new Things I Ate in Cambodia

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Snow's Barbeque Lexington, Texas

My life has been a love affair with meat. I mean that as innocently as possible.

I am Southern and was born into a family that exalts protein. My father is a dedicated and ardent barbeque artistian, who enjoys spending his free time hanging out in the backyard and poking ribs and chicken with a stick. A North Carolina native, he becomes scandalized whenever a Californian unwittingly mentions that they are holding a "barbeque." He will leap into the fray: "You mean you're grilling, right? Because you aren't smoking anything, right?"

No, barbeque means smoked meat - preferably done low and slow, without the intrusion of sugary sauce, oven, or all the other indignities heaped upon good meat - and it is only done properly in Texas and the South. At least if you ask us.

With that in mind, I had high expectations for Snow's, a joint in podunk Lexington, Texas, that was surprised as anyone else when Texas Monthly hailed it as the state's best barbecue. It was a lot of publicity for a small shack that happens to be open only on Saturday mornings, but it appears to have held up under the pressure well, turning out huge amounts of meat to a drooling and large mob of people who have driven in from all across the West. For what?

Brisket. The brisket at Snow's is mind-blowingly good, the perfect essence of beefy, fatty, smoky goodness, dripping with juices and happy, happy feelings. My hurricane-evacuated self will forever thank my aunt for introducing me to it.

We arrived at Snow's at 8:00 sharp, which is when you need to get in if you want any meat - they sell until they run out and nowadays they run out fast. We stood in line and ordered a couple of briskets, some ribs, some sausage, and some tantalizingly named "pork steak". We also ordered ourselves brisket "sandwiches" for a dainty little morning repast.

Meat is served on brown butcher paper, and you can get your own beans and dill pickles from stations around the room (decorated with the owners rodeo memorabilia.) We chowed down, and I don't think I've enjoyed a breakfast more in a long, long time.

My aunt Lyn and her fiancee, Mike, slung the rest of the meat in a cooler and we headed on down to New Braunfels, bringers of delicious proteins to Mike's family. We invited everyone over for dinner and merrily gorged ourselves on meat, cobbler, pie, and cream cheese with chipotle raspberry dressing. Yeah, I don't mind spending a little extra time in Texas.

(How was the meat other then the brisket? The ribs were in my opinion delish, the sausage and pork steak less so - though still infinitely better then the stuff that passes for BBQ in most emporiums in California or the Northeast.)

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