A few weeks before Christmas, I was putting together a gift for an out-of-town co-worker. I decided on a gift basket full of products exclusive to Tyler, Texas.
I wrapped a Tyler candle (in “Tyler” scent), Nellie’s Scottish Shortbread, Texas Moon Gourmet Toffee, Tricky Dix Mojo rub and then ran to Brookshire’s for some Stanley’s Famous Pit Barbecue sauces.
Stanley’s, their website will tell you, is the oldest operating mom and pop barbecue joint in Tyler. What it cannot possibly convey, however, is the smell of smoked meats that permeates the entire area when you arrive. You can literally follow your nose to Stanley’s, which occupies an awkward wedge of space in the curve of a major thoroughfare in the medical district in Tyler. When I first moved to Tyler seven years ago, Stanley’s opened at lunchtime and served until the meat ran out, which some days was pretty darn quickly. Now, they’re open regular hours (including breakfast!) and have expanded their teeny eat-in space to accommodate more diners with a patio and frequent live music.
Their barbecue is nothing less than amazing, and some of their dishes (the Mother Clucker, the Brother In Law) have reputations that precede them far and wide.
The Clucker sauce is a white, vinegar-based sauce perfect for poultry. The BBQ sauce is good slathered on just about anything.
If you can’t make it to Stanley’s in Tyler, at least you can make it at home with small-batch sauces from Brookshire’s.