Eat Barbecue like a Local
A wise person once said, “If it ain’t barbecue, it ain’t food.” I’m starting to believe they knew what they were talking about. Recently, I decided to take my talent for eating anything and everything and put it to use. So, I loosened a belt buckle and prepared for the food coma heading my way. From smoked sausage to tender brisket, take a look at the top four barbeque restaurants in “Hub City.”
My first stop on this wood-grilled journey was Evie Mae’s Pit-Barbeque. This place has been the talk of the town since it arrived in Lubbock. After my visit, I understand why mouths water at the name Evie Mae’s.
My first bite was into their pulled pork sandwich. This sandwich was a whole bunch of flavor sitting between two perfectly toasted buns. After I used a questionable amount of their sweet, delicious barbecue sauce, I couldn’t bring myself to put the sandwich down. To continue the list of must-tries at this BBQ hot spot, next was the infamous German sausage. This meat packs a little kick but it offered the perfect amount of flavor.
Pro tip: Arrive early to this Texas Monthly-recognized spot, as they run on a first come first serve basis and this is one you don’t want to miss.
The Shack may be one of the best barbecue places I’ve ever tried. The name marks the spot because a shack is exactly what it is. However, don’t let the outside fool you. I stuck with the classic barbecue order and went for the sliced brisket and sausage. Their sausage was bursting with flavor, ending each bite with a peppery kick. I pushed through the approaching food coma and scarfed down every last bit of this sausage. I am not exaggerating when I say every bite was a piece of savory heaven.
Now, let’s talk about sides. I decided on the rich mac n’ cheese. This take on our favorite classic was extra cheesy, extra smooth, and extra tasty, making it anything but classic. I was practically licking the bowl clean. My next side was out of my comfort zone but worth the risk. Two words. Collard Greens. Y’all. At first glance, I was a little scared about how they would taste, but now collard greens are a staple side. Trust me when I say The Shack knows what they’re doing.
To continue this meat-lovers’ dream food tour, I made my way to Hill Barbeque. This truck opens at 11 a.m. in the Arts District and people waste no time getting there. I arrived early and I was still late! Long line or not, this barbecue is worth the wait. The first thing I want to brag about is the amazing smoked turkey. When I think of barbecue, turkey was never considered. Now, I can’t get
the full flavor from all of the natural juices off my mind. Each tender bite melts immediately in your mouth. The salt and pepper rub makes for the perfect crisp side and piles on even more flavor.
I decided to change up my order and get their pork spare ribs. This juicy, caramelized meat fell right off the bone and immediately filled my heart with barbecue sauce. Once I was done fawning over the extraordinary flavors of their meat, I decided it was time to try some sides. Cheesy Papas is the newfound way to my heart. These cheesy mashed potatoes are garnished with tender meat and packed with seasoning.
Pro tips: First, get the house-made pickles and onions. They’re sweet and have a unique taste to them that helps balance everything. Second, get both sauces on the side. One is sweet while the other spicy and they both taste absolutely to die for when paired with its complementary meat.
My last stop was the perfect late-night bite from Big E’s. If you find yourself out and about in the Depot District between 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., I strongly suggest making a pit stop here. Big E’s gave me a new experience in the way I eat barbecue. First, start by wrapping your choice of meat and toppings in a toasted tortilla. I decided to go with all three choices and try chicken, sausage and brisket. Topped with pico de gallo and hot sauce, the freshly-grilled chicken turned out to be my favorite of the three. I found it to have more of a sweet taste to it, making it easier to eat and giving off a unique tang.
At this point, I was so full of barbecue I could barely breathe, but I pushed through for the brisket taco, and boy was it worth it. This brisket was covered in a savory sauce, each piece just as juicy as the last. Despite my now immense food coma, I did eat all three tacos. You just can’t pass up food that good. Come hungry and watch this amazing barbecue get made right in front of you!
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