Here we are not talking about grilling, but cooking meat slowly so that it becomes tender and succulent (and often with a smoky characteristic. Here in Texas the standard barbeque is beef: specifically brisket. Now brisket is a cut of meat that is ordinarily pretty tough and not to be sought out—however a nice slow cooking over wood transforms it into pure magic. Never cooked with sauce, but often a tomato-based sauce is served, especially on a sandwich. The long-time leader in Dallas barbeque was Sonny Bryan’s which was in a dilapidated building, not nearly big enough to hold its customers. Those who were not taking away could eat inside on old school desks or outside (usually on the hood of their cars). But since his death you can now get Sonny Bryan’s everwhere, including DFW airport—it seems not the same. My favorite area restaurants are: Peggy Sue Barbeque (Snider Plaza, near SMU). The also barbequed turkey and pork ribs (and pulled pork)—and have some of the best vegetables around. They also have great fried pies for desert. They have two sauces: a mild one and a hot one—the later is reasonably hot. I love this place and live close enough to walk. Clark’s Outpost, about 50 miles north of the metroplex in Tioga, Texas. Warren Clark was a disciple of Sonny Bryan and the food here is the very best. Don’t miss the coconut cream pie for desert. Besides standard beef brisket, you can get ribs, turkey and smoked trout. They offer calf fries for the adventurous. The fried okra is a treat. This is up in quarter horse country and the drive up is very pleasant. There are usually pickups with horse trailers in the parking lot. They put their sauce in old Grolsch beer bottles and keep them warm. Angelo’s in Fort Worth. This is a place where you stand in line and go though a cafeteria type line. Usually Angelo’s son is at the front of the line cutting the brisket (Sonny Bryan used to do the same). Beer is the last stop Ribs are the best bet here. There are several great places outside of Austin—and these places are for true barbeque purists. No sauce—not even if requested. No vegetables, other than you can get a whole onion to slice and a whole jalapeno. Simple white bread. And stunningly great meat. This is the City Market at Luling. Kreuz Market in Lockhart is also great—food is served on butcher paper. And finally there is Louis Mueller’s in Taylor, TX—the pit used to be right in the room, so it was very smoky. They actually will serve a sauce. Moving east to Arkansas, pork is the barbeque of choice. My favorite place is in DeValls bluff (a few miles off the freeway). Their pork barbeque sandwiches are almost beyond description. It comes in three versions and the hot is very hot. Right across the street is the Family Pie Shop—which has nothing else. If you are in luck Mary will have sweet potato pie. Memphis barbeque is also pork based—my favorite place here is Charlie Vergos Rendezvous. They are only open in the evening, but if you show up in the afternoon, you can eat so long as all you want is their ribs. This is all you want, as their ‘dry-rubbed’ ribs are divine. The last time I was here was before Christmas and it was full of downtown businessmen and ladies taking a lunch break from their shopping (kids in tow)—of course it was not too crowded as it was not open. Finally the mutton barbeque of Owensboro, KY (are you paying attention Dome?). I used to live here and there were plenty of small pit barbeques around town. Petey’s Spot Light was a stop to pick up a sliced or chopped mutton sandwich on the way home. My parents particularly like the Shady Rest—they had full dinners and it was great. No doubt the best is The Moonlight. If the thought of mutton does not appeal, wait until you have eaten here—their hot sauce is very, very hot. I’d go on but I’m getting hungry.