Busy Bee, East Austin's most famous bookie has seen it all in his 40+ years on the East Side. We sat down with him for a few minutes recently at the Cesar Chavez watering hole where he plies his trade, taking bets on everything under the sun.

The Bee had called us up on the phone, and wanted to let us know he's taking book on the big Texas Monthly top 50 barbecue list.

Then he dropped a bombshell.

Mr Bee is claiming that Micklethwait Craft Meats is a dead cinch for the number one spot.

Stunner.

But could it be true?

In the underground economy of Austin, we've learned a lot under the tutelage of Busy Bee. Anytime we need a little extra loot in the Fall of the year, we consult with him on the fortunes of Mack Brown's Longhorns, and Bee is good as gold. He studies the betting patterns of the hard-luck souls who pine for the days of Vince Young and always issues sound advice.

Busy Bee doesn't game the system. He is the system.

We quizzed him extensively on the fortunes of joints like Franklin (said no way with that factory sausage) John Mueller (was...was-a cinch in Bouldin Creek) LA Barbecue (crushed under nepotism via owner LeAnn Mueller's affiliation with the magazine) Wilhite's in Creedmoor (gave some good odds at 5 to 1) as well as a host of other joints across the state.

But at the end of our hang, the old bookie stated firmly that Micklethwait will wear the crown in 2013.

We'll all know soon enough if young pit boss Tom Micklethwait is truly the king of Texas barbecue.

Pic of the man http://chowpapi.com/wordpress/wordpress-2.8.6/wordpress

and about the image. Busy Bee was unwilling to pose for a photo so we harvested an image for the movie Bob The High Roller, if you haven't seen it do yourself a favor and watch it tonight.