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Old 02-13-2020, 06:57 AM
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Best Barbecue Near You?


I was just browsing this nice article on "Best Barbecue By State"

https://www.delish.com/food-news/g36..._del_d_t_g3604

and wondered to what extent their findings matched up with yours and "authorities" (friends?) near you.

How would you improve their list of preferences, especially in the area nearest to you?
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Old 02-13-2020, 07:08 AM
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I have yet to try them but Texas Jack's is supposed to be the best in Northern Virginia. The building was originally occupied by a greasy spoon called Whitey's, whence the "EAT" sign.
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:09 AM
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The one listed for Illinois, Smoque, is a good choice for best all-around barbecue. Outside of Chicago, 17th Street Barbecue in Murphysboro is a good choice, as well.

For Chicago-style barbecue (aquarium smoker, typical dishes are rib tips & hot links and spare ribs; very little choice of sides; usually take-out only), I would have said Uncle John's years ago, but the pitmaster there died a few years back. I haven't been to any of the offshoots his family runs to see how they are, but Mack (the "Uncle John") was an excellent pitmaster and I followed him from Barbara Ann's to Uncle John's. These days, I go to Lem's.
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:15 AM
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I didn't want to slog through that slide show.

1050 BBQ in Dallas is the best closest to me. They serve up "competition" style BBQ. They have pit masters that tend the fires 24hrs a day (even when the restaurant is closed). Really good stuff. The BBQ sauce is good, but I've tasted better. Wish they had a spicy option.

The restaurant was started by the same guy who founded Chili's restaurant. (Chili's used to be good before he sold it to Big Corp Inctm)
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:30 AM
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The best barbecue near me is a roadside seller who only operates during warm weather months (April-September). The guy started out smoking meat as a hobby, catered some relatives' events, then did phone orders (pick up at his house).

A few years ago he went all in, buying a truck and hiring a couple of employees. Last year they added a second truck that makes wood fired pizzas.
Route 66 BBQ
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:32 AM
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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.
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:41 AM
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I would have said "Dinosaur in Baltimore" but they closed, so I guess DCity Smokehouse; District BBQ maybe? I don't know. There's a high quantity of consistently mediocre-quality BBQ joints around the area. I've been to a few around the area that have opened in the last few years and nothing has really stood out to me as head and shoulders better than anyone else. When you're here, just go to whichever one is closest to you, I guess.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:02 AM
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In the DFW area I like Hard 8.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Grrr! View Post
I didn't want to slog through that slide show.

1050 BBQ in Dallas is the best closest to me. They serve up "competition" style BBQ. They have pit masters that tend the fires 24hrs a day (even when the restaurant is closed). Really good stuff. The BBQ sauce is good, but I've tasted better. Wish they had a spicy option.

The restaurant was started by the same guy who founded Chili's restaurant. (Chili's used to be good before he sold it to Big Corp Inctm)
I've been in 1050 a couple times since it opened but they seemed to focus more on atmosphere and decor rather than the food itself. They also ripped off Hard 8 BBQ decor and style which is also a place you go for atmosphere, rather than for high-quality food (IMHO, of course.) I consider 1050 to be an Expense Account place, somewhere you go when you're on travel or someone else in footing the bill.

For BBQ in my area, Cattleack BBQ is the place to go. Wonderful beef and ribs and sauce to die for. It's only open a couple days a week and you better be in line early as you could be out of luck if they run out of your favorite meat.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:31 AM
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The one listed for Illinois, Smoque, is a good choice for best all-around barbecue. Outside of Chicago, 17th Street Barbecue in Murphysboro is a good choice, as well.

For Chicago-style barbecue (aquarium smoker, typical dishes are rib tips & hot links and spare ribs; very little choice of sides; usually take-out only), I would have said Uncle John's years ago, but the pitmaster there died a few years back. I haven't been to any of the offshoots his family runs to see how they are, but Mack (the "Uncle John") was an excellent pitmaster and I followed him from Barbara Ann's to Uncle John's. These days, I go to Lem's.
I live about a mile from Smoque and it is indeed a wonderful place to get BBQ. Their brisket is the best that I've had and if you go to the dentist next door, they'll give you a gift card for the restaurant.


