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Looking For The Ultimate Happy Hour Spot? Head Over To Applebee’s!



Looking to unwind after a hard day at work? Then head over to Applebee’s Grill & Bar and get your drink (and eat) on, without breaking the bank. While the “eating good in the neighborhood” restaurant chain is known for their food, they’re also a popular spot for the happy hour crowd. And why not, because who doesn’t love half-priced appetizers and cheap drink specials, am I right?

Seriously, Applebee’s has been my go-to place for happy hour for years now, luring me in with the promise of a nice buzz and a full belly for $20 or less, and it was love at first sip. The drinks are strong, the food is tasty, and the bartenders are super friendly. Oh yeah, did I mention that it is really cheap during happy hour? What more could you ask for?

Applebee's Mucho Bahama Mama

Applebee’s happy hour deals run Monday-Friday from 3-6pm, every night after 9pm, and all day Sunday, and include $4 select drafts, house Long Island Iced Teas, and house Bahama Mamas, $5 wine by the glass, and $6 CoronaRitas, along with a selection of half-priced appetizers.

If it’s a Monday, I will usually get their Monday burger deal, a couple of $3 Yuengling Lager pints, and a Triple Chocolate Meltdown for dessert, leaving me nice and full for around $20. Other times, I’ll meet up with some friends after work and enjoy a drink or two (I’m a sucker for their Bahama Mama) and a few appetizers before heading home.

Applebee's Dollarita October Special

And on Sundays during football season, you can usually find me and my buddies taking in a game or two at the ‘Bees, while we enjoy some cheap brews and chow down on some wings, mozzarella sticks, and sliders. It’s less noisy and crowded than our local sports bar, and the food is decidedly better as well!

Overall, I can’t say enough good things about Applebee’s and their awesome happy hour specials. So what are you waiting for, bring some friends to your local Applebee’s for Happy Hour and see why this should be your new go-to drinking establishment. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did!

Applebee's Bartender

Are you ready to experience the magic of Applebee’s Happy Hour menu for yourself? We’ve teamed up with Applebee’s to give one lucky Guys Gab reader a $50 Applebee’s gift card. To enter, simply leave a comment below telling us what your favorite Applebee’s drink or appetizer you’re most excited to try out.

We’ll pick a winner at random on Tuesday, November 14th at 5pm EST. Contest only open to US residents. Good luck!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar, but all opinions are my own.

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  1. Jeanne Rousseau

    November 2, 2017 at 5:03 am

    House long island iced teas! Always been a favorite of mine! Of course one and I’m done 😉

  2. Geena O'Banion

    November 2, 2017 at 5:23 am

    Alright, I want to try their Margaritas…I did not know they served drinks with liquor. So many great things to eat; a burger….yeah….thank you for the giveaway

  3. Jack B

    November 2, 2017 at 5:44 am

    I’d like to try the Brew Pub Pretzels and Beer Cheese Dip appetizer.

  4. Sandy H

    November 2, 2017 at 8:14 am

    I would like to try the pretzel sticks.

  5. Fredrick Pauly

    November 2, 2017 at 9:28 am

    Love the appetizers.

  6. Kelly D

    November 2, 2017 at 9:30 am

    I would like to try the Sriracha Shrimp .

  7. Kim Niland

    November 2, 2017 at 10:25 am

    I’ve already tried them but I’d like to try the Bahama Mama again!

  8. Stacie Humphrey

    November 2, 2017 at 11:10 am

    The bahama mama is awesome!

  9. Christine Labelle

    November 2, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    We love their nachos! The pretzel sticks look good though.

  10. Bryan Vice

    November 2, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    I like an ice cold bud light with some mozzarella sticks

  11. Diana

    November 2, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    I’m excited to try the honey bbq boneless wings!!

  12. Rebecca W

    November 2, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    My husband and I love their boneless Buffalo wings or the Southwest eggrolls. They seem to have pretty good food.

  13. Char

    November 2, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    I really love the bbq wings, thank you so much for this!

