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In its third year, the Houston Barbecue Festival has certainly become the must attend event. Where else can you find the best of Texas all in one place and all at one time? Well, this year brought a lot of “firsts” including a bigger space, new barbecue joints (like Blood Bros. BBQ), and a plethora of options besides beef.

In addition to the traditional brisket, beef ribs, pork ribs, and sausage, several pitmasters showed off their prowess by offering a few “alternatives”. Wayne Muller of Louie Muller Barbecue served up mini lamb chops, Greg Gatlin of Gatlin’s BBQ was found smoking both catfish and redfish, Patrick Feges of Feges BBQ was pulling juicy pieces of pork from a whole pig, Corkscrew gave us two more reasons to love them with their smoked pork belly and boudin stuffed pork loin – downright sinful (in a good way of course), the deep fried corn and boudin from Ray’s BBQ Shack are long time favorites, and let’s not forget the brisket mac and cheese balls from Oak Leaf Smokehouse.

The festival celebration just seems to be getting bigger and better and we look forward to seeing how they will top themselves next year – we are sure they are going to because that’s just how they (founders Chris Reid and Mike Fulmer) roll!

Without a doubt, they have met their goal once again this year and the smiles and good times from the pitmasters, volunteers, and attendees were sure indications of that. The world of barbecue is special. Not solely because one can’t fathom an existence without it, but it’s really because of the people. It is not easy being the best of the best and these ladies and gents do it every day with a smile. A smile that can attest to the fact that they truly love what they do.

Here’s to Houston barbecue, the Houston Barbecue Festival, and to a job well done! Eat more meat!!!

The Urban Swank Girls

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