One Nation Under Sauce: A Guide to America's Barbecue
"Drive around the building. If there's no wood pile, move along." Meathead
Here's the massive concept: As I travel, I like to hit the local pitstops, tuck in a napkin, take a few pictures, and meet the pitmasters. In this section I plan to post my experiences and I invite you to do the same. Sooner or later I will set it up as a searchable database where you can rate the restaurants. This is a big expensive project, so forgive me if it takes a while. Meanwhile, I have included some external links to sites that have come recommended by users. I can't vouch for the quality of the meal or the accuracy of the info below, so check around and call ahead. At this time I haven't even posted all my faves, and the listings are in no special order. If you stop in, tell the Meathead sent you!
The web has a lot of great restaurant guides. If you're looking for a place just around town or when you're on the road, there are a lot of handy resources to tip you off on where to go, and where not to go. I have included some of them below. You should also check out the popular food message boards. They usually have sections devoted to restaurant discussions. And they're often up to date on who got cited by the health board and who lost their chef. Here are the restaurant guides I use.
US Barbecue Pitstops
• Whole Hog Cafe in Little Rock
• McClard's Bar-B-Q, 505 Albert Pike, Hot Springs, Arkansas 71901, 501-623-9665, 866-622-5273
• Jones Bar-B-Q Diner, (James Beard award winner) 219 West Louisiana St., Marianna, AR Owners: James and Betty Jones
• Roadside BBQ, Proctor
• Mo's, San Luis Obispo
• Ribs & Rods, Sacramento
• Everett and Jones, Oakland since 1973
• Beachwood Barbecue, Seal Beach
• Uncle Frank's Barbecue, Mountain View
• Great American Barbecue, 2009 Hight St, Alameda CA 94501
• BBQ Smokehouse, Sebastapol, Larry Vito, owner.
• Salinas City BBQ, 700 West Market, Salinas, CA, Franz Ingram
• Curly's BBQ, Seaside, CA, Hampar Kocek and his son, Selcuk.
• Big Hoss BBQ
• Brothers BBQ
- District of Columbia
• Wholly Smokes. 6803 N Armenia Ave, Tampa, 33604, 813-935-5879
• Alligator Alley, 1321 E. Commercial Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, 954-771-2220, closed Tue, Chef Iggy, Carl Pissolo.
• Georgia Pig, 1285 S. State Road 7, Davie, FL 33317, 954-587-4420
• Jenkins Quality Bar-B-Que, 4 locations in Jacksonville
• Tom Jenkins 1236 S Federal Hwy, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
• Tom's Place, West Palm Beach, FL
• Big John's Alabama Bar-B-Que in Tampa
• Skebo's Kitchen, Club Lexx, 12001 NW 27th Ave.; 5 p.m.-5 a.m. daily; 786-443-7306.
• Mama Lucy's All Pro Ribs, 2201 NW 119th St.; 1-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, noon-10 p.m. Thursday, noon-11:30 p.m. Friday, 1-11:30 p.m. Saturday, noon-7 p.m. Sunday; 305-687-8782.
• Saint City Coffee Shop, 9302 NW 22nd Ave.; 8:30 a.m. until customers stop coming, daily; 305-693-3877.
• House of Prayer Church & Restaurant, 2445 NW 62nd St.; 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday; 305-691-5577.
• VII Sports Club, 5994 NW 22nd Ave.; noon-midnight Friday-Saturday; 305-638-9616.
• Bulldog BBQ
• Big Momma's Smokehouse BBQ, Palm Beach, Boca Raton, others
• Shorty's BBQ, multiple locations
• Texas Hold 'Em BBQ, Fort Lauderdale
• Florida Barbecue Association.
• Col. Poole's, East Elijay, GA, Hill of Pigs Col Oscar Poole Dougless GA has "Nat BBQ Championships"
• Wall's, 515 E. York Lane, Savannah, GA. Between York St. and Oglethorpe Ave (Historic District) 912-232-9754.
• Fatt Matt's Rib Shack, Atlanta, has live music
• Barbecue Kitchen, College Park
• Harold's Barbecue, Atlanta
• Pig-N-Chik, Atlanta
• The Swallow At The Hollow, Roswell
• Williamson Brothers, Douglasville
• Hudson's Hickory House, Douglasville
• Atlanta Restaurants.
Click here for a page devoted to Illinois barbecue, emphasis on Chicago.
- Iowa • Hawgeyes BBQ, 1313 S.W. Ordnance Road. Ankeny, Iowa 50021, 515-963-4397. Mike Tucker.
• Check out the road trip by Rob Baas
• Starnes in Paducah
• Moonlight Diner
• Smokey Pig in Bowling Green
• The Smoke Shack in Scottsville
• The Red Line Grill, 6912 Fourth St. NW, 202-291-9464. Metro: Takoma stop.
• Pigtrip. Barbecue joints in Boston.
- Sweet Cheeks Q. The chef has finished second on Top Chef twice.