  14. Steve Weber

    November 2, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    We love the long islands!

  15. Darcy Koch

    November 2, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    I would like to try a Bahama Mama.

  16. Joy Q

    November 2, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    I like their Bourbon & Berries drink.

  17. tammy kubitz

    November 2, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    house long island ice tea

  18. elcane desir

    November 2, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    I want to try the wing with some ranch sauce on the side

  19. Phil Hysell

    November 2, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    I like the mozzarella sticks at Applebee’s.

  20. Donna L

    November 2, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    Applebee’s onion rings are delicious.

  21. Leisl Gering

    November 2, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    I’d like to try their Bahama Mama

  22. carol clark

    November 2, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    bahama mama

  23. Tina

    November 2, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    I love love love their mozzarella sticks!

  24. Ashley

    November 2, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    I love their chicken wonton tacos and a marg!

  25. Ricky Hoelting

    November 2, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    My wife like the Irish Sour Peach, and I usually look at the craft beer selection.

  26. Harold

    November 2, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    The CoronaRitas, I’ve never ever had one, and I would love to try it!

  27. Shyan Ellis

    November 3, 2017 at 1:33 am

    Pretzel sticks with beer cheese

  28. Nicole Lancaster

    November 3, 2017 at 2:53 am

    I would like to try Applebee’s Mango Summer Squeeze.

  29. Kimberly O

    November 3, 2017 at 5:04 am

    I love a good spinach & artichoke dip! Thanks!

  30. Sheila K.

    November 3, 2017 at 7:58 am

    I would love to try a Long Island Iced Tea!

  31. Alexander S.

    November 3, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    I would grab a bacon cheese burger, a cold Bud Lite, with 3 fingers of J.W. Black on the side. That would suit me just fine!

  32. Donna DePaolo

    November 3, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    A Long Island Iced Tea would top off the evening perfectly after doing some holiday shopping and stopping in for dinner and a drink!


    November 3, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Applebee’s Craft beers and pretzel sticks are number one American delicacy/Mal/M

  34. Meghan Malicoat

    November 3, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    The Spinach and Artichoke dip. It is a amazingly good indulgence.

  35. Susan Milstead

    November 4, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Spinach and artichoke dip sounds good.

  36. Sarah Cool

    November 5, 2017 at 3:09 am

    I love the summer squeeze drink nd the boneless bbq wings, yum!

  37. Suzanne

    November 5, 2017 at 7:43 am


  38. Elizabeth

    November 5, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    I love getting a margarita or 4. And a little steak and veggies mmmm.

  39. Kim Naumann

    November 6, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    Those pretzels and beer cheese would be my first choice!

  40. Jessica Whitehouse

    November 8, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    I love cheese sticks and fried mushrooms.

  41. erica hall

    November 9, 2017 at 1:07 am

    In the mood for a margarita!

  42. Chris L

    November 9, 2017 at 9:56 am

    The Salsa Verde Beef Nachos look yummy.

  43. Surinder gurm

    November 9, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Long Island iced tea and pretzel sticks

  44. al

    November 9, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    Mozzarella sticks.

  45. Tara Z

    November 11, 2017 at 12:11 am

    I am a big fan of the onion rings at Applebees.

  46. Rajee Pandi

    November 12, 2017 at 4:49 am

    I love mozzarella sticks

  47. MichelleS

    November 12, 2017 at 5:02 am

    Pretzel sticks sound amazing!

  48. Carol S

    November 12, 2017 at 5:27 am

    I’ve always been a hardcore lover of their mozzarella sticks since before I can remember but I’m a hardcore lover of Applebee’s in general!

  49. Danielle Magee

    November 12, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    I’d love to try their Long Island Iced Tea and their mozzarella sticks.

  50. Allyson Tice

    November 13, 2017 at 12:18 am

    i want to try their lime chicken!!

  51. Kathy bergman

    November 13, 2017 at 12:42 am

    A friend of mine told me how good their Bahama Mamas are. So I would love to try that. Thanks for this great giveaway.

