Fargo's Pit BBQ, Bryan
Credit: Nicholas McWhirter

In the central-southeast Brazos Valley, Vaughn exercised the prophet's rights, emerging from a moment of divine inspiration to lead the people to Fargo's. "This joint stands as one of my greatest finds," he says. "I hadn't seen any mention of them on statewide barbecue lists, when out of the corner of my eye I saw their sign with 'BBQ' painted in white. I hit the brakes and it turned out to be one of the best meals I've eaten." Fargo's recently moved into a new building, but Vaughn's return visits have determined that the charm remains, particularly in the smoky pork spare ribs and the crisp and juicy chicken. Pitmaster and owner Alan Caldwell guards his secrets closely; in this age of Internet-driven, deeply specialized consumption, Vaughn still doesn't know what kind of wood or smoker he uses.