RGV customers share why their favorite restaurants deserve to be on the ’50 Best BBQ Joints’ list

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RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Texas Monthly released their 50 Best Barbecue Joints list for 2021 including Vera’s Backyard Barbecue in Brownsville and Teddy’s Barbecue in Weslaco. The customers of both restaurants told ValleyCentral this comes as no surprise.

Mission resident, Mike Taylor has been coming to the restaurant since it first opened its doors in 2019. He said the quality of the food is “uncompromising” and one of the best barbecue restaurants in the Rio Grande Valley.

Taylor added that he continues to come back to Teddy’s because “it’s such a good family. A dedicated family to the community and helping out folks and still not compromising the quality of their food they’re serving up every day.”

One pit master, Paul Riso explained he was thrilled about being a part of a top 50 team, but seeing happy customers like Taylor will always be the real award.

“When I see it go from pit to plate and I get to see the immediate gratification the customer has, it makes it all worthwhile in the end,” added Riso.

For Vera’s Backyard BBQ, customers expressed the same gratification with their food.

According to Brownsville resident, Ruben Herrera the carnitas are “to die for.” He said the barbacoa is a great menu selection as well.

Texas Monthly’s Barbecue Editor, Daniel Vaughn commented that Vera’s was chosen not only because of the quality of their food because they bring something unique to the BBQ industry: the pit.

Vera’s uses an in-ground pit to smoke their meet which takes 10-12 hours, according to Vera’s owner, Armando Vera. Vera said they are the only restaurant in Texas to have a license to do so.

The meat is what continues to bring Herrera back time and time again as he has been coming to the restaurant for 20-30 years.

“The quality of the food stays the same. It doesn’t change,” said Herrera.

Vera’s restaurant has been open for 47 years and in all that time he never imagined making it to the top 50. “Nothing like that ever crossed my mind. All these awards, newspapers, books, and TV shows. We were just doing what we were doing and we kept doing it, trying to improve and do the best what we could do.”

The top 50 BBQ restaurants were chosen based on creativity, how the Texas Trinity and brisket were made, and the consistency of the food, according to Vaughn.

Every four years a new ’50 Best BBQ Joints’ list is released which makes the next one in 2025.

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