Does anyone remember the Zagat guides?

They are the Friendster of food media, an interesting foot note in the evolution of food journalism. Irrelevant in 2011, yet still they get up in the morning, have a cup of Sanka, sit down at the Underwood in a ratty bathrobe and start tapping away in a bid that reeks of increasing desperation.

According to the Zagat website it’s no longer necessary for barbecue pilgrims to come to Texas for the world’s best smoked meat. You can just get off the airplane in New York and take a cab to Manhattan where the best Texas barbecue in the United States is now being served.

All that hassle of flying into Austin, renting a car and making your way to Lockhart, Taylor, Luling or Elgin has been rendered naught.

In an article titled “BBQ Style Smackdown: Which Region’s Cue Is The Best?” Writer Linnea Covington posits the following: “You don’t have to actually go to Texas to get some awesome Texas-style ‘cue; at Hill Country in New York City, chef Elizabeth Karmel is doing it right.”

We have no doubt that Hill Country Barbecue serves up an interesting approximation of what you might get at, oh, say R&G Barbecue out in McMahan, Texas, but dismissing the whole of the Great State in favor of Manhattan barbecue?


We have no idea who Zagat’s Linnea Covington is? She [?] is probably an earnest writer, under a deadline with neither the time, money nor interest in coming to Texas to spend a week riding through the hinterlands eating the best barbecue in the United States.

But to summarily dismiss a century-plus old tradition in favor of what amounts to a caricature, a stone’s throw from Broadway in New York City?

That argument lacks merit.

Watch Tim Zagat speak on his invention of social media.

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