Some "best barbecue" rankings seem more like a guessing game.
But two recent lists came up with some new names.
With the help of Google's Zagat ratings, the Huffington Post website listed the 20 best barbecue restaurants in America this month based solely on food.
Austin's now-famous Franklin Barbecue had the highest-rated barbecue of all. That's no surprise: Central Texas is known for great barbecue.
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But in an upset, one of America's top 20 is an old local favorite.
Angelo's Barbecue outrated every other old-time pit in North Texas.
Angelo's has been smoking brisket and ribs for more than 50 years, and recently added pork loin and baked potatoes.
It's open daily except Sundays for lunch and dinner at 2533 White Settlement Road, three blocks behind Montgomery Plaza in west Fort Worth; 817-332-0357, angelosbbq.com.
Others in the HuffPo/Zagat top 20 included chef Tim Byres' contemporary Smoke in west Dallas, drawing attention both for barbecue and weekend brunch; 901 Fort Worth Ave., 214-393-4141, smokerestaurant.com.
The top 20 also included the Hill Country-style Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q chain, which has an Arlington location: 451 E. Interstate 20, 817-465-7839, rudysbbq.com.
Goode Company Bar-B-Q of Houston also made the list. (The $35 mail-order pecan pie is worth it; goodecompany.com.)
CNN, meanwhile, came up with a ranking of "Best Barbecue for Tailgating."
It includes the newly popular Meshack's in Garland, a simple walk-up stand known for brisket and (Wednesdays only) chicken; 240 E. Avenue B, 214-227-4748.
CNN also picked Franklin in Austin, along with familiar barbecue-cult favorites Snow's in Lexington and Black's in Lockhart.
Most of those places were serving last weekend at the Texas Monthly BBQ Festival in Austin alongside Cousin's Bar-B-Q of Fort Worth.
At a past fest, Cousin's beat out the big names to win "best sausage" and "best ribs." (That may be why Texas Monthly no longer gives awards.)
Cousin's has four restaurants scattered from far north Fort Worth to Crowley, and also the best barbecue at DFW Airport; cousinsbbq.com.
Baker's Ribs, which has a location in Weatherford, served both barbecue and its Original Fried Pie Shop pies.
Bud Kennedy's column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 817-390-7538
Facebook: Bud Kennedy's Eats Beat