First crack at portraits of you know, actual people.

This was my first crack at doing portraits. To this point I’d only shot buildings, cars and scenery mainly.

I’m fairly pleased with how they turned out but more importantly the couple, Courtney and Hagen, are really happy with them.

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2012 Cowtown Cruisin’ for a Cure – Fort Worth, TX

These are the the best shots I got while walking the 2012 Cowtown Cruisin’ for a Cure show over the weekend. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect; overcast and in the 60s/70s. This is one of the best classic car shows I’ve been to.

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Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights at The Solar Powered Music Festival

These were some of my favorite shots I took while watching Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights play The Solar Powered Music Festival. Damn these guys can play.

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More shots from “Around the Fort”

These were the first shots I took with the e-510 after freeing it from it’s nearly 2 year slumber.

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Shots from “Around the Fort”

These are some pics I’ve taken over the last month around Ft. Worth. I’ve finally started using the Olympus e-510 that’s been sitting neglected for a couple years. It’s been nice to have something to keep my busy after becoming single recently.

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Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar B-Q Tyler, TX

www.StanleysPitBBQ.com

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I only happened upon this place because I was taking my mom into Tyler for surgery. All the reviews I read on Yelp were 5 stars so it was promising. The sign out front listing what had sold out was a strong indicator I was in for a treat.

My order: 2 meat combo plate with Pork Ribs and Sliced Brisket and 1/4 lb of Sausage. Each plate comes with pinto beans, potato salad and cole slaw, 2 slices of white bread, dill pickles and onion slices.

Pork Ribs (baby backs): These had a great bark and flavor with the perfect “tooth.” The ribs were glazed in sauce and had a dry rub coating as well. I don’t normally do sauced ribs but these were great and I’d go back if nothing else for them.

Sliced Brisket (flat, fatty): I ordered the brisket “fatty” and it came out perfectly moist. While it had a nice bark the only negative was the lack of smoke flavor.

Sausage: Nice snap to the case and juicy with a coarse grind. One of the better smoked sausages I’ve had lately.

Potato Salad: Great flavor and not heavy on the mayo. The size of the potatoes were perfect. It had what looked to be either purple cabbage or a bitter green which seemed weird but worked well.

Cole Slaw: Good flavor, and the cut size on the cabbage was nice while the mayo based dressing was light.

Pinto Beans: The beans were well cooked which is hard to find at most places. There was also chopped brisket throughout, solid choice.

A diamond in the ruff would be a good way to describe this place. The food was great as was the atmosphere in the place. They’ve got lots of awards on the walls and I can see why. My only gripe would be only getting 2 ribs with my order.

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Railhead Smokehouse BBQ Ft. Worth, TX

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www.RailheadOnline.com

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Map to this location

I finally got a chance to give this place a try. I was skeptical because it seemed to be a college hangout more than a BBQ joint based on reviews from Yelp.com.

My order: 2 meat dinner with Pork Ribs and Sliced Brisket, 1/2 lb of Jalapeño Cheddar Sausage with hand cut french fries and cole slaw. Each dinner comes with 2 slices of white bread, 2 pickle spears (which were awful) and sliced onions and your choice of 3 sides.

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Pork Ribs (spares): They had a great bark and flavor. They were a bit overcooked as they were falling off the bone before I could pick them up.

Sliced Brisket (flat): Nice bark and flavor. The flavor helped cover the fact that it was really dry.

Sausage (jalapeño/cheddar): Nice snap to the case and juicy but the cheddar was like Cheez Whiz and that ruined it for me.

French Fries (hand cut): Second best thing about this meal. They had great flavor and were tender and crispy on the ends. They count for 2 of the 3 sides, worth it.

Cole Slaw (mayo based): Good flavor, and the size of the cut on the cabbage was nice without being heavy.

Overall you get the feel this place is more about who eats here than what you’re eating. Nearly everyone was having a schooner validating that suspicion. The portions are very generous but if you go get the ribs, fries and nothing else. What kind of BBQ place doesn’t even serve sweet tea, craziness?!

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Smoque BBQ Chicago, IL

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www.SmoqueBBQ.com

Map to this location

I’ve been anxiously anticipating this review for a few years now. I first heard about Smoque on Triple D and was instantly stoked. These guys took all the best BBQ from Texas (Sausage/Brisket), Kansas City (Ribs), Memphis (Ribs) and the Carolinas (Pulled Pork) and single handedly put Chicago on the BBQ map.

