Tales from the pits, a Texas BBQ podcast featuring trendsetters, leaders, and icons from the barbecue industry
Ep. 114 - Helberg Barbecue one year later

Ep. 114 - Helberg Barbecue one year later

July 8, 2019

First year growth

To say the first year in business for Helberg Barbecue was eventful would be a massive understatement. From the early beginnings in their small trailer to multiple accolades, personal and professional growth, and now a brick and mortar building in addition to their food trailer, Phillip and Yvette Helberg have gone on quite the ride.

We sat down with several members of the Helberg team to discuss the journey so far, each person's role in the business, and the future for this talented crew that has an unwavering commitment to quality. Listen in as Phil, Yvette, The Doc, Chef Matt, and Chance fill us in on the new restaurant, menu items, and each of their paths to get where they are now.
Previous Episodes
Catch our original two part interview Episodes 55 and 56
Social Media
               Food Trailer https://www.instagram.com/helbergonaustin/
Locations and Hours
Helberg on Austin (Food Trailer serving pub fare)

223 Austin, Ave
Waco, Tx 76701

Sunday-Friday 12pm - 10pm or sold out
Saturday 11am-10pm or sold out

Helberg Barbecue (new brick and mortar location)
8532 N Hwy 6
Waco, Tx 76712

Wednesday-Saturday 11am-9pm or sold out


Ep. 113 - BBQ Road Trips Part 2

Ep. 113 - BBQ Road Trips Part 2

July 1, 2019

Road Trips that maximize the stops within short timelines

In the second installment of our BBQ road trip tips we provide sample itineraries for the hardcore BBQ fan trying to sample as many restaurants as possible in a short amount of time. We give tips on what to order, timing of each stop, and various other pieces of advice to maximize your time in order to get in as many stops as possible in both Austin and Houston. We also discuss which Dallas/Fort Worth stops should be on your list.

The Top Ten Challenge

At the end of the episode we lay out a guide to eat at every BBQ joint in the Texas Monthly Top Ten in only a few days. We've had multiple people asked if it could be done, so we share our thoughts on how one could pull off such a feat, though we highly recommend spacing out your great BBQ stops so that you can enjoy them! 
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Ep. 112 - Panther City  BBQ

Ep. 112 - Panther City BBQ

June 24, 2019
Chris Magallanes and Ernest Morales are longtime friends who grew up cooking backyard barbecue and eventually foraying into competition cooking. Trips to places like the former John Mueller Meat Co. inspired them to start cooking more Central Texas style retail barbecue, and they soon began to envision a food truck business.
After honing their craft serving at bars, breweries, and wherever they could find to help grow their business, Chris and Ernie jumped at the opportunity to set up at Republic Bar in Fort Worth, which was the original home of Heim Barbecue in their food truck days.
With items like pork belly burnt end jalapeño poppers and brisket loaded elotes, Panther City has built a strong following with unique menu options combined with barbecue menu essentials. Construction is underway and nearing completion on patio seating for their customers and additional pits are on the way, which means Panther City will be able to offer an expanded menu with lunch and dinner hours in the near future.
Panther City BBQ
201 E. Hattie Street 
Fort Worth, Texas
Thursday - Saturday 11am - Sold Out
Sunday 12pm - Sold Out
Instagram: Panthercitybbq https://www.instagram.com/panthercitybbq
Twitter: @panthercitybbq https://twitter.com/panthercitybbq
Ep. 111 - Cattleack Barbeque part two

Ep. 111 - Cattleack Barbeque part two

June 12, 2019

Listen to part one of our episode with Todd David of Cattleack Barbeque to hear about his early days of cooking barbecue and starting the business.

In part two of our talk with Todd, we discuss the effect being named the third best BBQ joint in Texas by Texas Monthly has had on the business and the pressure to live up to such acclaim. Todd also talks about his whole hog cooking process, his desire to keep learning and tweaking his products, and the unrelenting commitment to making great barbecue that drives him.

13628 Gamma Rd
Dallas, TX 75244

Thursdays 10:30am – 2pm
Fridays 10:30am – 2pm
1st Saturdays 10:30 am – 2pm

Catch Cattleack Barbeque on the internet at:



Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CattleackBarbeque

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cattleackbbq @cattleackbbq

Ep. 110 - Todd David of Cattleack Barbeque

Ep. 110 - Todd David of Cattleack Barbeque

June 10, 2019

Todd David was a barbecue fan long before he owned a barbecue restaurant. He was grilling and smoking meats as a young man growing up in St. Louis, and that passion only grew once he moved to Dallas. It would be a long time, however, before BBQ would become a business for the David family.

Toddn ahis wife Misty owned and operated a commercial cleaning and restoration company in Dallas for many years and would host monthly barbecue lunches for their customers. Over time the lunches grew in volume, and after a long and successful career they decided to sell their restoration company but continue catering for large events.

The original plan for Cattleack Barbeque was to be mainly a catering operation, but that would quickly change as they'd serve lunches from their small storefront and word spread on the high level of quality being produced. The accolades would soon follow as local media and BBQ enthusiasts discovered what the Davids were producing. In May of 2017 they were named the third best BBQ joint in Texas by Texas Monthly.

Tune in for part two of our talk with Todd as we discuss the effects of such acclaim as well as the Cattleack menu.



13628 Gamma Rd

Dallas, TX 75244


Thursdays 10:30am – 2pm

Fridays10:30am – 2pm

1st Saturdays 10:30 am – 2pm

CatchC Barbeque on the internet at:




Twitter: https://twitter.com/cattleackbbq


Ep. 109 - Zavala’s Barbecue

Ep. 109 - Zavala’s Barbecue

June 3, 2019

A tradition of family cookouts in his youth was the inspiration for Joe Zavala to buy his first smoker when he and his wife Christan became homeowners. As Joe tinkered with his cooks and his brisket game grew stronger, he launched an ambitious (but not exactly profitable) plan to cook and deliver his barbecue to customers all over the Dallas and Fort Worth area. 

