This may or may not become a regular feature (and no offense intended to our vegetarian readership), but I have to put in a plug for my friend JoAnn Wypijewski's recent excellent survey of the BBQ fare and social scene in Lockhart, Texas -- "Barbecue Capital of Texas." Just reading it makes me want to pop down to Durham's own Q-Shack.

And if you're wondering "why a post about BBQ?" here's an introductory thought on the subject, from Southern Food by John Egerton (also the author of Speak Now Against the Day, the definitive history of Southern progressive politics before the civil rights movement):

For as long as there has been a South, and people who think of themselves as Southerners, food has been central to the region's image, its personality and its character . . . . Accents and attitudes and life-styles may change, but fondness for Southern food persists; for many people it lingers in the mind and on the tongue as vividly as the tantalizing aroma of barbecue on the pit hangs in the air and penetrates to the core of thought and remembrance.

Bon appetit, y'all.