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  #51  
Old 02-14-2020, 11:52 AM
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IL - Earls is literally four blocks down the alley from my house. It’s nice but for my money the best in the state has to go to Chicago Culinary Kitchen in Palatine. Only open Sat and Sun from 10:30 till the meat runs out. Jared Leonard said it was the best he ever had. My son, whom I like to think I’ve taught a thing or two about food, claims he prefers CCK to Franklin BBQ.

And I’m down for a bbq dopefest as well!

Last edited by MikeG; 02-14-2020 at 11:53 AM.
  #52  
Old 02-14-2020, 12:36 PM
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Anytime I see a "best x state by state" I figure Pennsylvania's will be in Philadelphia and I'll have never heard of it. Pennsylvania should be three states; west, central, and east.
  #53  
Old 02-14-2020, 12:47 PM
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Anytime I see a "best x state by state" I figure Pennsylvania's will be in Philadelphia and I'll have never heard of it. Pennsylvania should be three states; west, central, and east.
That's the actual situation in Tennessee, with there being a Middle vs. Central difference. But TN is set up geographically for that to work better than other states, with PA being an obvious exception.

It might be worth the counting to see how many (and which type) states have a distinct Middle or Central region.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:57 PM
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That's the actual situation in Tennessee, with there being a Middle vs. Central difference. But TN is set up geographically for that to work better than other states, with PA being an obvious exception.

It might be worth the counting to see how many (and which type) states have a distinct Middle or Central region.
NJ, as small as it is, has at least 3 sections and probably more. NE vs NW vs. Shore vs. Western vs SE. Arguments can be made for anything from 2 to 7 regions. Living in Central Jersey, the most common I hear is 3 regions.
  #55  
Old 02-14-2020, 12:57 PM
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There's a place near us called 12 Bones. It's where the Obamas like to eat when they come to Asheville. But we almost never eat there, because another nearby place, Okie Dokies, is way more to our taste.

Their most brilliant innovation is their sign out front. Or, rather, what's beneath the sign: an active smoker. Driving by in the summer and smelling that slow-cooked pork, it's real hard to keep on driving.
  #56  
Old 02-14-2020, 01:09 PM
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I live in San Antonio and the best brisket near me is... San Antonio. And Lockhart. And Austin.

Got a plethora of BBQ and brisket places here - Rudy's is fine, but touristy. Big Bib BBQ is excellent, as are the various restaurants around here with "Smoke" in their name - Smoke Shack, Smoke House, etc.

Don't bother with the County Line, unless you really want the tourist meal experience. We also had a chain open near me called B-B-Cutie, which sucks. If you tell me "let's go get some of that delicious B-B-Cutie", I would have no recourse but to smack you.

And, in case y'all care: The above is based on the quality of the meat only. I don't review, or even eat, BBQ sauce. If your meat needs BBQ sauce, I'm not interested. Right, B-B-Cutie?

Last edited by JohnT; 02-14-2020 at 01:11 PM.
  #57  
Old 02-14-2020, 01:16 PM
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As for local BBQ in Houston, there are a few new ones I haven't gotten to try. Plus, there's always Chinese BBQ at places like the Hong Kong Food Market.

The Texas BBQ place in Houston I used to love, and rank up there with Lockhart---Pierson and Company---has closed. So it goes. Gatlin's is the best I've tried in the area. LOL at Goode Company.
I can vouch for the excellence of Gatlin's, but even better might be The Hungry Farmer. I frequented both when I lived and worked on that side of Houston.

In my neck of the woods, both AJ's Meat Market(no web presense - that's a good sign right there) in Dickinson, and Roosters in Baytown serve some of the best BBQ I have ever eaten.
  #58  
Old 02-14-2020, 01:18 PM
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There's a place near us called 12 Bones. It's where the Obamas like to eat when they come to Asheville. But we almost never eat there, because another nearby place, Okie Dokies, is way more to our taste.

Their most brilliant innovation is their sign out front. Or, rather, what's beneath the sign: an active smoker. Driving by in the summer and smelling that slow-cooked pork, it's real hard to keep on driving.
You've just suggested an entirely separate thread to focus on "food aromas" that tantalize more than most. My entry in that hypothetical thread would be the "yeast rolls" that my family specialized in when I was wee. (There ought to be a perfume!)

<< In fact, the idea of "pleasant aromas" reminds me of some old Andy Griffith stories where one had the line, "You know, for a fat girl you sure don't sweat much." >>
  #59  
Old 02-14-2020, 01:25 PM
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IL - Earls is literally four blocks down the alley from my house. Itís nice but for my money the best in the state has to go to Chicago Culinary Kitchen in Palatine. Only open Sat and Sun from 10:30 till the meat runs out. Jared Leonard said it was the best he ever had. My son, whom I like to think Iíve taught a thing or two about food, claims he prefers CCK to Franklin BBQ.

