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Best Pork Ribs in Texas

Nick P, Stanleys BBQ

We’ve know it in East Texas for years, and now Texas Monthly Magazine has it set in stone — Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ can again say they have the “Best Pork Ribs In Texas.”  But, now it’s official — you can add Nick Pencis and Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ to the list of legends in East Texas and BBQ kings in Texas.  Those of you who don’t know, BBQ is as close to a religion as Friday Night High School Football — you simply don’t mess with a man’s BBQ.  Juicy BBQ details after the jump.

What was confirmed three years ago for me, was validated this past weekend in Austin. Nick Pencis and the crew at Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ were at the Texas Monthly BBQ Festival in Austin, TX and succeeded with “Back to Back wins for Best Pork Ribs in Texas.”  The one day event featured legendary names competing against each other including Louie Mueller, City Market, Snow’s and Smitty’s!

Texas Monthly magazine hosts the Annual event this year located at the City Terrace at the Long Center overlooking Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin.   The always cool, laid back Pencis said

“We just did our thang — I was definitely honored. And I have to say — They were some GOOD ASS ribs!  They were good enough for 3,000 people and I’ll take that any day.”

It was a who’s who in the BBQ world Sunday and while on stage:
Nick Pencis of Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ, Tyler — Won Best Pork Ribs
Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller BBQ, Taylor — Won Best Beef Ribs and Sausage
Aaron Franklin of Franklins BBQ, Austin — Won Best Brisket. Franklin BBQ was also crowned best of the best.

If you have not had the opportunity to try Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ I have a couple of tips for you.


Nick opens at 11am daily and when the food is gone, Stanley’s shuts the doors!


Their signature sandwiches, The Brother-in law and Jumbo Ex-wife (fitting), will force you to loosen your belt a notch.

I have an important two-fold note I want you to take away from this:
1 – Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ and Nick Pencis are the real deal and the fact that the bragging rights remain in East Texas (Out of Central Texas) could be enough said.  In this case, it’s more of a Cinderella story for Nick and his family-this notoriety couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy!

2 – I consider myself a well rounded BBQ connoisseur — I have developed a couple ways to rank  my dining experiment.  My #1 fool proof method of determining if the BBQ is going to rank well is “Does the server weigh the meat as they serve it to me or not.”  Stanleys BBQ slams me down a healthy serving of BBQ without a scale — Bravo and please pass the sauce and napkins, please!

See for yourself next time you stop in to Stanley’s on Beckham in Tyler — but whatever you do get there early and tell ’em that Johnny sent you.

Editorial Note:

Johnny Lathrop is our fearless — take no prisoners BBQ expert.  Some know him as the General Manager of station but those who know him best know never to mess with his BBQ.  I’m not joking when I think there are about 102 different bottles of BBQ sauce on display in his office.

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