open driver’s side window without getting out of his car.

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A BBQ Disaster Narrowly Averted

On Sunday I blogged and tweeted about smoking a Kobe brisket with Bellville Meat Market rub. @BBQsnob, the guy behind the Full Custom Gospel BBQ website tweeted about how good it sounded and I ended up inviting him and his family over for lunch on Memorial Day.

Sounds lovely, eh? It was…until I noticed something weird going on in the smoker.

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Memorial Day Smoke Signals

Update: Here’s what our Memorial Day barbecue looks like after five and a half hours of smoking. I think the pork is done, but I’m going to hit it with a wine jelly and mustard glaze just for the hell of it.

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Texas Q History

A producer for the History Channel named Paul La Blanc put this pilot together for a food history show to be called “A Bite of History.” I don’t think the show ever got broadcast–or at least I never heard anything about it. Here is the Texas segment.

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