TFP BBQ Ep. 71 - Sam Jones and Michael Letchworth Pt2

September 10, 2018
Sam Jones is one heck of a storyteller and that skill is no more apparent than in part two of our interview with him and Michael Letchworth. This episode details some of the challenges Sam and Michael faced during the construction phase of their restaurant and what they did to navigate the problems that come along with opening a restaurant.
In this wide ranging interview we discuss everything from Sam and Michael's strong friendship to their very different musical tastes, the origins of the famous Skylight Inn capitol dome and how Skylight Inn got its name. Sam and Michael are two of the busiest men one is likely to meet and we cannot thank them enough for being so generous with their time and for inviting us to hang out and learn some invaluable lessons about barbecue, business, and life. They're great people with a great restaurant.
The barbecue world lost a legend recently, and Sam Jones lost a dear friend when Garry Roark of Ubon's BBQ in Yazoo City, Mississippi passed away. In this episode Sam mentioned a podcast he did with Garry and other barbecue friends. Here is the link to that podcast. We hope you'll give it a listen and keep the Roark family in your thoughts.

TFP BBQ Ep. 70 - Sam Jones and Michael Letchworth

September 9, 2018

Having grown up in a family whose history in barbecue could be traced back to the 1800's, whole hog cooking was something that had always been a part of Sam Jones' world. Despite being reluctant to make barbecue a career as young man, Sam returned to the business full time when his grandfather Pete Jones, founder of Skylight Inn, became ill.

Sam navigated Skylight Inn through tough times after Pete's death and helped make the business thrive and prosper. Sam has a strong business mind and wanted to create a restaurant of his own, still focused on whole hog cooked the traditional way over wood burned down to coals, but something that would stand on its own and not be seen as a carbon copy of the now famous Skylight Inn.
Together with his longtime friend and business partner Michael Letchworth, they opened Sam Jones BBQ in Winterville, North Carolina in the fall of 2015. Check out part one of our interview with Sam and Michael where we discuss the history of Skylight Inn and its unique way of cooking and serving whole hog, and how the mindset of not being afraid to ask questions and to learn lead to the eventual creation of better processes for running a successful business and brand.
Sam Jones BBQ online at:


11AM — 9PM

11AM — 8:30PM


Skylight Inn BBQ online at:

4618 S Lee St, Ayden, NC 28513

Monday - Saturday
10 am–7pm

Closed Sunday





TFP BBQ Ep. 69 - Cooking Classes and Catering with Dylan Taylor

September 3, 2018

Dylan Taylor has built up quite the resume at a very young age. After working at highly acclaimed BBQ spots such as Terry Black's, La Barbecue, Truth Barbeque, and 2M Smokehouse (among others), Dylan decided the time was right to start working toward opening his own place. While he scouts out possible locations, Dylan has launched Taylor Barbecue Catering, available for medium to large barbecue catering requests. In addition to the catering options, Dylan also offers restaurant consulting services as well as fully immersive, hands-on cooking classes.

Students who attend Dylan's classes learn the cooking process of any and all barbecue meats from start to finish. Dylan has class options that include everything from instruction on seasoning, trimming, cooking, and slicing meats to fire management, sausage making, and more. The services he provides are all encompassing and provide a rare opportunity for aspiring barbecue cooks to learn from someone with his level of expertise.
In this episode we discuss Dylan's classes, catering options, and future restaurant plans as he gears up to make the next big leap in an already acclaimed barbecue career.
To contact Dylan about catering or classes go to:

TFP BBQ History Ep. 68 - Classic BBQ Joints

August 27, 2018

As we continue to highlight the history of Texas BBQ, we spend time in this episode discussing some of what we consider the classic Texas BBQ joints. While craft barbecue is all the rage and is a great experience, its popularity has often made some of the long tenured places become less discussed.

In order to be considered for what we're calling a classic joint, the business has to be at least 50 years old. We of course highlight the famous historic places such as Louie Mueller, Smitty's, and City Market in Luling, we also spend time discussing some of the lesser known spots that provide a great experience and look into the past such as Giddings City Market and Novosad's BBQ and Sausage Market. In all we discuss over twenty spots in this episode that barbecue fans should stop in if they get the chance.

We'd love to hear from our listeners on any spots we might have missed that have a long history. Contact us on social media or via e-mail and let us know your favorite historic barbecue stops and we'll do our best to highlight them all in a future episode.

