02-13-2014, 01:36 PM
The new Lockhart Smokehouse location in Plano had an unannounced opening to the public today (it got leaked this morning and then they formally announced it on FB a few hours later). I got there a couple of minutes after open at 11:00. There was one person in front of me at the counter and a couple of folks had already got food (so I guess I was about the 5th person served). The guy in front of me was Daniel Vaughn. We each sat down at the bar and started unwrapping or paper. He glanced over at my paper and immediately carved off a chunk of his pork chop and said "here, take some of my pork." I noticed he didn't have and clod or sausage on his paper, so I offered him some clod (which he gladly accepted) and cut him off a piece of sausage. He then passed me some turkey. We both had ribs and brisket already. Between the two of us, I think we both got to try all of the meats. Neither of us had ordered any sides, so the only other thing there was some complimentary white bread for both of us. Some quick introductions while we were eating... then we spent the next hour or so talking about BBQ, cooking, restaurants, a bunch of the local joints and surrounding joints and the national craze that is sweeping. Daniel is originally from OH, and I am from PA so we had the whole rust belt transplanted to Texas thing in common. We talked about his job as BBQ Editor for TMBBQ as well as what I do for a living along with what I do for fun. We both joked about staying away from the restaurant business and competition. :-D I commented about how he is "living the life." He definitely knows how lucky he is getting to do what he does for a living. After lunch, we toured the location inside and out continuing our conversation and passing personal email addresses and such. I will honestly say that I never would have expected him to be such a nice guy (gracious, engaging and truly interested in listening to me as much as I was interested in his stories - He had just interviewed Vencil Mares yesterday because another interview cancelled). Had Will not said "hey Daniel" to him while we were in line, I might not have even noticed that it was him. He wasn't even there to do a review or article. He had no idea until the same time I did this morning that they were opening and just jumped in the car on the same whim as me. So, to make a long story short... we live in a small world (of BBQ). This morning, the world was made even smaller and in the best possible way.