I don’t remember much about what I ate in New York City. I know we had lunch at the Plaza (my roommate loves the Eloise books), I know we grabbed ice cream at Momofuku Milk Bar (because I love cereal milk) and I know we ate at Katz’s (because we’re movie dorks). One thing I know for a fact is that we did not eat any barbecue while we were out east, and why would we? No, not because the barbecue of NYC is bad, but because we come from a place where you can’t throw a Hawaiian roll without hitting a decent barbecue spot, and traveling is partially about trying new things.
If you spent any amount of time online over the past few days, you’ve seen the masterful job Vice’s food site Munchies did trolling people with an article on the global influence of “Brooklyn barbecue.” To say the internet had feelings about this is a gross understatement. You know how these cycles go: wave one is angry and/or confused reactions to the initial tweet, wave two are the meme creators looking to capitalize on the controversy and wave three are the think pieces tying the whole thing into red state/blue state politics.
Quite the response to a silly photo of barbecue.
Which is all this is, of course. If you manage to read the entire story linked in the tweeted post, you’ll discover it was originally written back in 2014, and came and went with nary a peep from the greater Twitterverse. But something about that sad amount of meat does look fundamentally wrong when we discuss something as typically gluttonous as barbecue.
But I think all the jokes and mock outrage miss a greater point, which is this: what can Texans be doing to spread the good word about Texas barbecue far and wide? Because as annoying as the idea of "people visiting one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet take something they liked about it back home with them" is with regards to New York City and barbecue is, it does make sense logically.
I think the solution is easy, especially for us here in Houston: eat more barbecue when our out of state visitors are in town. Everyday day, people from around the world arrive in our fair city, and they all need to eat. So why not barbecue?
Introduce them to the custom of “good barbecue is worth standing in line for.” Use their visit as an excuse to go visit one of the newer barbecue spots in town. Cater one of your business lunches with smoked meat. Enroll them in a class at BrisketU. Have them plan their trip around the Houston Barbecue Festival. Once they experience a right and proper Texas barbecue meat coma, they won’t think about Carolina or Kansas or Alabama or, most importantly, Brooklyn again.