TYLER, TX (KLTV) - East Texans call Stanley's Famous Pit Barbeque one of the best barbeque joints around. Now, it is official.
Texas Monthly magazine named the pork ribs at Stanley's in Tyler the best in Texas. Stanley's snatched the title from 20 distinguished barbeque restaurants in the Lone Star State.
"That is the best in Texas," said Casey Stackhouse, a Stanley's client.
An East Texas staple for 50 years, the ribs at Stanley's Famous Pit Barbeque are now attracting barbeque connoisseurs across the state.
"I'd say I've made the rounds in Texas - from Llano, to Dallas, to Houston, to Tyler," said Stackhouse.
"I know a good rib, that was incredible!" said John Frances, a customer.
"They are better than Alabama ribs," said Jim Bush, an Alabama resident. "As bad as I hate to say it, they're better."
Better in Texas, but who is the best? Texas Monthly invited 20 restaurants to their barbeque festival in Austin. Nick Pencis, the owner of Stanley's Barbeque, calls the festival a showdown of the Texas giants.
"When these guys were rolling up with their pits, it was like...it may as well have been the Rolling Stones," said Pencis.
He calls it a David and Goliath battle.
"I thought that he said Smittys, which is one of my all time favorites in Lockhart...and they were like no, 'Stanley's,' and I was like, 'We won?!'"
Claiming the trophy and title of best pork ribs in Texas, we wanted to know what is in the mix?
"[They are] very tender, spicy, kind of sweet," said Jim Bush.
They let us in on a little secret. Stanley's uses a Memphis style dry-rub with a Texas kick, and they run them not once, but twice.
"They go through a series of tests," said Pencis. "They talk to you. You just kind of have to understand them."
Understanding the food, and of course, the consumer.
"What it all comes down to for us is we just love making people happy, and we see that smile on their face," aid Pencis.
Stanley's has also been one of Texas Monthly's 50 Best barbeque restaurants in the state for eight years.
Stanley's Famous Pit BBQ
525 S. Beckham Ave.
Tyler, TX 75702