Deciding whose barbecue is best is a monumental task, but the professionals at Texas Monthly Magazine have spoken – twice! – and named Snow’s BBQ as the winner. And if Snow’s is the best barbecue in Texas, then by extension, it must be the best barbecue in the world.
Snow’s is only open on Saturdays, so if you want to eat what might just be the best barbecue of your life, you’ll have to pull yourself out of bed before the rooster crows to claim your place in line. The small town of Lexington doubles in size every weekend as folks from all over the world come to taste greatness.
Owner Kerry Bexley likes to say that he “can’t make you like their barbecue, but he can make sure you have a good time while you’re here.” Customer service and hospitality are highest up on the Snow’s priority list, so even though you will most likely be waiting in line for several hours, you won’t be bored. Bexley likes to liven things up with raffles and complimentary beverages to promote a general camaraderie between meat lovers, no matter where in the world they are from.
When asked if he had a secret to making good barbecue, Bexley shrugged.
“It’s just a lot of TLC,” he maintained. “We’re basic on all our seasonings; we’ve never seasoned with anything but salt and pepper. And we’re one of the few that don’t use a high quality cut of brisket. If you know what you’re doing with it, you can do a good job.”
Meeting the sheer volume of demand is no small task, and that’s why it takes Bexley’s whole family, including his wife, Kim, and their three kids, as well as the efforts of a dedicated staff that feels like family, to keep up. Incredibly, most of the people who work for Bexley also have full time jobs during the week, including the queen of Texas barbecue herself: Ms. Tootsie Tomanetz.
At 86 years old, Ms. Tootsie is a self-taught barbecue master and pit boss with a worldwide fanbase. But even with all that notoriety and fame, she’s still just Ms. Tootsie.
“I’m an old country girl,” she said. “I’m just myself. I enjoy this work. I like to turn out a pretty product.”
It isn’t easy or comfortable work, and Ms. Tootsie is serious about it: “If you can’t stand the heat, don’t start the barbecue!”
Though Ms. Tootsie works full time as a janitor for Giddings Independent School District, she started in the barbecue business with her late husband just a few blocks from Snow’s. After their smokers were closed for a number of years, Bexley called her back into action to help open Snow’s, and the world rejoiced.
If you’re able to make it out to Snow’s, take it from Chet: Don’t go easy. Go all in and try everything, even if it’s nine o’clock in the morning.
Snow’s seems to break all the “rules” of Texas barbecue, but their final product can’t be argued with. It’s that good. So good, in fact, that it put a small place like Lexington on the map. It’s a vibrant community that continues to attract people from all over the world, and it is most definitely worth a daytrip.
When asked how long she was going to continue blessing the world with her barbecue mastery, Ms. Tootsie said she wasn’t sure. Perhaps another century?
“That would be wonderful,” she replied, smiling.
Long live the queen of Texas barbecue.
Make sure you check out our Youtube channel! Don’t forget to hit the bell and the subscribe button so you never miss out on awesome new Daytripper content!
Photo credit: Todd White Photography