The garden spot of Bosque County, Meridian, Texas, hosted the 25th annual National Championship Barbecue Cook-Off this past weekend. As is our custom we took the 2 hour drive up from Austin for the event.

200+ teams converged on the Bosque Bottoms fairgrounds for the preeminent barbecue battle in the United States. Unlike barbecue cook-offs in other, lesser-states, the competing teams are more than happy to feed you as you make your way around the grounds.

20k is on the line for these dueling teams. When the dust had settled Marty Marak was declared Grand Champion and Guy Leverett was deemed to be Reserve Champion.

We ate like country kings at the affair. Like any respectable Texas food party you can’t walk 20 feet without somebody trying to feed you a plate of brisket or pour a cold beer down your goozle. Under crystalline Texas skies, we devoured pork ribs, laid waste to big hunks of brisket and gnawed away at hot gut sausages.

To tamp down all the jagged edges, we polished off the party with big chopped beef sandwiches swimming in sauce. It’s not a meal we ordinarily indulge in but the gals manning the pit could not be nicer and they would not take no for an answer.

Texas women.

We go to a lot of barbecue cook-offs over the course of a year and the Meridian event is one of the finest. The good people of Bosque county know how to treat strangers and the competing pit bosses are all eager to show off their wares. After several hours in town, and fully narcotized on Texas beef, we slowly piloted our way back to Travis County.

more Texas bbq

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