Twiter: @bbqpodcast

Instagram: @talesfromthepits




TFP BBQ Ep. 67 - Hays County Barbeque Interview

August 20, 2018

Hays County Barbeque

The BBQ flame was ignited in Michael Hernandez after a memorable trip to Lockhart. Shortly thereafter, armed with a steadfast belief in their dream, Michael and Asenette Hernandez pushed all of their chips to the middle of the table and went headfirst into the barbecue business. In eleven years they've gone from owning a small place purchased from a former owner, then to their own small space, and have now opened a huge BBQ complex in San Marcos dedicated to providing a great and unique customer experience.

Hays County Bar-B-Que is located right off the freeway in San Marcos and is open seven days a week to serve its community's barbecue needs. With a newly opened full bar in a building behind the restaurant that can accommodate large parties and will showcase live music on weekends, Hays County is one of Texas' premier barbecue destinations for an affordable good meal in a laid back atmosphere.
Michael's dedication to preserving Central Texas traditions can be felt in the food itself and the pits the meat is cooked on. With a unique octagonal shape and flat top lids, the steel smokers are reminiscent of the famous Lockhart brick pits and all of the pitmasters at Hays are taught to cook by feel without the aid of temperature gauges on any of the flat top pits.
Every square foot of the place has personal meaning to the Hernandez family who built the space almost entirely themselves and have worked tirelessly to achieve their dream. From the classic car memorabilia that line the walls to the sturdy wood bar Michael built himself, the space is filled with personal touches.
Hays County is open seven days a week, and open for dinner service as well.
The bar is open into the later evening on weekends and expect to see the return of live music soon.
Say hello to Michael, Asenette, and Aaron Hernandez as well as Jessie, Omar, Zach, and the crew when you visit!
1612 South IH-35
San Marcos, Texas 78666

Hours of Operation:
Monday 11am - 9pm
Tuesday 11am - 9pm
Wednesday 11am - 9pm
Thursday 11am - 9pm
Friday 11am - 10pm
Saturday 11am - 10pm
Sunday 11am - 4pm or till sold out

TFP BBQ Ep. 66 - Tejas Market, Bakery, and Sausagewars

August 13, 2018

The Tejas crew keep pushing the envelope on what great BBQ is and can be, and their latest projects are a showcase of their creativity. In the last couple months Scott, Greg, and the team have begun making their own sausage. While classic varieties such as an all beef Czech style and kielbasa are part of the rotation, Tejas has been also been hard at work with creative sausages such as linked versions of their Brisket and Blues and House prime sandwiches. In keeping with the spirit of the Tejas name, barbacoa boudin, elote sausage and chili relleno sausage have also been offered as specials and have been met with much acclaim.

Another project that has been in the works at Tejas for some time is a market and bakery expansion of the business which will provide an outlet for co-owner Michelle Holland's great baked items, cold deli sandwiches, and of course chocolate. That project continues to move along and Tejas is hopeful to have the expansion completed in the fall of 2018.
Catch them online:
Twitter: @tejaschocolate
Instagram: tejaschocolate

200 N. Elm Street

Tomball,TX 77375

Tuesday – Friday 11:00 – 6:00 or sell out
Saturday – 11:00 – 5:00 or sell out
Closed Sunday & Monday


TFP BBQ Ep. 65 - Tejas Chocolate and BBQ

August 6, 2018

Tejas Chocolate and Barbecue began as a curiosity on how to make bean to bar chocolate and has evolved into one of the best and most creative restaurant experiences in Texas. After a successful launch of their housemade chocolate business, the first of its kind in the state, owners Michelle Holland, Scott Moore Jr., and Greg Moore began setting their sites on the next phase of their operations, barbecue.

With Michelle and Scott's creativity along with Greg's chef background, Tejas launched their barbecue program with an innovative menu that included smoked meats along with innovative sandwiches such as the brisket and blues (brisket, blue cheese, cherry tomato and red onion) and bird and bacon (turkey, bacon and avocado with fried egg) and signature sides such as their now famous carrot souffle.

