Much has been written about the smoking, saucing and rubbing going on in places like Memphis, Austin, Chicago and Kansas City – those cities by which all other barbecue is measured. So for their list of the best places for BBQ, Livability.com editors purposely strayed from the herd, instead concentrating on those lesser known cities with a large and loyal local barbecue fan base.
To narrow down the list, editors looked at the number of barbecue restaurants, joints and shacks in a city as well as the quality of those establishments based on customer reviews – and in some cases, a little messy hands-on research.
"Part of what we do at Livability.com is uncover those hidden gems in cities and help them shine. So when a list of the best BBQ cities was proposed, it was decided that we wouldn't take the easy route of listing the usual suspects. Instead we'd go mining for those gems that the rest of the country might not yet have discovered," said John Hood, spokesman for Livability.com.
Barbecue is taken very seriously in Texas. Cities like Austin, Lockhart and Houston are well known for having an assortment of tempting 'cue. Picking the best barbecue restaurant in Texas is like asking someone to pick their favorite child. Easy for some, agonizing for others. One thing most Texans agree on is Texas barbecue is the best.
Livability.com editors focused their attention on Tyler, a city that hasn't received much notoriety but has some darn good barbecue. 'Cue snobs have tipped a hat to Stanley's Famous Pit Bar-B-Q. It has put Tyler's barbecue scene on the map, and the scene is a good one. The city has five bona fide barbecue restaurants and a few more that offer barbecue on the menu.