The other two places that I like are Gale Street Inn and Twin Anchors but I haven't had either in quite a while. Earl's BBQ on Austin is ridiculously good as well and I recommend them highly.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:37 AM
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Big Ed's BBQ in Oldbridge, NJ. Great all you can eat ribs and Sometimes all you can eat BBQ Brisket. We don't go too often as I tend to overeat whenever I go.

https://www.bigedsbbq.com/
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:43 AM
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The other two places that I like are Gale Street Inn and Twin Anchors
Those have good ribs (and are Chicago classics), but they're not really barbecue (i.e. smoked.) More like baked in the oven and then grilled and slathered in sauce. I'm not trying to split hairs here, I honestly don't think those would qualify for the barbecue list that was linked to. (All those look like traditional barbecue with smoked meats.)

Last edited by pulykamell; 02-13-2020 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:48 AM
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I didn't want to slog through that slide show.

1050 BBQ in Dallas is the best closest to me. They serve up "competition" style BBQ. They have pit masters that tend the fires 24hrs a day (even when the restaurant is closed). Really good stuff. The BBQ sauce is good, but I've tasted better. Wish they had a spicy option.

The restaurant was started by the same guy who founded Chili's restaurant. (Chili's used to be good before he sold it to Big Corp Inctm)
This. (Expletive Deleted) slideshows. I'll have to try 1050. Pecan Lodge and Cattleack are the ones that have gotten all of the ink in the Dallas area. https://www.dmagazine.com/publicatio...cue-in-dallas/

EDIT: If you really like 'competition' Texas BBQ, I recommend going to Jambo's BBQ Shack in Renton. Renton is a southern suburb of Fort Worth. The food is very consistent, giant smoke rings galore, and delicious. Albeit a touch soulless. And now I see it's been sold, as I tried to include the hyperlink to its menu. Caveat Emptor. https://www.star-telegram.com/entert...216361160.html

For those not wanting to scroll through 40 different slides, here is the URL for the Texas offering. It links to Stanley's in Tyler. LOL at them being better than Franklin. Or Snows. Or LA Barbecue. Or Kreuz's sausage. You get the idea.

Trying to find CA's slide, I went too far and hit Colorado's. Where they think Rudy's is the best in the state. Yes, the same Rudy's as the Texas chain. Who knows, maybe it is? Not having too much faith in the quality of their reviews. Though if they picked Smoque in IL, it proves they can read other critics...

I would have recommended Full Custom Gospel for Texas BBQ reviews, but the guy who wrote there became Texas Monthly's BBQ editor. Here's his review of Stanley's. It's in his top 50 for Texas BBQ.

Last edited by Gray Ghost; 02-13-2020 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:52 AM
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I don't know of a great BBQ place in DC, but there is an excellent one in Edinburg, VA called Beans. They are only open Thursday through Sunday, but they are great. Just down the block is Sal's a great Italian bistro, btw.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:57 AM
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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.
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:15 AM
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The Massachusetts entry is Blackstrap in Winthrop. I seem to remember going there once (probably saw it on a list like this) and not being blown away. There's a chain here called Tennessee's that I like, although it's kinda middle-of-the-road in terms of style and execution. I'm not a huge fan of Blue Ribbon. Other good ones around Boston are Redbones, the Smoke Shop, Sweet Cheeks, and a place called The Porch that I've only been to once, so far.
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:23 AM
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Just outside of Boston I go to Blue Ribbon BBQ but there are a few others that have excellent product. Redbones in Davis Sq is quite good, and has an excellent beer selection so that's more of an eat in vs the Blue Ribbon take out.
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:46 AM
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The link says Podnah's is the best, but there is a food cart called Matt's that is the current favorite in Portland.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:01 AM
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The one listed for Illinois, Smoque, is a good choice for best all-around barbecue. Outside of Chicago, 17th Street Barbecue in Murphysboro is a good choice, as well.
17th St is very good. I stop there whenever I'm in the area. They opened a second restaurant in Marion, but it's not quite as good.