I got there at 10:30 because I had heard it gets busy at lunch but also wanted to get a few pics of the building. One of the owners came out and asked if I’d like to sit inside while I waited for them to open at 11; awesome but simple gesture.

My order: 1/2 slab Baby Back Rib dinner with a “taste” of Texas Sausage and Sliced Brisket with BBQ beans and Mac ‘n Cheese. Each order comes on a butcher paper lined tray with slaw and your choice of sauce; regular or spicy.

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Brisket (flat): Best Brisket I’ve reviewed to date. Incredibly tender, so much so it was nearly impossible to eat even with a fork. The thick/dark bark, smoke ring and flavor were incredible. I got lucky and was served a “Burnt End.” hands down THE BEST bite of BBQ of my life!

Ribs (Baby back): Great smoke ring, bark and flavor again. They were tender but had the perfect amount of “tooth.” I would have normally gone with St. Louis style ribs but they had apparently stopped serving them due to a meat quality issue; respectable.

Texas Sausage: Great snap to the natural case and incredibly juicy. Flavor was spot on with the right amount of spice and smoke. They got this one dead on.

Slaw: Vinegar based consisting of just cabbage and onions. The subtle flavor of the light dressing was nice compared to the normal mayo dressing.

BBQ Beans: While normally my least favorite side these were good. They had chopped brisket throughout and seemed to have some kind of soda in the sauce, my guess is Dr. Pepper. Good choice.

Mac ‘n Cheese: The only let down. I liked the crumble crust but the cheese sauce was far too lumpy for me. The flavor was good but the consistency was hard to ignore.

My overall experience was better than I had anticipated. I was ready for a let down especially being outside your main BBQ areas. This was one of the Top 3 BBQ meals of my life!! Anyone going to Chicago owes it to themselves to eat here. You could have franchises of this place in all the major BBQ areas and it would do great.

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Vicker’s BBQ Bogata, TX

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*Heads up this review is from a few months back, I’ll be back up this way again for an updated review sometime soon.

My order: The sliced Brisket plate with 2 sides and a half pound of Smoked Hot Links. Each plate comes with a slice of white bread, hamburger dill pickle slices and sliced onions.

Brisket (flat): Nice smoke ring, good bark and fat content. Juicy and the perfect balance of smoke flavor. This is the best brisket I’ve had since Longoria’s.

Hot Links (Pittsburgh, TX style): Hands down the best hot links I’ve had. Great flavor, perfect snap to the case and the right amount of spice. They were pretty dark so I thought they would be dry but they were incredibly juicy.

Beans: Standard pinto beans, not the star of the show but a good rendition.

Potato Salad: This was really good. It’s your basic yellow potato salda but had a real nice flavor.

Overall this is a real good small town BBQ joint. The previous BBQ place in this location was apparently terrible. The new owners stepped up to the plate swninging.

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Smokey’s Barbeque Ft. Worth, TX

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www.SmokeysBBQTX.com

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Map to this location

I made my trek to the East Side of town to check out another top DFW BBQ joint. I have heard Smokey’s was awesome but that might have been an understatement. This is the best BBQ joint I’ve checked out to date.

My order: The Cool Hand Luke- 3 meat plate with 2 sides; Sliced Brisket, Ribs and Sausage. Each plate also comes with a homemade bun. There is a veggie bar with potato salad, beans, cole slaw and all the usual Q trimmings.

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Ribs (full spares): Beyond amazing. Nice smoke ring, great bark, falling off the bone tender but incredibly meaty and moist. I would go back just for these alone.

Brisket (flat): Nice smoke ring, on the dry side but a nice flavor.

Sausage (Jalapeño links): These links were amazing as well. The smokey flavor as well as the jalapeño were great. Had the case been a tad less chewy they would have been perfect.

Beans: Great as well. They had a base flavor similar to Ranch Style Beans but there were LARGE chunks of brisket, ribs and sausage throughout.

Potato Salad: This was also great. It was your basic potato salad but had a great flavor.

Overall I’d come back for any single item alone but put it together and I think I’ve found my new favorite local BBQ joint. Everyone in DFW should check it out.

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