And Iím down for a bbq dopefest as well!
Iíve heard great things about CCK. Thanks for reminding me. Iím on the total opposite end of town (near Midway), but Iíd make a trip to Palatine for some good Q.
  #60  
Old 02-14-2020, 01:26 PM
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Just now seeing this article on a related subject that thread participants might want to
have seen:

https://www.lifestyle-a2z.com/fast-f...e_id=yahoo.com

Potential new thread, maybe?
  #61  
Old 02-14-2020, 01:42 PM
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I live in San Antonio and the best brisket near me is... San Antonio. And Lockhart. And Austin.

Got a plethora of BBQ and brisket places here - Rudy's is fine, but touristy. Big Bib BBQ is excellent, as are the various restaurants around here with "Smoke" in their name - Smoke Shack, Smoke House, etc.

Don't bother with the County Line, unless you really want the tourist meal experience. We also had a chain open near me called B-B-Cutie, which sucks. If you tell me "let's go get some of that delicious B-B-Cutie", I would have no recourse but to smack you.

And, in case y'all care: The above is based on the quality of the meat only. I don't review, or even eat, BBQ sauce. If your meat needs BBQ sauce, I'm not interested. Right, B-B-Cutie?
Is Barbecue Station still at Harry Wurzbach and 410? Was great years ago when we lived there. It was a Texaco station when I was growing up.IIRC

You are right on Kreuz's Market in Lockhart. it is good.

Last edited by rsat3acr; 02-14-2020 at 01:42 PM.
  #62  
Old 02-14-2020, 01:57 PM
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Still there, still popular.

I used to take my dog on brisket runs to Lockhart - get in the truck, put Mackie (our Scottish Terrier) in the back seat... and, oh, how she loved that truck... and drive to Lockhart or Austin or elsewhere just to get brisket, sitting in the bed sharing our meal, and then driving back, a 90 mile road trip with beef in the middle, just me and my dog.

Last edited by JohnT; 02-14-2020 at 01:59 PM.
  #63  
Old 02-14-2020, 02:03 PM
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Still there, still popular.

I used to take my dog on brisket runs to Lockhart - get in the truck, put Mackie (our Scottish Terrier) in the back seat... and, oh, how she loved that truck... and drive to Lockhart or Austin or elsewhere just to get brisket, sitting in the bed sharing our meal, and then driving back, a 90 mile road trip with beef in the middle, just me and my dog.
Beautiful story, JohnT, and I believe the right person could turn that into a song or something along those lines. I already have some neat mental images from just your description!
  #64  
Old 02-14-2020, 02:07 PM
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Thanks! Like I said, she loved that truck.
  #65  
Old 02-14-2020, 02:29 PM
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Eastern NC BBQ is best , made from pork. No need to read the list.
This thread inspired me to go look at the online reviews of Parker's in Wilson, NC, probably one of the most famous eastern NC barbecue joints*. They get mostly four and five star reviews, but it's amusing to see the occasional one star reviews from people obviously from out of state and have no idea what eastern NC BBQ is supposed to be like complaining that their sandwich didn't come with barbecue sauce. Eastern NC BBQ isn't supposed to have barbecue sauce, apart from seasoned vinegar!

*And probably the one the article should have picked if they were going to go with the obvious one usually picked by food critics.

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  #66  
Old 02-14-2020, 02:41 PM
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Bump, I remember driving by and seeing the Sally Joe's sign but dismissed ever going in. (There's a LOT of bad BBQ in Texas. The Dickey's mentioned upthread, if it's a member of that chain, is some of the worst.) I'll have to give Sally Joe's a try.
Sally Jo's is long gone; it's a T-Mobile store now, I think.

Dickey's is abhorrent; it's like if someone set out to make something that was barely within the rules of being called barbecue, without actually being anywhere close to the real thing. It's not smoky, it's often not particularly tender, and it's pretty bland on top of that.
  #67  
Old 02-14-2020, 02:44 PM
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Dickey's, Grady's, freakin' Bill Miller... ugh. These are the three worst offenders here in San Antonio. At least County Line (mentioned above) is good - it's just touristy overpriced.

Yes, Texas has bad BBQ, probably more so than most states.

