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PTR: Southwest US parks and brisket


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I'm about to embark on a huge Southwest US trip to visit some parks I haven't been to yet and ride some RMC. I'll turn this into a PTR when I return but for now I'm looking for your opinions on the best brisket in the area. Some of you may remember my Memphis Pulled Pork Challenge from a few years ago. I plan the same with beef brisket so I need to be consistent in what I eat at each place.

 

August 12th: Six Flags over Texas

August 12th: Sandy Lake and Dallas BBQ

August 13th: Frontier City

August 13th: Oklahoma City and Tulsa Brisket

August 14th: Silver Dollar City

August 15th: Wonderland Amusement Park and Amarillo BBQ

August 15th: Joyland Amusement Park and Lubbock BBQ

August 16th - Cliff's Amusement Park

August 16th: Western Playland

August 17th: SFFT and Lockhart BBQ

Edited by larrygator
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I have not been but I have his cookbook and his specialty is brisket. His name is Aaron Franklin and owns Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas. But you better get there early because the line starts forming at like 8am. He also talks about other BBQ joints in his cookbook outside of Austin called Smitty's Market, Kreuz Markets, City Market, Louie Mueller Barbecue, and Southside Market.

 

Oops just read that you already plan to visit Smitty's and Kreuz. Sounds like a good time enjoy Larry!!

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This is his cookbook

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I have not been but I have his cookbook and his specialty is brisket. His name is Aaron Franklin and owns Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas. But you better get there early because the line starts forming at like 8am. He also talks about other BBQ joints in his cookbook outside of Austin called Smitty's Market, Kreuz Markets, City Market, Louie Mueller Barbecue, and Southside Market.

 

Oops just read that you already plan to visit Smitty's and Kreuz. Sounds like a good time enjoy Larry!!

 

Thanks Joe, I always trust the opinion of a chef when it comes to food. Since I'm arriving at Austin at night and leaving in the morning for SFoT it looks like I have someplace to be at 8AM now.

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I've never been either but I was going to say Franklin's BBQ in Austin, especially since you are specifically searching for brisket. I forgot how/where I first learned about that place. But like Joe said, expect to wait in line for several hours ahead of opening time. Jon Favreau went there in the movie Chef, so it must be good.

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Wish I could help you, Larry...but I have not been to those areas since becoming a foodie. I can't wait for the reports though so when I do check Texas off of my bucket list within the next couple of years, I will have some good places in mind!

 

Good luck!

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I second Franklin's, we sadly got there too late and the line was already cut off for the day but it's all you hear about.

 

In Dallas, Pecan Lodge or Mike Anderson's is my favorite.

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Like many others have suggested, Franklin BBQ is a must. Get there really early as there very popular now. While your in Dallas, you should try the Slow Bone bbq. To bad you can't detour to Houston area. Killen's Barbecue is ranked among the top brisket in the nation.

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So for Tulsa I would recommend Burn Co.: http://www.yelp.com/biz/burn-co-barbeque-tulsa

It's the type of place you have to get to near opening time and wait in line because they sell out every day. Everyone says it's worth it, but I have yet to be able to make it over there. If you can't do that, I think Elmer's is the next best bet that I know of right now: http://www.elmersbbqtulsa.com/

 

Stay away from Billy Sim's and Albert G's. Not that they're necessarily terrible, but Billy Sims is an over priced local chain in this area and they just reheat their meats, and Albert G's is more of a pub style that most BBQ lovers don't really like as much.

 

If you are adventurous, truly want some of the best BBQ in the world, and maybe are interested in some unique architecture, you could head up to Bartlesville and eat at Dink's. That's my favorite restaurant in the world, and they give huge cheap portions that are cooked on a huge spit just behind the restaurant. To make it worth the 1hr excursion, Bartlesville is home to the famous Price Tower, Frank Lloyd Wright's only tower design that actually got built. There's also a credit if you get there at the right time. Bartlesville has a kiddie park called, well, kiddie park, with a Herschell little dipper and an amazing collection of spectacularly well maintained classic rides from the 1950's and 60's. It's a real treasure, though it might be weird to look around without a kid since it's aimed at preschool to kindergarten age.

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If you don't want to super long waits at Franklin BBQ in Austin but still want the killer brisket, go to La BBQ. The pitmaster there is an Aaron Franklin disciple, and their brisket and beef ribs are absolutely fantastic - some of the best beef in the US.

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I prefer the Woodshed in Ft. Worth, Lockharts in Dallas, Pecan Lodge is ok, still riding the 'DDD' wave

 

Tulsa - Stutts, Elmers, Oklahoma Joe's (broken arrow) or Oklahoma Style. Burn is good too as was mentioned.

 

Oklahoma City - I love the potato salad and pulled pork at Earls Rib Palace, kinda of a local chain nowadays, I suppose Iron Star is ok

 

Lubbock - If you like pizza, one man from italy, but I know you are a bbq guy. According to family members in the area, the shack and eddie's, however I can't vouch for it as I've not eat there.

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Lubbock - If you like pizza, one man from italy, but I know you are a bbq guy. According to family members in the area, the shack and eddie's, however I can't vouch for it as I've not eat there.

 

I think I'll be avoiding pizza this trip. It's all about brisket (and maybe some TexMex)

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In Lubbock, go to a place called Wiley's BBQ. A lot of locals don't even know about it because it is on the east side of town (and Lubbock is still very segregated). But I lived there for 17 years and it is the only place I would go for brisket once I found it.

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Based on TPR input and additional research here are my ordered options per city, of course I have to check operating hours when I'm in each city.