The BBQ world would soon take notice and Tejas quickly gained the reputation as one of the top destinations in Texas. Equipped with just one pit bought off Craigslist at the start of the business, Tejas' popularity exploded and a 1,000 gallon Moberg pit was soon added to the roster. As the accolades poured in, Tejas continued to refine and innovate their menu, and to date keeps improving upon an already stellar operation.
Catch them online:
Twitter: @tejaschocolate
Instagram: tejaschocolate

200 N. Elm Street

Tomball,TX 77375

Tuesday – Friday 11:00 – 6:00 or sell out
Saturday – 11:00 – 5:00 or sell out
Closed Sunday & Monday


TFP BBQ Ep. 64 - Tom Micklethwait

July 23, 2018

While it has become commonplace in today's Texas BBQ explosion to see carefully sourced proteins, inventive sides, scratch made desserts, craft bread, and housemade pickles, this was not always the case in barbecue. Smoked meats have been available for quite some time in the Lone Star State, but all of the accompaniments were often an afterthought or not even served at all.

Tom Micklethwait is one of the true pioneers of the modern barbecue movement that has helped the industry evolve into a true dining experience. From the very beginning of Micklethwait Craft Meat's days at their tiny trailer in east Austin Tom and his crew have believed in making as much as possible from scratch, even building out the trailer with his own hands, and serving more than just the classic fare. Micklethwait was among the first to make their own bread and pickles along with serving innovative non-meat menu items such as their now famous jalapeno cheese grits, moon pies, and more. Tom has also been at the forefront of the creative sausage boom that has hit barbecue the last several years. What he and the team have been able to do out of a tiny trailer that he renovated himself is nothing short of astounding.

Over the years the accolades poured in and Micklethwait is now considered one of the top BBQ establishments in all of Texas. In this episode you'll hear about Tom's early days playing in bands, his baking, butchery, and sausage making background, and big plans for the next phase of his career with Micklethwait Market and Grocery opening in Smithville, Texas in the fall of 2018. With plans to keep the trailer open in Austin in addition to serving the regular Micklethwait menu along with specials and a retail market and grocery section of the Smithville space, Tom is once again bringing his creativity to the BBQ world in this unique setup.

Catch Micklethwait Craft Meats at their trailer 1309 Rosewood Ave. Austin, TX
Open Tues – Sun | 11am until sold out






TFP BBQ History Ep. 63 - Bobby Mueller

July 16, 2018

Texas BBQ History - Bobby Mueller

As part of our continuing series on the history of Texas barbecue, we bring you a very special episode about the history of Louie Mueller Barbecue and the legacy of the late Bobby Mueller.

Bobby's sons Wayne and John Mueller sat down separately with us to discuss growing up in the BBQ business with their grandfather, Louie Mueller, and dad Bobby. You'll hear in this episode about the legendary work ethic of Bobby Mueller, the growth of the business, and the famous Mueller tradition of the first bite of brisket at the ordering counter.

Few names in the barbecue world are as respected as the Mueller name, and for good reason. With roots tracing back over 70 years and a lineage of great barbecue that spans throughout the state and even nationwide, the shadow cast by Bobby Mueller is as large as any.



TFP BBQ News Ep. 62 - BBQ News July 2018

July 15, 2018

In a news roundup for the month of July, we discuss some pitmaster changes, new BBQ restaurant announcements, BBQ closings, and more.

Jason Tedford, longtime assistant pitmaster at Louie Mueller Barbecue, has left the restaurant and is now working in the kitchen at Saint Arnold Brewery in Houston.

John Brotherton has announced he is opening Liberty Barbecue in Round Rock alongside Tre Dotson of Tortuga flats.

Brendan Lamb, who recently left La Barbecue, is starting Smiley's Barbecue in Fort Worth armed with pits from a relatively unknown pitmaker out of Cummings, Georgia, Primitive Pits.

The gas station that housed Texas Monthly Top 50 joint BBQ on the Brazos is under new ownership, and BBQ on the Brazos is no longer serving out of there. A new location will hopefully be announced soon.

Joel Garcia, formerly of Terry Black's, has moved to the Rio Grande Valley and is working on opening a new business in Weslaco.

Brett Boren is taking Brett's BBQ to a brick and mortar. Brett's Backyard BBQ is launching east of Austin, keep an eye out for more news.

There is some exciting BBQ news both in the pit building world and news on Las Vegas barbecue that we'll be discussing in the near future as well.

Congratulations to jsd_tx (John) on winning our BBQ swag giveaway!

We are embarking on a 3,000 mile road trip through nine states. Follow along on Instagram for updates!

We have another Doubleback BBQ pop-up dinner on Saturday, July 21st at The Hop Stop in Humble, TX