The Texas Monthly BBQ Festival, also known as TMBBQ, gathers some of the best pitmasters from across our great state of Texas for one tasty afternoon filled with smoked meats, live music, good times, and a few sweet treats for good measure.

The aroma of barbecue leads you right to the front lawn of The Long Center for the Performing Arts, where barbecue lover’s patiently waited in line to enjoy all (or at least what your stomach could bear) 27 of the barbecue joints represented that day, pulled straight from the notable list of Texas Monthly’s “The 50 Best BBQ Joints in the World!”.

Brisket from Louie Mueller Barbecue

We ran across many attendees who had already prepared a game in plan in advance of the festival. They were going to make pit stops at a few of the popular pitmasters located downstairs first, like Louie Mueller Barbecue and Franklin’s Barbecue, then make their way to the new kid on the block, Evie Mae’s, before heading upstairs to grub on other iconic BBQ joints.

Thomas Abramowicz, The Beast pitmaster

Regardless of your plan, everyone wanted a taste of “The Beast”, who traveled all the way to Austin from Paris just to show off his international barbecue “skillz”.

After getting our fill of the smoked duck and enormous beef ribs from The Beast, we had to cover our bases by visiting a few of our personal faves. We made a stop by The Original Black’s Barbecue and had an amazing time chatting with and interviewing Mr. Kent Black, who ended up flipping the script on us and had Felice and I tell their fans all about Urban Swank and share our go to barbecue items (via their live Facebook feed).

Prime rib from Opie’s Barbecue

Opie’s Barbecue had us at hello as we eyed their fantastically tender prime rib – we’ve already made plans to visit Opie’s during our December BBQ run. Of course we had to say hello to our hometown barbecue heroes (hint: Killen’s Barbecue and Gatlin’s BBQ) just because we can’t get enough. And we ended up at La Barbecue for a quick photo opp and to steal (well not literally) a few slices of their flavorful sausage.

After a few hours of noshing on the good stuff, and filling our bellies with all the brisket, sausage links, prime rib, and beef ribs that we could muster, we were happy ladies. TMBBQ is by far one of the best barbecue festivals and after going strong for seven years, it will only continue to get better and better. The festival sells out every year and we understand why. It’s a barbecue lover’s happy place and we all like to be happy, now don’t we?

Sausage from La Barbecue

Other popular pitmasters giving the people what they wanted (in the form of BBQ that is) included Austin’s BBQ and Catering, Buzzie’s Bar-B-Q, Cousin’s Bar-B-Q, Cranky Frank’s, Freedmen’s, The Granary ’Cue & Brew, Hays Co. Bar-B-Q and Catering, Hutchins BBQ, Lamberts Downtown Barbecue, Lockhart Smokehouse, Miller’s Smokehouse, Pecan Lodge, Pody’s BBQ, Snow’s BBQ, Stanley’s Famous Pit Barbecue, Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew, Two Bros. BBQ Market, and Tyler’s Barbecue.

Shanna Jones

Shanna is the co-founder and editor of Urban Swank. She focuses on food and travel.


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