The Texas Monthly BBQ Fest celebrates barbecue across the state each year. Due to COVID-19, this year's event is celebrating in a whole new way. The backyard edition of the festival encourages barbecue fans to visit their barbecue joint. Sixty barbecue joints, including six in Central Texas, will be participating in this year's backyard edition of the festival.
"Giving people an excuse to go out and celebrate barbecue, celebrate their local place. To go and really give them a boost in business maybe just a boost in their mood, having some of their old fans come by and pick up a plate, a tray, a to-go box, whatever it might be," said Daniel Vaughn, the Texas Monthly Barbecue Editor.
For those participating, like Phillip Helberg from Helberg Barbecue, it is just an honor to be chosen.
"Being invited to a Texas Monthly Barbecue festival, whether it's virtual or in-person is obviously an honor. We're super excited and ready to throw down some awesome specials and hopefully see some new faces in here," Helberg said.
For a pitmaster, the work is hard and schedules do not make it easy to travel and visit other barbecue joints.
Many of these pitmasters use the Texas Monthly BBQ Fest to see each other, learn from each other, and try each other's food.
Brett's Backyard Bar-B-Que in Rockdale celebrated their second-anniversary last week, having pitmasters from all over the country come to celebrate. For Brett Boren, the owner of Brett's Backyard Bar-B-Que, being able to have an event like that is a breath of fresh air.
"We haven't got to see one another in like a year because all of the festivals have been canceled. This is so great, I needed this. It's a common bond for us to drink a cold beverage together and give each other a hug and a pat on the back, and hey keep going strong and we'll see you next year," he said.
Sixty barbecue joints, including six in Central Texas and the Brazos Valley will be participating in this year's backyard edition of the festival.
All of the participating barbecue joints are on Texas Monthly's lists of the top 50 barbecue joints or top 25 new joints. In 2019, two barbecue joints from Central Texas, Guess Family Barbecue and Miller's Smokehouse participated in the festival in Austin. The six barbecue joints and heir specials include:
1775 Texas Pit BBQ - College Station
1. Brazos Special - 1 Pork Steak + 2 Sides/Drink
2. Brisket/Sausage Sandwhich + side/drink combo
3. Pulled Pork
4. Pastrami - *ONLY ON OCTOBER 31
Brett's Backyard Bar-B-Que - Rockdale
1. Texas Trinity Platter with 2 sides ($15.50 + tax)
2. Sunday Brunch - (3) Tex-Mex tacos (Mix + Match - $10)
Fargo's Pit BBQ - Bryan
1. Special Fargo Smoked Flavor Spaghetti with Rib Tips
Guess Family Barbecue - Waco
1. Barbacoa Tacos
2. Big Red Pork Belly Burnt Ends
Helberg Barbecue - Waco
1. Smoked Filipino Pork Adobo with garlic rice
2. Turkey Club Sausage
Miller's Smokehouse - Belton
1. Pastrami Sandwich with mustard slaw in housemade white bread
2. Beef Sausage Sandwich with horseradish mayo
3. Pumpkin Spice Sausage wrapped in one of our housemade pancakes (*BREAKFAST HOURS ONLY*)
The BBQ Fest concludes on Sunday with a virtual backyard BBQ show. For more information on this year's Texas Monthly BBQ Festival, click here.