Favorite BBQ joints, any style, any place

Title pretty much says it. Where’s your favorite BBQ joint and why is it so great?

All styles welcome, including Brazil, carne asada, etc. Just has to be real BBQ.

My favorite is a shack in Brunswick, Ga. off of I-95 called the Georgia Pig. I’ve frequented it over two owners and twenty years. I go for their sandwiches. They cut off chunks of pork or beef from roasts that are cooking over hardwood smoke, chop it up with cleavers, drench it in homemade (red) sauce and put it in a toasted bun. Simple and amazing. I’ve driven two-hundred miles out of my way to get a bag of sandwiches and a bottle of sauce.

Another interesting tidbit about this place is the “sulpher” cokes. The local salt-marsh water supply has a sulpher taste to it and it’s used in their fountain. Different, but pretty good.

Anyone else?

I’ve eaten there. I almost thought it was abandoned, it looked so rundown. Great BBQ.

Here is AZ, I like Bobby Q’s (superb brisket), Honey Bears, and Joe’s.

When I lived in Houston, it was this place: http://www.goodecompany.com/goodeRestaurantBBQKirby.aspx

Nothing that I’ve found in NY quite lives up to that one.

Cooper’s BBQ in Llano, TX. You pick your meat off a pit outside, then go in for side dishes (including awesome potato salad). Every long wooden table has free fixin’s - white bread, pinto beans, pickles, peppers and rolls of paper towels for messy hands.


The Bungaloo Inn off I-94 on the Minnesconsin border. Best ribs in a 30 mile radius and I’ve done the research.

Arthur Bryant’s in Kansas City. In the ghetto, but worth the drive.

Calvin Trillin agrees with me.

Old Canal Smokehouse in Chillicothe, OH. It’s so freaking good. No other BBQ that I’ve ever had has come close to being as good. I probably eat there about 6-10 times a year.

Allen & Sons in Chapel Hill, NC. But first, you have to understand my tastes. It’s for Eastern North Carolina Q. That’s my standard. I can appreciate everything else.

To link you to one of my old favorite sites for NC BBQ, http://www.ibiblio.org/lineback/bbq/jnts.htm POssibly the finest job of creating a BBQ web presence. Some of the joints have disappeared. Some never change. On the list I’ll personally vouch for/have eaten at the following(all NC):
Lexington BBQ(Lexington)
The Hatteras Man(Cape Hatteras)

In Virginia, you can’t beat Pierce’s in Williamsburg. I think they also sell in a shop in Norfolk?

In Northern VA, the closest I can find to what I like is Willard’s near Dulles. Good sides too.

I’ll second the Georgia Pig as being some good stuff.

Maybe if I get time, I’ll shout out some more.

While Chicago isn’t exactly known for its barbecue, it does have its own regional quirks. Barbecue here is pig, and it’s spare ribs, rib tips, and hot links. Chicago hot links are descended from Mississippi style hot links, by all accounts, and are different from Texas hot links. Basically, think of a smoked, spicy breakfast sausage. They can be coarsely or finely ground, and I prefer the coarse grind. Chicago barbecue is also generally cooked at slightly higher temps (up in the high 200s) in an aqaurium smoker, which seems to be a local quirk. It’s generally cooked over split logs, white oak and hickory being typical. I would also say a good portion of Chicagoans wouldn’t know Chicago barbecue if they’ve seen it, as almost all the classic Chicago barbecue places are deep in the South Side.

That said, my favorite local BBQ is Uncle John’s on 337 E. 69th St. in Chicago. Runners up would include Honey 1, Lem’s, and Barbara Ann’s. Mack (the owner of Uncle John’s) is one of the last practitioners of a dying Chicago BBQ art, and his hot links (homemade recipe, though made by Grant Park Packing) is the best in the city. If you like a finer grind of hot link, though, Honey 1 can’t be beat.

Dreamland Bar-B-Quein Birmingham Alabama, although they have several locations. Simple, basic, ribs, chicken, pulled pork. The sauce is the best.

