Sunday, June 16, 2013

Roll Over, All You Past Bubbles (Tulips, Roaring 20s, Japanese Asset Prices, Dot Com, & Credit Crisis)! Make Way For The Smoked Meat Bubble!

The clever folks at TM created a video clip [below] of a faux Adolf Hitler berating his General Staff for the recent TM Barbecue Ratings issue was the equivalent of his harangues during the Battle of Stalingrad.

Glossary For "Der Fuehrer's" BBQ Rant
The Salt Lick Bar-B-Que — Driftwood, TX
Franklin Barbecue — East Austin
Aaron Franklin — Current King O'The Pit
Daniel VaughnTM's Barbecue Editor
Smitty's Market Lockhart, TX
"Portlandia" — Portland, OR
Justin Fourton — Dallas, TX
Margaret Vera — Austin, TX
Dickey's Barbecue Pit — Austin, TX

Then, the outdoor writer for the Austin Fishwrap, Mike Leggett, went off after a 90-minute wait in line at one of the top-rated joints in the TM list. The crowd in line ahead of Leggett were fresh off the TM BBQ Tour bus visiting three of the top-rated joints in Central Texas. Leggett's sputter rivals the faux Fuehrer's rant about TM and smoked meat. If this is (fair & balanced) smoked unreality, so be it.

[x Austin Fishwrap]
Publicity For Quality Barbecue Hard On Loyal Locals
By Mike Leggett

Tag Cloud of the following article

created at
[x YouTube/MichaelLombard Channel]

(Click arrow to play)

I took a barbecue trip to Louie Mueller in Taylor last week. It’s four hours of my ever diminishing lifespan I’ll never get back.

Call me an old goat. Call me a grouch and an ungrateful snake. Call me just plain shortsighted because I haven’t recognized the smoked meat worship that’s swept over our state.

I just wanted a beef rib.

I arrived at 11:15 full of lip smacking anticipation to find the wait line was well INSIDE the door. Veteran that I am in these matters, I figured maybe 30 minutes until we were wiping the grease off our chins.

That’s what I figured. Instead what I got were nearly 90 minutes in a line that barely moved and eye strain from camera flashes set off by barbecue hipsters taking pictures of everything in the place, from the actual paper menu to the actual Wade [sic Wayne Mueller] Mueller and his T-shirt.

They were walking around with copies of Daniel Vaughn’s barbecue book under their arms, drooling because they could see Mueller in his apron behind the counter cutting up meat. The problem was that he was cutting it up to feed a busload of Texas Monthly barbecue tour patrons, instead of the real, loyal, local customers like me.

According to one breathless food blog, they paid $150 a person and got free beer as well as someone to drive them around to three different restaurants that day.

And me? I drove over 60 miles one way from my house in Burnet, waited an hour and 20 minutes to get food and paid $77 for a pound of brisket, one beef rib, 4 sausage links and a small potato salad. And I couldn’t drink beer because I had to drive home.

When I finally did get my food, the young lady at the register almost pushed me over the edge when she asked if we’d heard about the restaurant from Texas Monthly. No, I said. We’ve been coming here for years.

I wanted to add that the loyal locals and wide-eyed out-of-towners in line deserved better treatment. I wanted to point out that there were no open seats available in that part of the restaurant not taken by the tourists. But it wasn’t her fault.

So we took our sack of meat and went to a local park were we snagged a picnic table covered in bird droppings and muddy shoe prints and surrounded by flies.

If I sound bitter, well, good.

It’s not that I mind that barbecue has been “discovered” here. I’ve always thought that Cooper’s and Kreuz’s and Mueller’s were the absolute pinnacle of the pit stuff.

But things have gotten out of hand when folks think it’s cool to stand in line for two hours to get a piece of brisket. That’s not cool. I don’t care how good the food is.

And we’ve begun to turn our barbecue stars like Aaron Franklin and Terry Woottan into super heroes. You see them now on dumb shows like BBQ Pitmasters and Mystery Diners. If only their super powers could deliver a good chunk of smoked pork at a decent price in under an hour.

All this media exposure is too much. I’m all for free enterprise and you can’t blame a restaurant owner for wanting to show off what he’s got and snap up some of that easy money.

But when the long-time customers start bailing on you — and I’m one of those — you need to pay attention to what’s happening. This high can’t last forever, guys. Ω

[Mike Leggett has covered hunting, fishing, and wildlife matters for the Austin American-Statesman since 1985. Prior to that he was a news editor at the Houston Post. He has also been managing editor at the Huntsville Item and Marshall News Messenger and has received numerous awards including Associated Press Managing Editors and Sports Editors awards for column writing, environmental stories on endangered species and canned hunting, and Dallas Press Club awards for stories on Texas Parks and Wildlife. Leggett is a graduate of Southern Arkansas University.]

Copyright © 2013 Austin American-Statesman

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