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Food & Wine Compiles '20 Best Dishes in Texas,' From Crudo to Pig Heads

The magazine gets a little assistance from Tim Love and Daniel Vaughn.

Smoke's "Big Rib" gets a nod from Food & Wine.
Smoke's "Big Rib" gets a nod from Food & Wine.

The November issue of Food & Wine presents a list of the "20 Best Dishes in Texas," compiled with the help of chef Tim Love, barbecue scholar Daniel Vaughn, and a "hotelier" (ooh, fancy) by the name of Liz Lambert. Unsurprisingly, the list is heavy on the barbecue, including picks from heavy-hitters like Franklin Barbecue and Louie Mueller as well as Houston newcomer Killen's. The much-talked-about whole pig's head from CBD Provisions also makes the list, as does the open-face beef cheek sandwich at Knife and the lamb brisket at Tim Love's Woodshed Smokehouse (one of Vaughn's picks, not Love's).

Here's what Vaughn had to say about the famed "Big Rib" at Tim Byres' Smoke:

Tim Byres is going to hate the fact that we are highlighting his giant beef rib—he makes almost no money on it because beef ribs are so expensive. But it is a sight to behold. It’s giant, served on green-chile hominy with chimichurri on top. To me, the chimichurri is Tim’s way of saying: "Screw you, barbecue purists. I like chimichurri, so I’m going to put it on my beef rib. Deal with it."

While lauding the list as the 20 best dishes in the entire state is a pretty bold move (and also basically impossible to quantify), it's certainly a tasty-looking group. Other dishes of note include the housemade Texas toast at San Antonio's The Granary (which is served with some pretty luscious sounding "barbecue butter") and ham-and-cheese-stuffed pretzels at Austin's food trailer-turned-restaurant The Odd Duck.