Last edited by JohnT; 02-14-2020 at 02:45 PM.
  #68  
Old 02-14-2020, 03:08 PM
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As far as I can tell, Dickey's is like the McDonald's of barbecue. Make a cheap, generic, barely passable product that can claim to be called barbecue, sell franchises all over the country, profit!

We had a Dicky's franchise in my neck of the woods as well, although they appear to have closed now. For a while I think they were the only barbecue place in town if I didn't want to travel all the way to Sacramento proper.

Last edited by WildaBeast; 02-14-2020 at 03:10 PM.
  #69  
Old 02-14-2020, 03:23 PM
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I live in (near) St Louis...most locals would say I should say Pappy's it is good but not the best I ever have eaten.

I lived in Tulsa in the mid '80's...a friend told me about Slick's BBQ outside of Muskogee OK. Slick was opened when he wanted to be opened, often closing to go fishing or whatnot. It took us three tries but I finally tasted nirvana! There was not pretense at Slick,s...not plates, Just plastic cafeteria trays covered in deli paper and the best ribs on earth. RIP Slick (aka Alonzo "Slick" Smith)
  #70  
Old 02-14-2020, 03:38 PM
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As far as I can tell, Dickey's is like the McDonald's of barbecue. Make a cheap, generic, barely passable product that can claim to be called barbecue, sell franchises all over the country, profit!

We had a Dicky's franchise in my neck of the woods as well, although they appear to have closed now. For a while I think they were the only barbecue place in town if I didn't want to travel all the way to Sacramento proper.
I felt the urge to make the sign of the cross at that last sentence.
  #71  
Old 02-14-2020, 03:46 PM
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I felt the urge to make the sign of the cross at that last sentence.
As someone else mentioned earlier in the thread, northern California seems to be something of a barbecue desert. But the Mexican food here is amazing!

Last edited by WildaBeast; 02-14-2020 at 03:47 PM.
  #72  
Old 02-14-2020, 03:51 PM
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I was surprised. I really thought they'd pick Franklins for Texas. Dog knows they've been falling all over that stuff for the past ten years. I've never had it. Cause the day I get up and stand in line for three hours in the hopes of getting a lb of brisket is the day you can call the nice young men in their clean white coats with the big nets. No. Nyet. Nuh-uh.
If you ever get the urge, Franklin's does preorders where you go to a trailer in the back, just a couple minutes wait while they cut your order.
  #73  
Old 02-14-2020, 03:57 PM
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There's a place near us called 12 Bones. It's where the Obamas like to eat when they come to Asheville. But we almost never eat there, because another nearby place, Okie Dokies, is way more to our taste.

Their most brilliant innovation is their sign out front. Or, rather, what's beneath the sign: an active smoker. Driving by in the summer and smelling that slow-cooked pork, it's real hard to keep on driving.
I've been in the Asheville area for 10 years and I just went to 12 Bones for the first time two weeks ago. Color me unimpressed. Then again, I did spend the decade before I moved here in Eastern NC where I learned what BBQ is supposed to be.

I've not been to Okie Dokie's but I can attest that the best ENC-style BBQ in Asheville is at Luella's.
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  #74  
Old 02-14-2020, 04:01 PM
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As someone else mentioned earlier in the thread, northern California seems to be something of a barbecue desert.
And on that note, a Sacramento barbecue resturant appeared on Gordon Ramsey's 24 Hours to Hell and Back a few years ago. They almost immediately reverted back to their old menu after Ramsey left, and are now closed.

Last edited by WildaBeast; 02-14-2020 at 04:02 PM.
  #75  
Old 02-14-2020, 04:23 PM
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As far as I can tell, Dickey's is like the McDonald's of barbecue. Make a cheap, generic, barely passable product that can claim to be called barbecue, sell franchises all over the country, profit!

We had a Dicky's franchise in my neck of the woods as well, although they appear to have closed now. For a while I think they were the only barbecue place in town if I didn't want to travel all the way to Sacramento proper.
Yeah, we went to that place two times. Once to give it a try just after they first opened, and the second time to give them another chance, but it only confirmed the first experience. Horrible.

I don't understand why BBQ places in our area have such a hard time surviving. Is it that a lot of people are good at backyard BBQ themselves and don't feel it's worth it to go out for that food? Are food truck operators in the BBQ space better and more mobile?
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Old 02-16-2020, 11:00 AM
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I don't understand why BBQ places in our area have such a hard time surviving. Is it that a lot of people are good at backyard BBQ themselves and don't feel it's worth it to go out for that food? Are food truck operators in the BBQ space better and more mobile?
They don't seem to always have a long lifespan around here either; I think it's mostly that you get people who can successfully barbecue in their backyards or at a small scale catering level, and then try and scale it up, but fail because they don't actually know how to run a business, and in particular a barbecue one.