Sconyers, an independant barbeque place in Augusta, Georgia. The Wal-mart bought the site the restaurant stood on for so much money he was able to move the restaurant to another site and now only opens four days a week, but get the Plantation Platter and it’ll last for the rest of the week. I’ve never finished one in a sitting and I can eat 'que like it’s my job.

Fat Boys Bar-B-Que Ranchin Pratville Alabama. Another independant. Everything home made, a basic menu, if you’re not there for 'que take a hike.

Bridges BBQ - Shelby, NC I keep a receipt stapled to my classroom wall in remembrance of meals past.

Gram’s BBQ - Riverside, CA Used to be one of the best, but when they threw a block party the night OJ got off, I vowed to never eat there again, and I haven’t.

I drive to Phoenix once a year for spring training games, and Honey Bears has become a mandatory tradition. Maybe next year we’ll try those other two as well.

Part 2

Smitty’s Market - Lockhart, TX For Texas-style beef, Smitty’s can’t be beat. You can keep Black’s and Kreuz. I’ll take Smitty’s any day.
Lexington BBQ #1 - Lexington, NC Honey Monk’s place is a shrine to all that is holy.

Country’s Barbecue in Columbus, Georgia. They used to have a restaurant in Montgomery, too, but it burned down several years ago as BBQ places are wont to do.

Not only is their BBQ good, but they have a variety of really good side items, rather than the tepid beans and potato salad you get at a lot of BBQ places. I make a point of going there every time I visit my parents.

This thread has me drooling, dreaming and bright green with envy.

I am so much of a (Rocky Mountain) WASP-y hick that I am infatuated with Lucille’s and Famous Dave’s (even considering that weird pineapple coleslaw, annoying faux roadhouse atmosphere, the sauce is terrific) but I dream of the day when I finally get to taste truely good BBQ without a byzantine itinerary.

That being said, it is possible that Kathy’s in the Las Vegas, NV area- a tiny little hole-in-the-wall soul food joint in Henderson – may approach perfection.

Since I’ve never experienced Official BBQ heaven, I’m forced to qualify my Nirvana rating by saying her Mac-and-cheese ain’t bad, the fried chicken is to die for, her black-eye-peas will break your heart, her ribs are two-point-seven bazillion times better than Famous Dave’s, and the atmosphere is . . . uhm, well, the atmoshphere sucks. Great service, fab food, but she only makes so many ribs, and only on Friday, so y’all better get there real early.

I see someone else has already mentioned Allen & Son. God, I miss that place. The Little Dooey is across the street from where I live now, and it’s not bad, but nothing beats Carolina Q.

This was my vote. I love the t-shirts “No Slaw, No Beans, No Potato Salad. Don’t Ask!”

Up here in Boston I’d go with Blue Ribbon BBQ. Redbones in Somerville is more famous ‘round these parts and has the wheel o’ beer, but Blue Ribbon has better ribs.

Former pro rassler Abdullah the Butcher runs Abdullah’s House of Ribs and Chinese Food in Atlanta. Never been able to convince Tucker-Babe to give it a try.

Great replies… I’m drooling.

I live over in the west coast now, but driving on I10 to get here I stopped in some joint in west Texas that had pretty good brisket. It was in the hill country, middle of nowhere, and had pictures of celebrities who had eaten there all over the place. Anyone have a clue where that was?

I’m not a huge fan of either of those. I like spicy foods, but not for barbecue; those are too vinegary for my taste, I guess. I like Tennessee’s out in Natick.

Any Seattle dopers should know about Dixie’s in Bellevue. It was an automotive garage and the guy converted the front room into a barbecue counter, and it took over. The line would be twenty feet out the door on a good day. The dining room was the mechanics’ break room; trucking posters on the walls and John Lee Hooker playing on the boombox. Go there, tell 'em Root sent you, and you want to meet The Man.

I’m kidding about the “Root sent me” part, but the rest is true. Of course, I moved away 12 years ago; I hope the place is even still there.