For Texan pitmasters and their worshipers, Christmas comes early each year in the form of September's Texas Monthy Barbecue Festival, a rip-roaring, belt-busting all-you-can-eat meat event. Tickets for the 3rd annual event go on sale Thursday and are expected to sell out.
Texas Monthly food editor Patricia Sharpe curates the 21 barbecue joints chosen for the Festival each year and selects the Festival "Newcomer." This year, the torch will be passed from the now-famed Franklin Barbecue of Austin to the Pecan Lodge of Dallas.
If you'd like to do some extensive independent research in advance of the fall event, Texas Monthly also offers a carefully crafted BBQ Finder mobile app that debuted in conjunction with last year's Barbecue Festival. As the magazine says, "[it's] the app no connoisseur of smoked meat should be without. The only thing it doesn’t have is a nice smoky smell."
"We launched the [BBQ Finder] app last year when the BBQ Festival tickets went on sale," Texas Monthly editor Jake Silverstein tells CultureMap.
"The app has had a great run since then — more than 25,000 downloads, a major award from the City and Regional Magazine Association, and, best of all, it's helped thousands of people find great new joints in Texas and around the country, and helped us foster this great, thriving community, with the Festival and our coverage in the magazine and online, of people who love to eat barbecue and talk about eating barbecue."
As an event that attracts barbecue fans from clear across the Lone Star State, it'll be best to develop a game plan for when the tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. They're bound to go faster than a rack of pork ribs from Stanley's.
The Texas Monthly Barbecue Festival takes place September 23 at the Long Center City Terrace. For the full list of featured entertainment and FAQ, click here. VIP tickets are $118; regular admission are $58.