In Cincinnati Eli's BBQ is pretty fantastic, but I've become a fan of Buck's. A little less smokey flavor in the BBQ sauce.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:26 AM
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I live about a mile from Smoque and it is indeed a wonderful place to get BBQ. ... Gale Street Inn and Twin Anchors ... Earl's BBQ on Austin is ridiculously good as well and I recommend them highly.
I live close to Earl's and Gale Street's also in the area but, as far as this board goes, we're neighbors!

Smoque is my pick, really good and, critically, consistent. I haven't been to Earl's but it's been on my list for a while. The smoked chicken wings sound particularly good. What time of day do you recommend going?

I agree with Puly, Gale and Anchor (never been to that one) are baked and sauced, not barbeque.

For Korean BBQ (really, tabletop grilling), San Soo Kab San. Chinese, Sun Wah.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:57 AM
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Those have good ribs (and are Chicago classics), but they're not really barbecue (i.e. smoked.) More like baked in the oven and then grilled and slathered in sauce. I'm not trying to split hairs here, I honestly don't think those would qualify for the barbecue list that was linked to. (All those look like traditional barbecue with smoked meats.)
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I live close to Earl's and Gale Street's also in the area but, as far as this board goes, we're neighbors!

Smoque is my pick, really good and, critically, consistent. I haven't been to Earl's but it's been on my list for a while. The smoked chicken wings sound particularly good. What time of day do you recommend going?

I agree with Puly, Gale and Anchor (never been to that one) are baked and sauced, not barbeque.
Good point, neither Gale Street nor Twin Anchors are really BBQ places. Both have awesome ribs, and I recommend them, but otherwise "not BBQ."


I'm not sure about when to go to Earl's. I've been there a few times and it wasn't too busy when I was there. I remember being there late morning, early afternoon, and around 6:00 or so on a weekday, so you will probably be OK throughout the day. And to be honest, I think I like Earl's a bit more than Smoque. Smoque's great and I want to put it all in my mouth but it's also a little overhyped. Earl's is a little more under the radar, imo.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:57 AM
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In the San Jose area, I really like Smoking Pig BBQ. I especially like their Wolf Turds (smoked jalapenos wrapped in bacon and stuffed with sausage and cream cheese).
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Old 02-13-2020, 12:09 PM
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I have yet to try them but Texas Jack's is supposed to be the best in Northern Virginia. The building was originally occupied by a greasy spoon called Whitey's, whence the "EAT" sign.
Texas Jack's is one of our favorites. Not cheap, but very tasty.

Our favorite Korean BBQ (and my favorite restaurant overall in the NoVA area) is Kogiya in Centreville. All you can eat Korean BBQ'd marinated sirloin, spicy pork belly, and chicken for about $24 per person. If you're adventurous, add about 4$ and get all you can eat small intestine, large intestine, and beef stomach (abomasum) as well. We always go for the organ meat option -- the pork belly plus the intestines are my favorites.