  52. Katrina Brockavich

    November 13, 2017 at 1:44 am

    I really want to try the spinach and artichoke dip appetizer, it sounds delicious!

  53. Melinda

    November 13, 2017 at 8:37 am

    Chicken Won Ton Tacos are the best!

  54. Patricia Crowley

    November 13, 2017 at 10:01 am

    My favorite appetizer is their Brew Pub Pretzels + Beer Cheese Dip

  55. Jeanna

    November 13, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Oh man! The Cheeseburger Egg Rolls sound awesome! I’d love to try those!

  56. Helga

    November 13, 2017 at 10:41 am

    That raspberry Cosmo sounds good.

  57. Em Mahr

    November 13, 2017 at 11:53 am

    I’d love to try the Bahama Mama and the Chicken Wonton Tacos

  58. Tim

    November 13, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    I am most interested in the quesadillas, especially the steak variety.

  59. Karen Dorris

    November 13, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    Gotta love those late nite appetizer platters! My new fav is the Sriracha Shrimp. Like the spicy stuff!

  60. Michele Pineda

    November 13, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Hubby and I usually head to Applebees after a long day of work or to celebrate the weekend… he gets a beer, I get the Bahama Mama and we split an appetizer sampler or nachos or a chicken or steak quesadilla!

  61. Katherine S

    November 13, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    The pretzels look really good

  62. Jennifer H.

    November 13, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    I would like the Salsa Verde Beef Nachos.

  63. John H.

    November 13, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    The Sriracha Shrimp sound good.

  64. Carol

    November 13, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    I would like the Brew Pub Pretzels + Beer Cheese Dip.

  65. Pam Halligan

    November 13, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    The Brew Pub Pretzels with Beer Cheese Dip is my favorite appetizer.

  66. wen budro

    November 13, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    The cheeseburger egg rolls and the brew pub pretzels sound super yummy. I would get a huge glass of domestic beer too.

  67. Yvonne Delgado

    November 13, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    My favorite appetizer is the Classic Combo because I like a little taste of lots of items. My favorite would be the boneless wings.

  68. angie depue

    November 13, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    I love Applebee’s Classic Combo appetize Sampler and pair it with a Raspberry Cosmo cocktail! MMM so good!

  69. Pam

    November 13, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    The CoronaRitas and sliders sounds great – love to try them!

  70. Angie S

    November 13, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    The beer cheese dip and pretzels!! Fave appetizer anywhere <3!!

  71. Tracie Cooper

    November 13, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    I would love to try the chicken won ton tacos with a Bourbon and Berries!

  72. Crystal McKinley

    November 13, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    The sampler is the best! I get some of everything!

  73. Ashley

    November 13, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    I love chicken wonton tacos and their margaritas!

  74. Brandy Davis

    November 13, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    Chicken Won Ton tacos? Yes,I want to try those. : )

  75. Janet Boyanton

    November 13, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    I have always liked the sampler best.

  76. Kelly

    November 14, 2017 at 4:27 am

    I love the spinach and artichoke dip!!

  77. Aaron

    November 14, 2017 at 5:25 am

    I would be excited to try the Chicken Wonton Tacos!

  78. Nathan Dahl

    November 14, 2017 at 5:40 am

    I love the Wonton tacos. I want to try the Bahama Mama.

  79. Natalie

    November 14, 2017 at 7:18 am

    I am excited to try the Chicken wonton tacos!

  80. kathy Persons

    November 14, 2017 at 7:27 am

    We love the mozzeraella sticks

  81. Sandra Preti

    November 14, 2017 at 8:34 am

    The Bahama Mama looks delicious!

  82. Liz

    November 14, 2017 at 8:59 am

    I really love their wonton tacos.

  83. shirley emitt

    November 14, 2017 at 8:59 am

    The cheeseburger egg rolls are what I want to try.

  84. Norm

    November 14, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Can’t beat those $1 margaritas that they had!