 

Dallas

1st option : Mike Anderson's BBQ

2nd option: Pecan Lodge

 

Oklahoma City

JT BBQ

 

Tulsa

1st option: Burn Co

2nd option: Elmer's

 

Amarillo

1st option: Tyler's BBQ

 

Lubbock

1st option: Wiley's

2nd option: The Shack

 

El Paso

L &J Cafe

 

Lockhart

Kruez Market

Smitty's

Black's BBQ

 

Austin

1st option: Franklin's BBQ

2nd option: la BBQ

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Austin

1st option: Franklin's BBQ

2nd option: la BBQ

Franklin's brisket is rightfully legendary but you will have to queue for quite a while.

 

There's a couple of other options you might want to consider outside of Austin. Both would be a minor detour on your drive to Six Flags.

 

Meyer’s Elgin Sausage in...err...Elgin has fantastic brisket. They use a vacuum tumbler to force water and seasoning deep into the meat before smoking. The water evaporates first, leaving the meat juices behind for some of the most tender and tasty brisket you'll find.

 

Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor does very decent brisket but if you can bear to break your brisket frenzy for a bit, their smoked beef ribs are absolutely superb.

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I just got back from a trip to the two Six Flags parks in Texas last week. I'm glad to see that you plan on going to Black's in Lockhart, because that's where I went. While I have no other BBQ joints to compare it to, I can say that I've had a fair amount of BBQ in my life, and Black's what the absolute best. I did try the brisket, and it was outstanding. When I walked into the cafeteria/serving room, it was filled with wonderful smelling smoke. I'm sure you already know this, but brisket can be ordered "lean" or "fatty". I chose fatty, and was not disappointed. It was incredibly juicy, tender, rich, and flavorful. If you have a choice, go for fatty brisket. I don't think I'll be able to go back to lean after that.

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Will you be using 35 from Dallas to OKC or vice versa? There's a little place in Davis (OK) not far off exit 51 called Smokin' Joe's and it's some of the best in the state. In OKC, Leo's (NE 36th and Kelley) is well-known and does terrific chopped/chunked brisket, and ribs with a great peppery rub. Bedlam (NE 50th and Lincoln) is pretty good too. There's a little tucked-away place called George's Happy Hog near OU Med Center, but make sure you ask them to leave both sides of the bark on the brisket. The only Earl's worth your time is the original at NW 63rd and Western; Earl's has the best (and only always-on-the-menu) pulled pork in the city. Somebody already mentioned JT's in Del City and it's legit too.

 

Avoid Back Door BBQ on NW 23rd, it's overpriced yuppie cue. Iron Starr (NW 36th and Walker) is where to go if you want yuppie cue.

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Based on TPR input and additional research here are my ordered options per city, of course I have to check operating hours when I'm in each city...

 

Can man live on BBQ alone?

 

We shall soon see.

 

Very envious of all that you're going to visit, Larry.

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I have done extensive research and come to the conclusion that less than 0.01% to readers care about pictures of airports and planes and pre-trip breakfasts so I'll jump right into SFoT.

 

August 12th - SFoT

 

This was my second trip to the park missing only La Vibora due to rain back in 2009. My plan for the day was to only be at the park a few hours (mostly for New Texas Giant, LaVibora, new Justice League ride and possibly one ride on each major coaster), then hit Sandy Lake, then grab some BBQ and being out of town before 4PM based on rush hour traffic.

 

Chadster met up with me at the NTaG after I had already gotten my 3rd ride on NTaG and I rode 3-4 more times. I really enjoyed the later rides when the train was more full. This was only my second RMC, and I preferred Wicked Cyclone. Chad's familiarity with the park allowed me to quickly get to Vibora, Shockwave, Titan and Justice League. Mr.Freeze's line was close to an hour so we skipped.

 

Vibora: It was easily the roughest bobsled coaster I've been on but the only one I encountered air on.

Shockwave: I'm not a big fan of Schwarzkopf coasters, but I keep riding them, hoping to "Get Them" some day. This was not the day.

Titan: Always a fun ride and the helices feel more intense as I age

Justice League: Rode it 3 or 4 times through the single rider line and didn't encounter any technical issues. However, I wasn't really sure who I should be shooting at, but Chad pointed out all those guys in orange jumpsuits that I completely missed during my first ride.

 

At the time I was leaving the park I was expecting to return again the morning of August 18th before my departure flight, so I didn't take a lot of pictures.

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I love the park entrance

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However, once I got to the fountain I forgot which way to go to get to New Texas Giant

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I liked NTG a lot, but never took a picture, so a picture of the disassembled scrambler will have to do.

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Although La Vibora has the best paint job of any bobsled, it is also the most painful.

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Sorry, I still don't get the across the board Schwarzkopf love.

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I had a good caption in my head when I took this photo, but I don't remember it and since I took so few photos you have to deal with it.

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I really liked the ride and look forward to it coming to SFGAdv someday, especially with a single rider line.

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Aquaman gets no respect on this sign. And quite frankly I have no problem with that because his powers are only effective on 75% of the earth. The 75% that is not populated by any villains.

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But Aquaman can celebrate that he does have a ride at SFoT.

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I think I took this picture of the sidewalk because the faded writing was supposed to tell me to go somewhere, but I couldn't read it. Next up I'll be posting pictures from Sandy Lake.

Edited by larrygator
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Ride the Mindbender at West Edmonton Mall in Canada and then you will GET Schwarzkopf!!

 

That is the one I get, by far my favorite. I enjoy a few of them, but as I said, I just don't get the across the board love for EVERY Schwarzkopf.

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