WINNER ‘best service’ 2008
Every five years Texas Monthly goes out on a limb and proclaims the 50 best barbecue joints in Texas. The BBQ issue is the magazine’s most popular (and controversial) service franchise. This year it rocked the boat by picking a little known restaurant for the number one spot. The boldness of that decision led the magazine to make equally bold moves on the cover. Last time out it had featured the portly pitmaster at one of the state’s most venerable restaurants, grinning as he sliced a sausage. This time, TM elected to use something even simpler—a pile of smoked meats on a butcher’s block with a carving knife plunged in a brisket. The coverline is presented as an iconic BBQ joint neon light and hung on a beat-up wall; the sign’s electrical cord shows behind the magazine’s logo to capture the down-to-earth feel of barbecue. The spatial dynamics of the room created a perfect hierarchy of type, with the secondary coverlines sitting in the shadowy area on the front of the meat block. Not surprisingly, this is on track to be the magazine’s best-selling BBQ cover ever.