  85. Chrissy

    November 14, 2017 at 8:59 am

    I absolutely LOVE their twisted tots side. I almost don’t care what my main entree is as long as I can get them as a side!

  86. Ellen

    November 14, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Their buffalo wings are great.

  87. Lauren

    November 14, 2017 at 9:00 am

    I want to try the pretzel sticks.

  88. mami2jcn

    November 14, 2017 at 9:01 am

    I like the Sriracha Shrimp.

  89. susan smoaks

    November 14, 2017 at 9:06 am

    the cheeseburger egg rolls are my favorite. i can’t wait to have them again.

  90. jennifer horn

    November 14, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Would love to try the beer cheese dip and pretzels.

  91. Heather Breyer

    November 14, 2017 at 9:20 am

    I would have to go with spicy boneless wings and a perfect margarita

  92. Darlene Owen

    November 14, 2017 at 9:24 am

    We love the spinach and artichoke dip

  93. Lissa Crane

    November 14, 2017 at 9:24 am

    My favorite Applebee’s appetizer is definitely Spinach + Artichoke Dip! I crave it!

  94. TallulahJane

    November 14, 2017 at 9:35 am

    I think the Spinach + Artichoke Dip looks great! I haven’t tried this there but I love spinach.

  95. Annmarie W.

    November 14, 2017 at 9:36 am

    I’d love to get some Chicken Wonton Tacos!

  96. Brandi Dawn

    November 14, 2017 at 9:37 am

    I would like to try the cheeseburger eggrolls. What even is that?!?! Haha, my curiosity is totally piqued.

  97. Dawn Monroe

    November 14, 2017 at 10:01 am

    Id like to try the Bahamma Mamma drink and the mozzarella sticks.

  98. Tammy Woodall

    November 14, 2017 at 10:07 am

    The Spinach + Artichoke Dip looks very tasty – would definitely like to try this Appetizer.

  99. Trixie Dotson

    November 14, 2017 at 10:09 am

    I love their Bahama Mamas!

  100. Mary Beth Elderton

    November 14, 2017 at 10:16 am

    The Salsa Verde Beef Nachos sound like spicy Tex Mex yum! Those and a Perfect Margarita…perfect!

  101. Gricelda Castro

    November 14, 2017 at 10:30 am

    I love Applebee’s Classic Combo appetize Sampler because I get to try a little of everything!

  102. latanya

    November 14, 2017 at 10:45 am

    I like their quesadilla

  103. Jeremy McLaughlin

    November 14, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Like the spinach and artichoke dip.

  104. Meghan

    November 14, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Love the perfect margarita!

  105. Teresa Thompson

    November 14, 2017 at 11:00 am

    Mozzarella sticks are my favorite.

  106. courtney hennagir

    November 14, 2017 at 11:09 am

    I love their appetizers! Happy hour at Applebee’s rules! I’m really wanting to try the Sriracha shrimp.

  107. Charlene Canfield

    November 14, 2017 at 11:28 am

    I want it ALL~ I would try the The Classic Combo (Sampler)
    Appetizer sampler featuring Mozzarella sticks, spinach and artichoke dip, chicken quesadilla and boneless wings. $13.29

  108. Birdie Skolfield

    November 14, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Im excited to try the Applebees Fireball Whisky Lemonade Drink PERFECT 4 Happy Hour

  109. deanna

    November 14, 2017 at 11:48 am

    The Brew Pub Pretzels + Beer Cheese Dip sounds delicious! I love pretzels.

  110. Mary Gardner

    November 14, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    I really like Applebee’s Classic Combo appetizer Sampler.

  111. Cheryl Brown

    November 14, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    The Chicken Wonton Tacos are what I would love to try. They sound good.

  112. Sharon Rooney

    November 14, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    I would love to try the The Classic Combo that way I don’t have to choose just one.

  113. LynneMarie

    November 14, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Applebee’s is one of my favorite places to eat and one thing I always order is the spinach and artichoke dip.

