Barbecue

If you own a restaurant and have the word “barbeque” in the name, especially here in Texas, the food better be good. For those in Mid-County, Fast Freddy’s Barbeque has been one of the most popular food joints for more than 30 years. But for others who are just now hearing about it, it’s well worth the short trip to 3113 Nederland Ave.

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A warm summer night, friends, fireworks and barbecue: What is there not to love about the Fourth of July? It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling to the beach, the lake or staying at home; almost everyone does a little outdoor cooking for the holiday. It is definitely a time to celebrate and gather with friends old and new. Lately I have been smoking every weekend as I plan to enter the competition circuit on a limited basis this year, and I am trying to get my seasoning and timing down.

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I awoke early one Saturday morning, ate a banana and had a glass of orange juice, and headed out the door in search of top notch competition barbecue. This quest had me going to Huntsville for the Shotgun Fred’s BBQ Showdown. It is the closest Kansas City BBQ Society event of the year, and I was happy it was only a two-hour drive from home. I arrived at 10 a.m. for the judges’ meeting and just in time to judge the first side dish – beans.

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Does anybody just sell gas anymore? It doesn’t seem so. And it’s understandable, with the industry so competitive, prices so volatile and profit margins so narrow. So now your Exxon station is also a Subway, and your Shell is also a McDonald’s. But you can go to McDonald’s or Subway anywhere. But where can you get good barbecue while gassing up? Lots of places, maybe, but one comes to mind right off: J&R Market at the Valero station in Sour Lake.

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Twitter.com photo

Competition barbecue and “regular” barbecue. Although some folks cook at competitions the same way they cook in their backyards and/or restaurants, the competitors at the highest levels certainly do things differently.

Competition barbecue is often referred to as “one bite barbecue” because the judges typically take one bite and competitors are challenged to insert the most flavor and dynamic taste in that one portion. Judges typically taste dozens of samples during a competition, and the winner must stand out in a very crowded field.

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Friends and family of a Port Neches Middle School student who shattered his pelvis when he fell 30 feet on Nov. 23 are holding a barbecue benefit to raise funds for his medical treatment. 

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Judge G.R. “Lupe” Flores, shown here in 2007, cooks for the Bruin booster club.

As the West Brook High School Bruins football team prepares to take the field Thursday, Oct. 15, against Baytown Sterling at the BISD’s Thomas Stadium, the group’s booster club will honor a special supporter during the pre-game ceremony.

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classic Cadillac

The first annual Smokin-n-Groves BBQ Cook-off, held on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 16-17, and the third annual Pecan Festival Classic Car Show on Saturday, Oct. 31, will have fun for folks of all ages while benefitting the Groves Senior Citizen Center.

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