With encouragement from Christan and longtime friends C.J. and Drew, Zavala’s Barbecue began serving in pop up form at a few events in the Grand Prairie area. Word was quickly spreading about the quality of food they were producing, and soon Zavala’s was serving their food every Saturday at The Brass Bean in Grand Prairie.

As the buzz continued, Zavala’s would cook as much as their smokers could hold, but the sellout sign would still be posted within a few hours of opening as the locals couldn’t get enough of Joe and crew’s smoked meats. They began looking for a more permanent spot to be able to cook and serve, and eventually found an old building in downtown Grand Prairie. 

With the Zavala’s crew all having full time jobs and family obligations, they are currently only open Saturdays for lunch, but that may change in the future. In the meantime, Joe's wife Christan will be utilizing the restaurant space during the week as she opens Mas Coffee Co., which will be serving Zavala’s Barbecue breakfast tacos. 

The word is definitely out about the high quality menu being served by this talented team. There’s a line every Saturday, and for good reason. With peppery, well cooked brisket, housemade sausages and Mexican influenced menu items, Zavala’s Barbecue is a place BBQ fans need to get to.


Zavala's Barbecue is currently open Saturday's only from 11am - Sell out

421 W Main St, Grand Prairie, TX 75050


Catch Zavala's Barbecue on the web at:


Twitter: https://www.facebook.com/zavalasbarbecue/

Facebook: @zavalasbarbecue  https://twitter.com/zavalasbarbecue




Ep. 108 - Dayne’s Craft Barbecue

Ep. 108 - Dayne’s Craft Barbecue

May 27, 2019

Dayne's Craft Barbecue is another quality edition to the growing barbecue scene in Fort Worth, Texas. Early memories of his dad cooking ribs eventually lead to Dayne’s fiancée Ashley buying him his first smoker and learning the craft.

Inspired by the underground barbecue scene of California, Dayne began hosting his own underground pop ups. As he continued honing his skills and building an audience, brewery pop ups would follow.

Dayne's Craft Barbecue recently made the leap to building out a brick and mortar with an anticipated opening date of late summer 2019. For the time being keep an eye out for regular pop ups as the restaurant is built. With a menu of high quality meats, housemade sausages and scratch sides, Dayne is well on the way to making his mark in the Fort Worth scene.

For more information catch Dayne's Craft Barbecue on the web at:
Twitter: @daynetxbbq
Instagram: daynetxbbq


Ep. 107 - The Growing DFW BBQ Scene

Ep. 107 - The Growing DFW BBQ Scene

May 20, 2019

It had been too long since our last roadtrip up to DFW so we gassed up the BBQ wagon and set off to the metroplex. While we have a long list of locations we need to scout out we were able to squeeze in five on this trip. Starting with Cattleack we checked into the Pitmasters and Punch morning chat that Todd David hosts, followed by whole hog and as much of the menu as we could eat at Cattleack before checking out Zavala's, Panther City, Dayne's, and Finally Flores before getting back on I45 and making our way back south.

We were very impressed with the barbecue scene and barbecue community that is really flourishing up that way.

Round two will come later this summer with Goldees, Smiley's, Riscky's, Hurtado, Brix, Slow Bone, and Ferris Wheeler's on our check list of places we need to go visit.

Who else should we put on our list? Let us know on Instagram: TalesFromthePits or Twitter: @BBQPodcast

We apologize for the audio quality on this one, as even more than normal its not optimal. We continue to experiment with microphones and recording options to improve as it is difficult to record in a moving car or at a busy restaurant, but this time we went a little backwards with the audio quality. 

TFP Ep. 106 - Women in BBQ

TFP Ep. 106 - Women in BBQ

May 13, 2019

The barbecue world has long been seen as a largely male dominated industry, with womens’ contributions to the profession often being overlooked. But the truth about many BBQ operations is that they would not be what they are without the hard work and passion of a growing number of women in BBQ.

There are female pitmasters, BBQ restaurant owner/ operators, managers, sausage makers, cooks, meat cutters, and a myriad of other jobs in the barbecue world. 

In this episode we’re joined by three of the great women in barbecue: Misty Roegels, Owner/Operator at Roegels Barbecue Co., Mallory Robbins, Owner/Operator at Evie Mae’s Pit Barbeque, and Aubrie Hood, General Manager at Evie Mae’s. Please tune in as they discuss a wide range of topics from the difficulties of being a woman in what is perceived as a male dominated industry, raising a family while operating a restaurant, and more.


TFP BBQ Ep. 105 - Red Dirt pitmaster chat

TFP BBQ Ep. 105 - Red Dirt pitmaster chat

May 6, 2019

We were privileged to sit down with some great people in the BBQ world during the Red Dirt BBQ and Music Festival. The Red Dirt Festival takes place every May in Tyler, Texas and is widely considered the can't-miss BBQ event in Texas. Some of the state's best BBQ joints serve up tasty bites and in the evening Tyler's downtown square turns into an even bigger party as prominent Red Dirt music acts take the stage for thousands of fans.


Tickets for Red Dirt sell out within hours, be ready for 2020 and make sure to keep up with info at:
This year we were joined by Jordan Jackson and Bryan Bingham of Bodacious Bar-B-Q, Dylan Taylor of Goldee's BBQ, and Cody Sperry of HooDoo Brown Barbeque in Ridgefield, Connecticut for a raucous and wide ranging roundtable. Topics for this episode include everyone's BBQ "a ha" moment, everyone's "Death Row last meal," and so much more.