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Old 02-13-2020, 12:24 PM
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You are all making me jealous. For all the variety of great food in northern CA, BBQ is like an ongoing drought. There are a few OK places around, but for whatever reason they do not last long, and they are few and far between. There are some chains but they are BBQ in name only, are horrible and do not qualify as BBQ in my book. I have had proper BBQ in Texas, Virginia, and Kansas City - we do not have that out here. Please send us some life-giving BBQ!
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Old 02-13-2020, 12:26 PM
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Smoque is my pick, really good and, critically, consistent.
Yeah, almost unbelievably so. I'm used to barbecue being somewhat hit-or-miss, so I'll generally give a BBQ joint three tries to wow me (unless it's pretty obvious from the first time they don't know what they're doing or I don't like what they're doing.) Pretty much all the classic South and West Side Chicago aquarium smoker joints are quite variable in the product. When it's on, it's on and the best, but when it's not, you can get stuck with some grisly, chewy meat. Smoque almost always nails it. The first time I went there, I wasn't particularly impressed, but every time I've been there since then it's been solid, particularly the brisket (which I don't bother getting anywhere else in Chicago, though I'm sure by now there's probably some joints who can do it as well as they can. Before Smoque, there wasn't a single barbecue brisket in Chicago I would go out of my way for.)
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Old 02-13-2020, 12:30 PM
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Smoque is my pick, really good and, critically, consistent. I haven't been to Earl's but it's been on my list for a while. The smoked chicken wings sound particularly good. What time of day do you recommend going?
If you ever find yourself in/near Berwyn and want a good beer bar with smoked chicken wings and an eclectic clientele, try Cigars & Stripes. Especially if you love hot sauces. Ronnie (the owner) makes all sorts of hot sauces himself from mildly spicy to blow-your-head-off. His smoking is on point, and, if you get lucky and pick the right day, he sometimes has smoked Italian beef with homemade giardiniera which I love to bits.
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Old 02-13-2020, 12:51 PM
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They aren't even close for California. Phil's in San Diego is the best. They are wrong on Nevada as well. And North Carolina.

These sorts of articles are paid puff pieces or are written by people who don't know shit about BBQ.

Last edited by silenus; 02-13-2020 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:03 PM
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I have heard good things about their choice - Little Miss Barbecue, but haven’t been there myself yet. But, they would have to be pretty damn good to beat Danky’s.
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:16 PM
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The only thing I miss about living in FL is the BBQ - there were a couple of really good small chains near where we lived. Here in southern Merrylande, the choices are OK, but not spectacular. There's Famous Dave's in Waldorf, which isn't too bad. We had a place called Urban BBQ in Leonardtown that didn't last long - it was pretty mediocre. Mission BBQ seems popular hereabouts, but I wasn't impressed. There was also a hole-in-the-wall place not too far from us that the locals raved about. I never did see what was so great about it - I ordered turkey because I love smoked turkey. I got a turkey cold-cut sandwich with sauce on it.

In summary, the best BBQ near me is my smoker. I've made some great ribs, amazing smoked turkey and chicken, and even a smoked meatloaf!
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:34 PM
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California is a big state, and the one they list isn't "near me" in any way, nor do I know anything about it. For the Sacramento area I might pick Smokers Wild, which is actually a food truck. They do "competition style" like the place Grrr! mentioned in Dallas.

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These sorts of articles are paid puff pieces or are written by people who don't know shit about BBQ.
It looks like for this piece they made their determination based solely on their ratings on Foursquare.

And I think the publishers of pieces like this figured out that they can get more clicks posting "controversial" picks than the ones that everyone agrees are the best. Clicks from people coming to say "You got my state wrong!" still generate ad views.

Last edited by WildaBeast; 02-13-2020 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:55 PM
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No doubt.

We finally got a decent joint locally. Cornerstone BBQ is in the next town down the freeway and is pretty damn good, all things considered. They also opened a Dickie's just down the street from me, but I think their entire operation blows chunks. Lousy food, lousy service.
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:58 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.

I've got Blacks (not Terry Blacks) from Lockhart across the street from home and Southside Market opened a new place near work with the Elgin hot sausage. What more could I need?
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Old 02-13-2020, 03:22 PM
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Pleasantly surprised that they picked Fox Bros BBQ for Georgia, which is a fine choice (and 20 minutes away from me). I prefer Community Q BBQ in Decatur, GA, but Fox Bros has always been a solid 2nd for me.
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Old 02-13-2020, 03:28 PM
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I have never had BBQ in St Louis, but I find it hard to believe that Bogart's would make a top 10 list on the Missouri side of Kansas City (which is ignoring all the good stuff on the Kansas side).

