BBQ pork loin sandwich, Lost Pines, Giddings TX

lost pines

Above: On our way out to Orange, Texas yesterday evening, Tracie P and I stopped for a pork loin sandwich, with sliced pickles and barbecue sauce and all the fixin’s at the Lost Pines BBQ (“dine in or take out”) in Giddings, Texas (along highway 290, on the way to Houston from Austin). Highly recommended.

Seems that every travel corridor in Texas — whether it be Houston-Austin, Dallas-Austin, or San Antonio-Austin — has its own community of barbecue joints, each with its own signature expressed within the paradigm of the Texas barbecue lexicon. One of the things that has really impressed me about living in Texas (even as compared to other parts of the south where I’ve traveled) is its idiosyncratic nature of the culinary arts: whether professional or intimate, whether public or familiar, food and recipes always have a very personalized and individualistic mark to them. Even though smoked, dry-rub brisket is the pièce de résistance of any Texas bbq, gently smoked dry-rub pork loin is the way to go at Lost Pines.

lost pines

Above: Lost Pines BBQ along Hwy 290 doesn’t have a website but you can’t miss it from the road. The folks there are so nice and the décor so homey… You can’t help but want to linger even after you’ve finished your meal.

Lost Pines BBQ in Giddings is named after the Lost Pines area in Bastrop in the Texas Hill Country, just south of Giddings. I’ve only driven through the enchanting Lost Pines once but I hope to make it out there one day this summer. One of the most beautiful areas in the Texas Hill Country.

In other news…

Tracie P and I are spending the weekend with her folks and family in Orange, Texas. We’re about to head out to the Texas Cajun Heritage Festival. I am so geeked! Stay tuned…

The whole worlds speaks (indigenous) Italian


Above: Where does one take one of the greatest winemakers of Burgundy for lunch? City Meat Market in Giddings, Texas, of course! That’s Étienne de Montille (left) and John Winthrop owner of Veritas Imports enjoying some smoked sausage in Giddings yesterday. It’s been fascinating traveling with Étienne and hearing him talk about his wines, biodynamic farming, sexual confusion, and whole cluster fermentation. More on that later…

It seems the whole world speaks indigenous Italian these days: check out this article published yesterday by Bloomberg on the growing interest for indigenous Italian grape varieties in the U.S. (with a quote from you-know-who).

Seems a lot of folks have San Francisco and its love of European wines on their minds: check out Eric’s post here and SF native John Bonné’s post, where he asks “do our wine lists ignore California?”

I’ve got to hit the road again today with Étienne but stay tuned…

Best BBQ on 290: City Meat Market, Giddings, TX

Posting hastily this morning from the road. Currently in Houston to speak at a wine event last night and meetings this morning but here are some images from my new fav bbq joint, where I stopped for lunch yesterday: City Meat Market in Giddings, TX (Giddings is a small town on highway 290 that leads from Austin eastward). I haven’t tried every place on 290 yet but so far this is the best.

BrooklynGuy would love this place. It’s the real deal. You’re served your meal on butcher paper (it’s also a butcher) and everything else is served in styrofoam.

What are old bottles of Gallo cooking vermouth good for? Yes, you guessed it: homemade hot sauce. I asked the owner how he likes to use the sauce: “I just pour it on a piece of bread and eat it,” he said. I tried it and it was great.

I’m glad I didn’t step in it! Locally produced spicy seasonings and rubs.

Highly recommended.

On deck for tomorrow: a new Barbaresco cru? I finally got to the bottom of the Vicenziana designation…