  114. shelly peterson

    November 14, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    The mozzarella sticks sound good to try.
    cshell090869 at aol dot com

  115. Rachel V

    November 14, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Spinach and artichoke dip

  116. Shanna

    November 14, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Definitely the house Bahama Mama 🙂

  117. Missy

    November 14, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    I want to try the Yuengling Lager pints.

  118. Dana Rodriguez

    November 14, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    I def want to try their Brew Pub Pretzels with Beer Cheese Dip!

  119. Helen

    November 14, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    I like the bahama mamas and the cheese sticks are delicious; however, the triple chocolate meltdown sounds amazing too.

  120. Terry

    November 14, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    I would love to try Applebee’s Mozzarella sticks.

  121. Donna L

    November 14, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    I like Applebee’s onion rings.

  122. Sheila K.

    November 14, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    I would love to try their mozzarella sticks!

  123. Elicia P

    November 14, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Oh why did I open this post.. I am wanting Applebee’s now. Cheeseburger egg rolls… mainly because I am craving egg rolls.

  124. Kayla Bennett

    November 14, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    I like their mozzarella sticks.

  125. Amber cheras

    November 14, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    I can’t wait to try their Spinach and artichoke dip!

  126. Francine Anchondo

    November 14, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    perfect margarita is my favorite.

  127. Julie Terry

    November 14, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    I have never been to Applebees, so i don’t have a favorite, but the everything sounds wonderful. From reading the comments I would love to try the mozzarella sticks and the spinach and artichoke dip.

  128. Jessica Padilla

    November 14, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    I’m excited to try the Salsa verde beef nachos.

  129. Laura A.

    November 14, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    Their spinach artichoke dip is so yummy! I’d love a date night with my hubby (with 2 young kids we might have a night out once a year) so thanks for the chance to win!

  130. Angelica Dimeo

    November 14, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    I would like to try the spinach and artichoke dip and a margarita

  131. Audrey Stewart

    November 14, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    I want to try their Brew Pub Pretzels with Beer Cheese Dip. It sounds good!

  132. Audrey Stewart

    November 14, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    I want to try their Brew Pub Pretzels with Beer Cheese Dip. It sounds good!This is not a duplicate comment. This is the only one I have made.

  133. Anita Duvall

    November 14, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    I have not had the chance to try a nice salty margarita yet! Would love that and some Brew Pub Pretzels and Dip.

  134. Sandy McKenzie

    November 14, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    I want to try the chicken wonton tacos with a twitled mango lemonade.

  135. Juanita May

    November 14, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    I want to try their Brew Pub Pretzels with Beer Cheese Dip.

  136. Richard Brandt

    November 14, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    I’d like to try the Double Crunch Bone-in Wings with Spicy Sweet Asian Chile.

  137. kelly woods

    November 14, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    My family and i love the cheesesticks. Yum

  138. Natalie

    November 14, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    I love the chicken wontons

  139. Julie Waldron

    November 14, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    I love the Brew Pub Pretzels + Beer Cheese Dip.

  140. Margaret S Porter

    November 14, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    The perfect margarita with some spinach artichoke dip

  141. Julie R

    November 14, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    The classic combo!

  142. Kelly Skibbe

    November 14, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    I would love to have the blackberry sangria. Yum!!!

  143. Nancy Bowers

    November 14, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Onion rings would tempt me.

  144. Lisa V.

    November 14, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    I’d like to try the steak quesadilla.

  145. Jerry Marquardt

    November 14, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    My favorite appetizer is the Spinach and Artichoke Dip.

  146. Kayla Klontz

    November 14, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    I love the chicken wonton tacos.

  147. Kristen Patton

    November 14, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    I love their spinach artichoke dip!

  148. Leela

    November 15, 2017 at 1:22 am

    The Bahama Mama.

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Chick-fil-A Is America’s Favorite Fast-Food Restaurant For The Third Year In A Row




When it comes to fast-food restaurants, Chick-Fil-A reigns supreme for the third year in a row, that according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s annual study, which surveys 22,500 Americans on their experiences at chain restaurants.