Gates, Bryant's, Q39, Rosedale, Smoking Gun, Hawg Jaw, Jack Stack, and Smokestack just off the top of my head are hard to beat.
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Old 02-13-2020, 03:44 PM
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I have never had BBQ in St Louis, but I find it hard to believe that Bogart's would make a top 10 list on the Missouri side of Kansas City (which is ignoring all the good stuff on the Kansas side).

Gates, Bryant's, Q39, Rosedale, Smoking Gun, Hawg Jaw, Jack Stack, and Smokestack just off the top of my head are hard to beat.
Joe's! LCs! Yeah, KC has a treasure trove of good barbecue places.
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Old 02-13-2020, 03:53 PM
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Eastern NC BBQ is best , made from pork.
This is correct. I grew up in South Carolina thinking I didn't like BBQ. Turns out what I don't like is South Carolina style BBQ (a.k.a. Piggie Park).

I don't remember the name of the place that had the best. Maybe Wilber's, maybe Skylight Inn. Maybe something else altogether.
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:31 PM
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I don't know of a great BBQ place in DC, but there is an excellent one in Edinburg, VA called Beans. They are only open Thursday through Sunday, but they are great. Just down the block is Sal's a great Italian bistro, btw.
Federalist Pig isn't bad, and this comes from someone who grew up eating North Carolina (mostly eastern) BBQ. Market Lunch in Eastern Market was serving excellent BBQ sandwiches a few years ago, but I haven't been there since I stopped working down the street from them. Sligo BBQ in Silver Spring has a wood smoker and is usually good, but I have been there when they didn't get it quite right. They've been good the last few times I've been there, though, and I look forward to them reopening in March.
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:37 PM
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I have never had BBQ in St Louis, but I find it hard to believe that Bogart's would make a top 10 list on the Missouri side of Kansas City (which is ignoring all the good stuff on the Kansas side).

Gates, Bryant's, Q39, Rosedale, Smoking Gun, Hawg Jaw, Jack Stack, and Smokestack just off the top of my head are hard to beat.
Couldn't agree more. I'm pretty sure I've had Bogart's; I remember being taken to a BBQ place St. Louisians rave about and assume that was it. Don't recall being impressed.
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:40 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.
Funny you should mention that; I grew up like 300 yards from the Hong Kong Market on Bellaire @ Boone, and there used to be a pretty good local joint called Sally Jo's across Boone from there.

Anyway, here in Dallas, Pecan Lodge in Deep Ellum is FAR and away the best barbecue joint in the city. 10-50 is ok, but doesn't really compare to Pecan Lodge.

I want to try Cattleack one of these days, but their weird-ass hours make it difficult.
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Old 02-13-2020, 05:49 PM
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The one listed for Illinois, Smoque, is a good choice for best all-around barbecue. Outside of Chicago, 17th Street Barbecue in Murphysboro is a good choice, as well.

For Chicago-style barbecue (aquarium smoker, typical dishes are rib tips & hot links and spare ribs; very little choice of sides; usually take-out only), I would have said Uncle John's years ago, but the pitmaster there died a few years back. I haven't been to any of the offshoots his family runs to see how they are, but Mack (the "Uncle John") was an excellent pitmaster and I followed him from Barbara Ann's to Uncle John's. These days, I go to Lem's.
Pretty sure 17th Street (and yes, they are very good!) is in Marion. At least, the one I went to was in Marion, next to the Country Inn & Suites.

Last edited by JohnT; 02-13-2020 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 02-13-2020, 07:10 PM
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Pretty sure 17th Street (and yes, they are very good!) is in Marion. At least, the one I went to was in Marion, next to the Country Inn & Suites.
There are two, see Kelevra's post #19. It started in Murphysboro.

Last edited by pulykamell; 02-13-2020 at 07:10 PM.
  #42  
Old 02-13-2020, 09:31 PM
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I did love Rub Backcountry BBQ in West Rogers Park very much. My best bite of BBQ ever was his beef plate ribs. Anyone in Denver should check out the place the pitmaster runs now:
https://www.pitbarbq.com

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Originally Posted by Intergalactic Gladiator View Post
And to be honest, I think I like Earl's a bit more than Smoque.
Cool. If you ever want to meet up there, I'm in.

