Tradition, rich history and that distinct sweet and savory taste of barbecue have paid off as Tyler was recently ranked No. 5 on the list of Top 10 Surprisingly Great Places for BBQ by Livability.com.
“Part of what we do at Livability.com is uncover those hidden gems in cities and help them shine,” John Hood, spokesman for Livability.com, said in a recent press release.
The website, which highlights more than 500 of America’s best places to live and visit, chose not-so-typical cities across the nation with the best ‘cue.
The editors of the site wanted to create a top 10 list for cities otherwise overshadowed by barbecue giants such as Austin, Memphis and Kansas City, to name a few, according to the release.
Among the other small town barbecue heroes include Fayetteville, Ark., Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Lexington, N.C.
Nick Pencis, owner of Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q, was ecstatic to hear the news. His award-winning barbecue joint has received much recognition over the years, and he said this honor for Tyler is something he and his crew take very seriously. His restaurant has a long history in Tyler of more than 50 years.
“I know how much we love this place and honor it,” he said. “We just love the smiles once people take a bite. It’s what we strive for every single day.”
Stanley’s was actually featured as a hot spot in Tyler by the website.
“Our atmosphere and the positive people here have a lot to do with it. We try to make everyone feel at home here,” she said. “If you feel comfortable, you come back.”
Steve Edwards, of Tyler, a regular at the Purple Pig, was impressed by Tyler’s rank on the list, but not surprised. Small town places such as the Purple Pig have the best to offer because they often put more effort and thought into their food, he said.
“The small town places pay attention to the individual product,” he said. “They do that here, and it’s good.”
Another Purple Pig customer Deborah Matus, of Frankston, also believes some of the best ‘cue comes from smaller “Mom and Pop” joints that care about their customers.
“Smaller towns are better with their barbecue because they take more pride and time in their food instead of just slamming it on a grill,” she said.
For the complete list of winners and other top 10 places, visit Livability.com.