I imagine that one particular challenge of running a barbecue joint is knowing how much of each sort of meat to start cooking in advance, since there's a significant cook time.

And every time you miss that mark, you either leave money on the table, or spent money you can't get back. The ideal situation would be to have demand such that you can fill ALL your cookers completely and then sell everything you cooked. At that point, it's a question of expanding the size/number of your cookers. But in most other situations, it's a question of "do I cook 13 or 15 briskets today?" and with each costing upwards of 30 or more dollars, you're looking at a non-trivial question for small business with very thin margins.
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Old 02-17-2020, 06:40 AM
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The rib truck we patronize used to run out on weekend nights. They urge you to call/order ahead, so I started doing that. I call at noon for a full rack, baked beans, and coleslaw for a 6:30 pickup. At 6:30 I arrive and there are 12 people walking around waiting for their just-placed orders. The barbq lady sees me and loudly says, "OK KAYAKER, YOU ORDERED AHEAD I HAVE YOUR RIBS READY", hoping more people follow my lead.
  #78  
Old 02-17-2020, 07:16 AM
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I can vouch for the excellence of Gatlin's, but even better might be The Hungry Farmer. I frequented both when I lived and worked on that side of Houston.

In my neck of the woods, both AJ's Meat Market(no web presense - that's a good sign right there) in Dickinson, and Roosters in Baytown serve some of the best BBQ I have ever eaten.
Thanks for the information. I'll definitely give those a try. I'm in Seabrook from time to time, and Dickinson isn't that far away---despite the traffic mess---when we're talking good 'que.
  #79  
Old 02-17-2020, 04:16 PM
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I can vouch for the excellence of Gatlin's, but even better might be The Hungry Farmer. I frequented both when I lived and worked on that side of Houston.

In my neck of the woods, both AJ's Meat Market(no web presense - that's a good sign right there) in Dickinson, and Roosters in Baytown serve some of the best BBQ I have ever eaten.
Dickinson Barbecue (closer to 45 than AJ's) wasn't atrocious, but it wasn't awesome either.
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Old 02-17-2020, 06:29 PM
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I’m surprised no one has mentioned the Salt Lick in Driftwood, TX yet. No less an authority than Bobby Flay has declared it the best barbecue he’s ever eaten. Having been there multiple times myself, I agree with him.
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Old 02-17-2020, 06:39 PM
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From what I've seen of it on TV, it ain't BBQ, no matter what Flay says.
  #82  
Old 02-17-2020, 06:56 PM
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Iím surprised no one has mentioned the Salt Lick in Driftwood, TX yet. No less an authority than Bobby Flay has declared it the best barbecue heís ever eaten. Having been there multiple times myself, I agree with him.
I trust Bobby Flay's opinion on BBQ about as far as I can throw the moon.

Now if a little old Southern lady says it's good BBQ, I'll listen to her.
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:21 PM
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Eastern NC BBQ is best , made from pork. No need to read the list. Around 10 years ago a local place, Clyde Coopers, brought their BBQ to U2 but at the time they only took cash so they had to round up cash to pay the tab. They just recently started taking credit/debit cards , they opened in 1938.
This. I'm in Georgia, but whenever we go to the Outer Banks, we made a point of stopping for dinner at Wilber's in Goldsboro (alas, now closed). My father, who grew up in Rocky Mount, grew up eating Parker's Barbecue, in Wilson. We'll have to go a bit out of the way to get to Wilson or Greenville, but Parker's is worth the trip.

Barbecue is one of the last truly regional foods in American cuisine - Georgia barbecue is not the same as Eastern North Carolina 'cue, which is different from Western North Carolina style, or Memphis, or Lowcountry South Carolina mustard-based barbecue. (I won't even get into Texas or Kansas, where they think "barbecue" is a verb - which they misspell as "barbeque", anyway - and can be done to cows. Illiterate barbarians.) When I eat barbecue in Atlanta, which is not often, I go to Anna's - a little old-fashioned fish camp-style restaurant in Kirkwood, with uneven floors and faded calendars on the wall. It's pretty good, for Georgia 'cue. Actually, scratch that - it's damn good. But it's not Eastern NC barbecue.
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  #84  
Old 02-17-2020, 08:07 PM
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Western North Carolina BBQ > Texas BBQ > Eastern North Carolina BBQ > South Carolina BBQ > Santa Maria Style BBQ > Kansas City BBQ > Memphis BBQ > Chain BBQ

"Your BBQ" can be slotted in as need be.
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