There's a law in Texas about barbecue that the quality of the barbecue is inversely proportional to the quality of the establishment. The best barbecue is usually found in a shack in the woods, or a hole in the wall under the train tracks. My favorite is a place called Pat's Barbecue, just off Hwy 31 between Tyler and Kilgore. It's been there forever, and it never changes. The chopped beef is perfectly seasoned, the sauce tangy and darkly sweet. The owners, the Gee family, are always friendly and warm. A trip home to my parents' always includes a trip to Pat's, with its open screened windows and rickety fans in the summer and blazing pot-bellied stove in the winter. A smoke-stained calendar curls on the wall, and you get your Cokes from an old refrigerator in the corner.