There are few things Texans love more than free stuff – except when it’s not exactly free.

Daniel Vaughn, Texas Monthly’s barbecue editor, has picked up on this in his many years traveling the state – checking out some of the free condiments that come with a slab of meat. As he dug a little deeper, he discovered that they aren’t exactly free for everyone.

“They’re not sides, because nobody charges for pickles and onions and white bread,” he says.

Well, except Smitty’s Market in Lockhart – they’ll charge you by the pound.

Vaughn wanted to find out how much barbecue joints are spending on the pickles, onions, white bread, saltines and what-have-you they serve copious amounts of.

“I go out and I’m eating at a bunch of different barbecue joints every day,” he says. “Generally, when I get asked the question ‘Do you want pickles, onions and bread?’ I’ll generally just say ‘Ah, maybe just some pickles’ or ‘No thanks’ altogether, because I don’t want them to waste it.”

But most people will say “Yes” and places like Kreuz Market or Black’s BBQ pile it on.

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– Where the tradition of pickles, onions and white bread came from

– How much pit masters are spending per week on giving out free condiments

Written by Beth Cortez-Neavel.

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