This summer, CNN's Defining America project is traveling the country with the CNN Express bus and iReport to explore the stories behind the data and demographics that show how places are changing. This week, CNN brings you coverage from Texas.
In Texas, that's a word worth fighting for.
Just ask the owner of City Meat Market in Lee County, Texas, where folks have been wolfing down beef, chicken and pork served on traditional pink butcher paper for nearly 70 years. Texas Monthly Magazine ranked it among the Top 50 BBQ joints in the state.
In fact, Texas musician Lyle Lovett is a fan of the Meat Market and stops by the restaurant regularly. Willie Nelson has taken a seat here more than once.
Turns out Lee County is almost a mirror of the entire United States, ethnically and racially. You can see that diversity in the faces of patrons at this classic meat-lover's paradise.
So when CNN’s Defining America project went to Lee County to investigate the stats, we had to test out a meal of chopped brisket, sausage and ribs – with the accompanying white sliced bread, of course. Looking for sides? Try the potato salad. Dessert? Either the banana pudding or peach cobbler will make you sing.
With so many different cultural influences, maybe Birkelbach is right about his being America’s best barbecue.
But, of course, some folks in the Carolinas might have a bone to pick about that.