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Old 11-02-2011, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Upper East Side of Texas
12,521 posts, read 23,065,455 times
Reputation: 4890

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East Texas' Stanley's BBQ Wins At Texas Monthly BBQ
By CHASE COLSTON
Staff Writer

AUSTIN — I have talked to Stanley's Famous Pit BBQ owner Nick Pencis enough times to know something was a little off Sunday at Texas Monthly BBQ Festival.

Seemingly, one to never be anxious or nervous, Pencis was both. In his restaurant's second trip to BBQ Fest, he had the expectation to win Best Pork Ribs for the second straight year against the best of the best in Texas barbecue.

But, under the sun on a perfect-weather day, not much seemed to go right for the Stanley's pit crew. An erratic new smoker — “psycho,” as Pencis referred to it — a broken food warmer and anxiety almost seemed too much for Pencis.

Despite the obstacles, and despite competing next to 21 other legendary Texas barbecue joints, Pencis took the stage a winner — and as the state's newest titan in the world of 'cue. Stanley's was BBQ Fest's only repeat winner, and now two trophies will hang in the tiny joint on Beckham Avenue, showing visitors it is a place where legends are made.

Pencis stood on stage next to Wayne Mueller, winner of Best Beef Ribs and Sausage and pit master at historic Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor; and Aaron Franklin, a 30-something barbecue prodigy-turned-legend, who won Best Brisket for Franklin BBQ, the festival's newcomer restaurant, and recent headline-maker in the likes of The New York Times and Bon Appetit magazine.

“We were all just literally sick all morning with all our problems. We got that pit Monday and fired it up on Tuesday. I thought I had a great feel for it and it was being pretty consistent,” Pencis told me, after the awards ceremony Sunday. “But today was the exact opposite of what it had done all week. I can't say it without sounding cheesy; it's just incredibly awesome. To stand on stage with two guys (Franklin and Mueller) who I have so much respect for … it was just so surreal to be up there with them.”


And as much as Pencis will never admit he is in the same class as the two guys on stage next to him — “I don't feel that way at all,” he said — those of us who eat his ribs more than we care to admit know Stanley's now belongs in the same sentence as Mueller, Franklin, Snow, Kruetz and City Market.

What Pencis didn't hear was the talk in the crowd all afternoon. When many of the nearly 3,000 attendees talked pork ribs, Stanley's was the only booth they mentioned. Turns out, Pencis never had a reason to be nervous. If anything, Stanley's repeat win solidified the restaurant as the capital of East Texas 'cue. Central Texas always has been and always will be the Mecca, but Stanley's is the gold beneath the pine (or, rather, pecan) trees.

“I think it definitely opens some doors for people to consider us. It's just going to give us so many opportunities and that's it's not all about Central Texas,” Pencis said. “I never get up, and I don't ever feel like I get beat down. I'm just really happy right now.”

Because, as hard as one may try, attempting to decipher Pencis' pork ribs is as impossible as doing so with Franklin's brisket and Louie Mueller's beef ribs. The best you can say is Pencis' ribs are simply different and unique, much like the restaurant in which they are made.

In the end, you just accept greatness and eat it. When you can't explain it, you know it's special, or in Stanley's case, legendary.

Stanley's Famous Pit BBQ, 525 S. Beckham Ave., is open Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. for breakfast and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch.
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Plano, TX
714 posts, read 2,550,747 times
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I need to eat there someday.
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Northeast Texas
816 posts, read 1,675,276 times
Reputation: 533
Wow, I don't think I've eaten there before despite living in Tyler for total of 15 years.
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:43 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,183 times
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A couple of years ago my grandfather was in hospital across the street and dying...we would eat there everyday for two weeks. The food was unbelievable. Nick made it even better...having noticed that I was wearing a Grateful Dead hat- Nick went to his car a got some GD music and played it on the sound system for me...it was at touch of class and customer care that really made a bad time a little nicer. I'll continue to eat at Stanley's for that reason alone. The food is an excellent bonus...Nick and his team gets it- there first class.
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Old 11-07-2011, 05:49 PM
 
1,574 posts, read 2,552,642 times
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I long for the day when Texas realizes that bbq is pork.
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:15 PM
 
Location: The Magnolia City
8,931 posts, read 11,773,770 times
Reputation: 4853
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Dollar View Post
I long for the day when Texas realizes that bbq is pork.
What are you talking about? This place in particular is known for their PORK ribs, and East Texas, in general, is more of a pork region when it comes to barbecue.

I'm dead serious about you getting out more.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:09 AM
 
1,574 posts, read 2,552,642 times
Reputation: 1115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nairobi View Post
What are you talking about? This place in particular is known for their PORK ribs, and East Texas, in general, is more of a pork region when it comes to barbecue.

I'm dead serious about you getting out more.
Texas is known for brisket or however you spell. While it is delicious, I will always consider bbq as pork. For me pulled pork is king. Here, beef ribs are as common as pork ribs while in other areas beef ribs may not be available. I have made the trek out to Luling and Lockhart just to eat the bbq. Have you?
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:17 AM
 
Location: The Magnolia City
8,931 posts, read 11,773,770 times
Reputation: 4853
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Dollar View Post
Texas is known for brisket or however you spell. While it is delicious, I will always consider bbq as pork. For me pulled pork is king. Here, beef ribs are as common as pork ribs while in other areas beef ribs may not be available. I have made the trek out to Luling and Lockhart just to eat the bbq. Have you?
MOST of Texas is known for beef. EAST Texas is known for pork. You can easily find pulled pork there. You can also find spots in Houston that do pulled pork.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Upper East Side of Texas
12,521 posts, read 23,065,455 times
Reputation: 4890
Texas is known for its Bar B Que no matter what kind...beef, pork, chicken.

The Country Tavern is another famous Tyler/East Texas favorite. A lot of celebrities have eaten there over the years. Its not what it used to be however since the original family owned it.
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:56 PM
 
2,640 posts, read 3,570,161 times
Reputation: 1523
Gee METRO, something In Tyler I've actually not done! lol. Eaten at Stanley's. Not open in the evenings? Maybe that's the reason. I have heard of the place, but really I've been well statisfied with Bodacious BBQ on the Troup Highway Location.
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