This is where the conversation begins on Lubbock barbecue. Tom and Bingo’s is the most well known of all the area smokehouses and with good reason. The hickory smoked meats show the hand of a skilled pit boss with decades in the game.
Sandwiches are king at Tom and Bingo’s as is brisket. Two, smallish, sliced brisket sandwiches clock in at around $10 which is a mite expensive but with meat prices skyrocketing we might as well grow accustomed to barbecue being a boutique meal. The old days where you could get a pound of brisket and a bunch of sides for a song are long gone.
The sliced beef brisket is rich with fat and hickory smoke. It’s generously portioned onto a griddled bun and the customer is left to garnishing as he sees fit via a small condiment bar. The meat is juicy but unseasoned, needing a few shakes of salt to awaken the glorious hickory smoke.
Oak and mesquite are king in Texas so when I run into Hickory I always celebrate as I love the richness of it. This is one damn fine sandwich. Owner and pit boss Dwayne Clanton asks after his food and I affirm its deliciousness. We sit around swapping lies and telling tall tales for awhile. This man has given his life to the art of barbecue and will be the subject of a feature I’m penning on Texas pit bosses.
I ate a lot of barbecue in Lubbock but on the long ride back to Austin Tom and Bingo’s was the one smokehouse I ended up daydreaming about as I punched the Econoline through the Winter sun back toward home in Travis County.