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Texas Monthly readers name the best barbecue restaurant in the state

Matthew Odam
Austin favorite Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ made it to the quarterfinals in Texas Monthly's readers poll. [RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

Texans can’t get enough barbecue or #barbecuecontent. Texas Monthly put out its Top 50 barbecue restaurants in the state in 2017, released a list of the Top 25 most recent openings earlier this year, and this week announced the tops in their readers poll.

As it turns out, there’s a common figure at the top of two of those lists: Snow’s BBQ in Lexington. The readers named it the state’s best, beating out Brett's Backyard Bar-B-Cue of Rockdale in the tournament style contest. That makes Snow’s number one on both the readers ballots and that of Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn.

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This means one of three things: 1) Voters/readers have exceptional taste and thus see eye to eye with the man charged with crowning barbecue royalty in Texas. 2) Voters/readers are easily influenced by great stories, tastemakers and public sentiment. 3) Snow’s BBQ is as good as it gets.

The answer is likely some combination of the three, but I come here to praise Snow’s, not to question online voting polls. I’ve only had the pleasure of eating Snow’s brisket once in Lexington (and multiple times at events), and after my sole visit to the sleepy town and the barbecue operation that is open once a week and demands an early morning pilgrimage, I declared it the best brisket I’d ever eaten, as moist as red velvet cake. That old opinion still holds, though I call Franklin Barbecue’s brisket its equal in every way Snow’s beat out Evie Mae’s, Louie Mueller and Kreuz Market (a state semifinalist for brisket?) on its way to victory.

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As for Brett’s Backyard in Rockdale, I've never had the pleasure, but after beating out Franklin in the semifinals and Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ in the quarterfinals, it must be very impressive meat, or have an impressive following, at least. Vaughn named it to his list of the Top 25 best new barbecue restaurants in the state in April.

For those wondering about margin of error or shenanigans, readers had to use their email addresses to register to vote and could only vote once, allegedly, so there was no blatant ballot stuffing. Head to to check out the full bracket and results.

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