Stanley’s Famous: Tyler, TX
with Jerrod Janakus
I arrived in Tyler, TX around 7pm and hit my last stop of the day, Stanley's Famous Pit Bar-B-Q. Because I didn't get there early enough, I missed out on talking with Shaw, the pitmaster there. But Leo, the manager, stepped in and gave me a nice interview.
What is apparent right away when you get to Stanley's is that this is a joint that makes people happy. It could be the aromatic pecan smoke in the air that magically combines with the sounds of blues music (that put a smile on my face), but it is also just as likely the vibe that owners Nick and Jen have made a priority. Just like we do at Savory, their employee's happiness at work is where everything starts.
I tried my first bbq sandwich of the chase here called the Mother Clucker—Cadillac style— along with some brisket, ribs, and few sides. That Cadillac Clucker is a winner! The perfectly cooked over easy egg runs out over the barbecued chicken. It’s messy, but it's also in glorious harmony with the guacamole, cheddar, spicy mayo and candied bacon, all on a jalapeño bun. That's right...candied bacon! I also enjoyed the ribs, potato salad and slaw.
When your wife (and business partner, and the one who okayed this epic BBQ chase) posts "u better have gotten me one of those" referring to the cool tees at Stanley's Famous Pit Bar-B-Q, a smart man adjusts his plan, gets back on his horse and returns while the place is still within shouting distance.
The bonus for you and me is, I got to talk with Pitmaster Shaw on my second stop there. What a cool dude! We talked 'cue and like Leo, he reinforced how much he loved working there and how great owners Nick and Jen are as people and now tight friends. Shaw has been the pit master there for 7 years and it doesn't sound like he's moving on anytime soon! #chasingbbq