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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
If you ever find yourself in/near Berwyn and want a good beer bar with smoked chicken wings and an eclectic clientele, try Cigars & Stripes. Especially if you love hot sauces. Ronnie (the owner) makes all sorts of hot sauces himself from mildly spicy to blow-your-head-off. His smoking is on point, and, if you get lucky and pick the right day, he sometimes has smoked Italian beef with homemade giardiniera which I love to bits.
I'm loving everything about this place. Beer bar? Smoked wings? Housemade hot sauce? Homemade giardiniera? Owner named Ronnie? Smoked Italian beef?! [Rich Koz]Berwyn!?![/RK]
  #43  
Old 02-13-2020, 09:56 PM
pulykamell is online now
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I'm loving everything about this place. Beer bar? Smoked wings? Housemade hot sauce? Homemade giardiniera? Owner named Ronnie? Smoked Italian beef?! [Rich Koz]Berwyn!?![/RK]
Oh, and Ronnie was a professional wrestling manager/promoter (and has a personality that fits), and the bar definitely has a Son-of-Svengoolie vibe to it. They do a lot of B-movie nights, stand up nights, live music, etc., but they'll also do sports and MMA nights as well. Website link. And it's totally unpretentious.
  #44  
Old 02-13-2020, 10:17 PM
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I live in Harlem, so I can't make it up to Rochester, NY to try their pick. But it can't be as good as Izzy's in Brooklyn, unless it's better than the same chain's place in Newark, NJ called Dinosaur BBQ. It was just okay, but Izzy's is excellent. Try it if you come by.

Last edited by Fiddle Peghead; 02-13-2020 at 10:17 PM.
  #45  
Old 02-13-2020, 10:39 PM
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Best BBQ near me? All of them.
  #46  
Old 02-13-2020, 11:20 PM
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I'm in Tucson. Best barbecue near me?

San Antonio
  #47  
Old 02-14-2020, 10:57 AM
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(Expletive Deleted) slideshows.
Huh...on my phone everything in the link is on one page and I can just scroll down to find places in my area.

I may arrange a slight detour on my road trip to hit the Kentucky joint.
  #48  
Old 02-14-2020, 11:04 AM
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Huh...on my phone everything in the link is on one page and I can just scroll down to find places in my area.

I may arrange a slight detour on my road trip to hit the Kentucky joint.
Old Hickory is very good. I've been to all the Owensboro barbecue places (OK, there were only four of them when we went, and I think it's down to three now: Moonlight, Old Hickory, Ole South. When we went, there was also George's), and that one was my favorite (we've actually been back to it). Western Kentucky is particularly known for mutton barbecue, and is usually served with a "dip" that is based on vinegar and Worcestershire sauce and cuts through the mutton pretty well. Also have a cup or bowl of burgoo while you're there.

Last edited by pulykamell; 02-14-2020 at 11:06 AM.
  #49  
Old 02-14-2020, 11:09 AM
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Oh, and Ronnie was a professional wrestling manager/promoter (and has a personality that fits), and the bar definitely has a Son-of-Svengoolie vibe to it. They do a lot of B-movie nights, stand up nights, live music, etc., but they'll also do sports and MMA nights as well. Website link. And it's totally unpretentious.
If you Chicago guys do hook up for BBQ please count me in!
  #50  
Old 02-14-2020, 11:39 AM
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Huh...on my phone everything in the link is on one page and I can just scroll down to find places in my area.

I may arrange a slight detour on my road trip to hit the Kentucky joint.
Lucky you. It was a single box that would only show one slide at a time on my desktop. Oh well. Let us know how the Kentucky joint was when you go there.

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.

Saucywench, Smokey Mo's (not affiliated with the reputedly mediocre Texas chain) is supposed to be good. House smoked and brined pastrami, if that interests you.

All I can tell you about Tucson is I wasn't a fan of the In-N-Out off 10, 15 years ago or so.
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