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Let's be honest: lots of places claim to know barbecue, or what they THINK barbecue is.

In North Carolina, it's saucy pork with a vinegar base.

In Memphis, it's pork, dry rubbed. Sauce on the side.

In New York....let's move on. It's garbage.

Kansas City likes beef with a sweet sauce.

And here in Texas, brisket and beef ribs, with a spicy saucy kick. That's the correct way.

bhofack2

Here in West Texas, there is certainly no shortage of good to great barbecue. Although, with COVID-19 restrictions making all businesses take a hit, some shops have done better than others.

Lance Ballance, Townsquare Media

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of checking out a West Texas barbecue giant: Evie Mae's in Wolfforth.

Lance Ballance, Townsquare Media
Lance Ballance, Townsquare Media

Even though they are in a fairly new-ish building, the cookers and wood couldn't look any more old school. And the 'cue was fantastic. I had the two-meat plate with pork ribs and burnt ends. If I died right now, I'd be a happy man. Plus, grabbing a can of Lone Star or Shiner out of the tub doesn't hurt at all, either.

The next day, I was still in a BBQ mood, so as I took care of some business. I stumbled upon another place that I had read about online: The Shack on Frankford Ave.

I saw the sign and whipped my truck around to stop, only to be greeted by a smack of disappointment.

"WE ARE PERMANENTLY CLOSED"

 

Lance Ballance, Townsquare Media

Lance Ballance, Townsquare Media

The 'For Sale' sign was the kick in the stomach that I needed to help me realize just how fragile the line between success and failure is in the barbecue business. I honestly thought they'd be open, and wondered how outdated my internet research had truly been.

Of course, we still have plenty of great places here.

Lance Ballance, Townsquare Media
Lance Ballance, Townsquare Media

I stopped into Rudy's on the South Loop Frontage Road earlier this week to pick up an order for some co-workers, and was immediately taken in by the aromas around me. Plus, their drive-up window seems to be always packed.

Lance Ballance, Townsquare Media

Bone Daddy's is another place I've had takeout from in recent days. Definitely a chain, but still hit the spot with their beef ribs.

I have not been able to check out Pitforks & Smokerings on the Slaton Highway, nor Klemke's in Slaton. I also need to hit up Hill Barbecue in Lubbock at some point.

If you have any other 'cue suggestions on the West Texas Barbecue Trail, hit us up!