I'm not saying that I haven't found spectacular plates of barbecue during my travels. I have. But the standouts were few and far between, and all of 'em at places that still cook exclusively with wood.

— Jim Shahin

Austin Chronicle

North Gulf Coast Tour


Pizzatolas CrewThis tour was run around Houston and surrounding coastal areas, down to nearly Victoria.  We hit 17 BBQ joints, 1 pub, 1 mexican restaurant, 1 ball park, and the seawall in 57 hours -- while covering over 650 miles.

We encountered two distinctive styles of barbecue this year. 1) Pecan-smoked barbecue was predominant
around the Houston area; and 2) East Texas barbecue smoked over indirect heat, using hickory.  We also found a
number of places using oak, while quite a few places using different mixes of oak, hickory, pecan, and or mesquite.

The BBQ crew compiled 844 individual scores which were tabulated to generate the ranking shown below. A few
interesting facts from the data:

  • It was a strong year for sausage with 14 of 17 sausage/hot link scores above 6.40
  • The top overall scores were lower this year, with no joint scoring above 7.50.  (Last year there were four, however they were in a fairly narrow score band)
  • The lowest overall score was above 4.00; last year it was 2.80
  • Only two joints scored lower than 5.50; last year there were four


  1. Austin's Bar-B-Que, Eagle Lake
  2. Mustang Creek BBQ, Louise
  3. Hinze's Bar-B-Que, Wharton
  4. Williams Smoke House, Houston
  5. Scott's Barbecue West Columbia
  6. Kozy Kitchen, Houston
  7. Brian's BBQ
  8. Drexler's Bar-B-Que
  9. The Swinging Door
  10. Joe's Barbeque Co
  11. Grand Prize BBQ
  12. Carl's Barbecue
  13. Pizzitola's Bar-B-Cue
  14. Dozier's Grocery
  15. Queen's Barbecue
  16. Lyndon's Pit BBQ
  17. Goode Co Barbeque
2002 BBQ Scores.pdf11.57 KB
2002 BBQ Tour T-Shirt.pdf59.37 KB


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