As barbecue editor, Daniel Vaughn has to go through a lot of smoked meats. Today, he put together a list of what he deemed as the the best new and improved barbecue restaurants in Texas. Austin is the most represented city with five places: Freedmen’s, Micklethwait Craft Meats, Valentina’s Tex-Mex BBQ, Kerlin BBQ, and Terry Black’s Barbecue. He wrote:
But it can’t be denied that Austin is now the greatest city for barbecue in the world. Surrounded by such impressive smoked meat, anyone brave enough to think they can compete there better be ready to play with fire.
Over on The Chronicle, Brandon Watson found the Southern offerings from Westin Hotel’s Stella San Jac to be uneven. This didn’t hold true for some of the entrees like the Berkshire pork chop, burger, and biscuits, but when dishes involved multiple elements, the meals didn’t gel together:
All the components of the salmon ($23) were done right. The salmon was juicy, the potatoes fork-tender, the rainbow chard still had a little bite. But the balance was off, overwhelmed by the bright pool of tomato essence. There, the salmon needed pepper, the fingerlings wanted salt, and the chard could have used a good toss of bacon grease.