Darkside of the Grill 
Mel Chmilar Jr.

Mel Chmilar Jr.

Darkside of the Grill

Mel’s Texas BBQ by Darkside of the Grill

Mel’s Texas BBQ by Darkside of the Grill

I am from Edmonton Alberta, a place many would say is the Texas of the north. I recently had the absolute pleasure of spending a week down south, in Central Texas sampling barbeque from some of the best BBQ joints the world has to offer.

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Let me take you on a play-by-play from my tour of Central Texas BBQ, as best I can describe without slipping into a food coma!

Starting with Brothertons Black Iron BBQ, located in Pflugerville it was our first stop. We ordered the barbeque platter with brisket, pulled pork, ribs and in-house made sausage. For sides we got a brisket bánh mì and wasabi coleslaw which blew my doors clean off. Everything was absolutely awesome and we got to meet John Brotherton as he sat down with us and walked us through his process.

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Next Up – Interstellar barbeque in Austin Texas. Here we did the barbeque platter sample turkey that was smoked to perfection and the pork belly burnt ends were insane soft sticky sweet with that little bit of heat amazing. The sides were incredible from the potato salad to the custom made pickles and purple onions that popped! It was a lunch made in heaven, a definite stop on any barbeque tour.

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Our next stop was 2M Smokehouse in San Antonio A heavy hitter in the BBQ world, these guys delivered hard on the smoke. The sausage was spicy. The brisket was a hit and the ribs had so much sweet smoke the bones were clean! The smoked mac and cheese was a home run. But for me the cold corn salad and home made pickled serranos stole the show. I’ll be back here again soon!

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We had a detour to Treaty Oak Distillery where not only are they putting out top-shelf bourbon but also barbeque fit for a king! Smoked queso nachos and that big smoked meat platter were the bombs! The cold cucumber salad was a dream as well as the red slaw! But for me, the sausage was king here! I don’t know what even went into it but I got 3 more on the side to soak up that ghost hill bourbon!

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Our last stop on this journey was one of the Best!!!! 

Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ in Austin was exactly as it sounds! Taco heaven with brisket that sings!!!!! Miguel sat down and gave us a hot tip!!! He uses mesquite wood with his beef not post oak like everyone else and that paid out triple on the platter! Everything was perfect but what threw them up the ladder for us was the “Real Deal Holyfield” a breakfast Taco with eggs, Brisket, Bacon and a serrano salsa……. Yeah you need to step into the ring with this prize fighter!

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In closing the best advice I can give you is to trust your eyes. Splurge and get the big platter! You are already there and you know you want to. Dive into everything with a clean slate and you will have a blast at each stop. Central Texas is killing the BBQ game! Now I’m going to have a bourbon and a triple Maduro followed by a nap!

Mel Chmilar jr