Yes, Chick-Fil-A has had their fair share of controversy over the years, but that clearly hasn’t affected consumers’ love of their delicious chicken sandwiches. The ACSI study polled 22,500 Americans on their experiences at chain restaurants, rating them from 0 to 100 in categories such as food quality, restaurant cleanliness and layout, and waitstaff behavior. Those scores are averaged out to come up with an overall score.

With a score of 87, Chick-Fil-A was the winner, beating runner-up Panera Bread by six points. As for the other giant chicken purveyor KFC, they slipped 1 point down to 77. Time to step up your game, Colonel Sanders..

Just imagine how high Chick-Fil-A would rank if they were open on Sundays. 🙂

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Domino’s Celebrates Summer With 50% Off All Pizzas Through July 15



Domino's Pizza

Spent all your money on fireworks for Fourth of July? Not to worry, because Domino’s Pizza is giving you 50% off all menu-priced pizza ordered online today through July 15th.

Now don’t call your local Domino’s store for this deal, because it is only available for online orders, which includes Domino’s website and their various mobile apps. Heck, you can even text or tweet your order to them, it’s crazy how many ways you can order a pizza from them!

Not at home? Not a problem! Customers who are ordering delivery to a Domino’s Hotspot may also take advantage of the 50% off menu-priced pizza deal.

Sadly, this deal doesn’t include any of their non-pizza items (wings, pasta, etc), which are all pretty awesome in their own right. But for me, it’s all about their pan pizza, which is freaking amazing. Never had it before? What are you waiting for, order one (or two) for dinner tonight and prepare to have your taste buds blown away!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve gotta go place an order for a pizza. 🙂

Photo credit: Domino’s Pizza

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Eating Our Way Through Lockhart, The Barbecue Capital of Texas



BrisketU BBQ Pit Trailer

If there’s one thing I love, it’s BBQ. But here in the Northeast, finding a good barbecue joint is pretty much impossible. But down in Texas, there is amazing ‘cue everywhere you turn. Heck, there’s even a Salt Lick BBQ in the Austin and Dallas airports, so you can get your BBQ fix the moment you touch down in Texas!

So when our friends at Chevrolet invited me down to Houston to join them for a BBQ road trip to Lockhart, Texas (the Barbecue Capital of Texas), behind the wheel of some rugged Chevy Silverado and Colorado trucks, it took me exactly 0.0005 seconds to say YES.

The Gator Pit of Texas

Our adventure started in Houston, at the world-famous Gator Pit of Texas, which was featured on Discovery’s King of the Grill. This small metal fabrication shop makes custom-made, hand-fabricated BBQ pits that are second to none, and award-winning pit master Ritch Robin was kind enough to take time out of his day to give us a tour of their operation.

When it comes to Texas BBQ, it’s all about the offset smoker, and cooking that meat (brisket, pork shoulder, ribs, etc) low and slow. Ritch gave us a behind-the-scenes look into how BBQ pits are built, what makes his pits so desirable, and how customers can customize their pits to the smallest detail.. Like adding a Texas shaped brake light, because why not?

The Gator Pit of Texas

You don’t see workmanship like this very often (everything is made by hand, with one person working on your pit from start to finish), and it’s clear to see why there’s a 1+ year waiting list to get one. Needless to say, if you’re serious about barbecuing, you should definitely consider having them build you a custom pit of your own. Pricing starts at $1,200 for an entry-level pit and goes up from there depending on your needs.

After our crash course in barbecue pits, we hopped into our trucks (thank god for A/C, because Houston was HOT!) and set a course for Kyle, Texas, where we would be spending the night. Along the way, I made the obligatory stop at Buc-ee’s, a Texas rest-stop that has become a rite of passage for anyone traveling between Houston and Austin. Trust me, it’s a Texas institution that everyone should experience at least once in their life.

2018 Chevy Colorado Duramax

For this first leg, I was driving a ruby-red Chevy Colorado Duramax. Had I been towing one of the Gator Pits, I would have had no problem, as the Turbo-Diesel engine offers best-in-class towing, with 369 lb-ft of torque and a 7,700 pound towing capacity. This was actually my first time driving a Colorado, and I quite liked the mid-sized pickup. Not everyone needs a full-size pickup, and I could totally see myself driving a Colorado (but make mine a ZR2).

Roughly 2.5 hours later, I finally arrived at the Twin Cabins Hotel, our home for the night. As you can see, this was a rather unique spot for us to spend the night, a Victorian-style country cabin that is off the beaten path, with cows, bulls, and even some mini horses roaming around out back. It’s hard to believe that this place is just 20-30 minutes from Austin.

Twin Cabins Hotel

Once everyone arrived, we embarked on a BBQ cooking class, courtesy of the folks at BrisketU, where we learned from accomplished pitmasters the art of smoking brisket (the toughest piece of beef to master) from start to finish. They showed us how to pick the right brisket, trimming techniques, rubs and prep, wood selection and smoke profiles, starting/managing a firebox, timing the cook, and slicing the end product.

Afterwards, we got to eat all of this amazing food they made for us (brisket, ribs, chicken, and more), and everything was delicious. And I’ve gotta say, after seeing how much time and effort went into preparing this meal, I had a newfound respect for the pitmasters out there. My belly nice and full, I decided to get some sleep so I’d be nice and refreshed for tomorrow’s activities.

BrisketU Cooking Demonstration

BrisketU Cooking Demonstration

The next morning, I had a light breakfast (no reason to fill up when there’s a ton of BBQ ahead of us) before heading to Lockhart. My buddy James wanted to drive the Colorado, so we traded and I took the keys to his Silverado. The ventilated seats were a welcomed addition, as it was still crazy hot, even at 9:30 in the morning.

Then came the tough part, deciding which BBQ joint to hit up first. After consulting with the experts at Google, we decided to start off at Black’s BBQ, which has been in operation since 1932, and is thought to be the oldest barbecue restaurant run by one family in Texas. They’re known for their Brontosaurus-sized “Giant Beef Rib”, so naturally we had to try that, along with the brisket, which is smoked in a most unique way.

Black's BBQ in Lockhart Texas

Black's BBQ in Lockhart Texas

OH. MY. GOD. I thought I had experienced great Texas BBQ before, but Black’s just blew my mind. The beef rib (which is insanely huge) is so tender, moist, and delicious. My stomach is growling just thinking about it. And the brisket was perfection, so full of flavor that you don’t even need any BBQ sauce to go with it. My suggestion? Bring some friends, order everything on the menu, and eat it family style.

Next up was Kreuz Market (pronounced “Krites” by the locals), another Texas institution that opened back in 1900 (though it’s only been in this location since 1999). Since Lockhart is all about brisket, I decided to see how theirs stacked up to Black’s. I really enjoyed the black crust of the brisket, which was loaded with flavor, but I thought the meat itself was a little on the dry side. Next time, I’ll have to try their smoked ham, as I hear it’s really good.

Kreuz Market in Lockhart Texas

As you can imagine, I was in a bit of a food coma by now (and it was only 12:15pm), so I hung out here for a bit while I got my second wind. Then I hopped back in the truck and drove over to Chisholm Trail BBQ, which is “where the locals go”. Sadly, my digestive system was crying Uncle by this point, so I just took a quick peek inside before driving off. Amazingly, they even have a drive-thru for those who don’t want to leave the comfort of their A/C.

Overall, Lockhart really lived up to the hype, and it’s no wonder that they hold the official title as the Barbecue Capital of Texas. I wish I could have stayed longer so I could have sampled some more delicious BBQ, but I had a flight back to Philly that I had to catch.

As you can see, if you’re a barbecue enthusiast, you absolutely must come check out the BBQ scene in Lockhart, TX. Come hungry, and bring lots of napkins. 🙂

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