• The Shed in Ocean Springs, MS, near the coast, not far from Mobile, AL, owned by the Orrison family, is probably the coolest joint in the country and belongs on your bucket list.
• Pig Out Inn, Natches. Est 1955
• Memphis Barbecue Co., 709 Desoto Cove, Horn Lake, MS 38637. Just a few miles south of Memphis. 662.536.3763, Melissa Cookston and John Wheeler, owners
• Check out my quick notes on a visit to Kansas City with links to a lot of photos (expanded section coming)
• Super Smokers, 601 Stockell Drive, Eureka MO, 636-938-9742, 11-8
• Bill Arnold's Blues Hog Cafe, 116 E Main St, Perry, MO. 573-565-3040
• Jack Stack's, 101 W 22nd St, KC, MO, 816-472-7427
• KC Masterpiece
• Smoki O's, Kansas City, Otis & Earlene Walker. Famous for snoot!
• Oklahoma Joe's, Kansas City
• Pappy's, St. Louis
• Lonnie Ray's, Harrisburg, MO
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
• Danny's Place, 902 South Canal, Carlsbad, NM 88220.
- New York
• Pete Wells at the NY Times reviews NYC BBQ
• Painted Pony in Lake Lucerne - has live rodeo twice per week
• Hog Pit, NYC
• Brooks, Cooperstown
• Blue Smoke, NYC
• Hill Country, NYC, an ode to Kreuz Market in TX, Elizabeth is executive chef
• Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, NYC, Syracuse, Rochester
- North Carolina
• Skylight, Ayden NC, Pete Jones, owner. Only wood cooked whole hog, chopped, with slaw.
• Ed Mitchell's
• The Barbecue Joint in Durham NC
• Bar BQ Center Drive-In, Lexington
• The Pit, Raleigh
• North Carolina Barbecue Society. They have a Barbecue Trail that includes most of the important places to see and taste including a map, address and phone, and background info. It's all here.
• North Carolina Barbecue Joints.
- North Dakota
• Hot Sauce Williams, Cleveland
• Earl's, Oklahoma City, OK
- Puerto Rico
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
• Click here to see my notes on a visit to South Carolina and lots of photos (expanded section coming)
- South Dakota
• Here's a fine article about BE Scott's in Lexington TN.
• A&R Bar-B-Que, Memphis
• The Bar-B-Q Shop, Memphis
• Central BBQ, Memphis
• Charley Vergos' Rendezvous, Memphis
• Corky's Ribs & BBQ, multiple locations in Memphis and elsewhere in TN
• Cozy Corner, Memphis
• Germantown Commissary, Memphis
• Interstate Bar-B-Que, Memphis
• Neely's Bar-B-Que, Memphis
• Payne's, Memphis
• Tops Bar-B-Q, Memphis
• City Café, Memphis
• Canale's Grocery, Eads, TN, In an old grocery store
• Bozo's, Mason
• Touring the Texas Barbecue Belt. Meathead's extensive guide to barbecue in and around Austin.
• Click here to see my detailed tour of The Austin Barbecue Belt with plenty of photos.
• Texas Monthly's definitive guide
• Full Custom Gospel BBQ by the estimable Daniel Vaughn
• Here's a link to The Texas BBQ Trail, a guide paid for the joints in Elgin, Lockhart, Luling, Taylor
• And while you're at it, why not hit the Texas Wine Trail
• Burn's, Houston (Roy Burns, owner)
• Willy Ray’s, 145 Interstate 10 N, Beaumont, TX 77707 409.832.7770
• Mikeska’s Barbecue, 4225 Hwy. 59, El Campo, TX 77437, 979.543.8252 (tel.), 800.388.2552 (toll-free)
• Thelma Bar B Que 3755 Southmore Boulevard, Houston, TX 77004
• Luling City Market,
• Goode Company on Kirby in Houston
• Vergies BBQ at 5535 Gessner Drive, Houston, TX 77041 (713) 466-6525.
• Sonny Bryans, multiple locations in Dallas, but the original is a must.
• Gonzales Food Market, 800-269-5342
• Rudy's, multiple locations, my fave is in Round Rock
• New Braunfels Smokehouse, 441 N. Guenther, New Braunfels, TX 78131, 800-537-6932
• Vera's for BBQ cow's heads barbacoa de cabeza, 26th St. and Southmost Road, in Brownsville, TX., since 1955
• Ja Kiva, Terlingua
• Clem Mikeska's, Temple
• Cap Ranch Gourmets, 2018 S. Broadway, Tyler, TX 75701, 903.592.3452 (tel.) 800.874.9321 (toll-free)
• Snow's, Lexington
Dan & Barbara & Sandra Gill's Something Different Country Store and Deli in Pine Tree, 45 miles from Richmond.
- Virgin Islands
- West Virginia
• Hocutt's Carolina Barbecue, Moundsville
• Speed Queen, 1130 West Walnut Street, Milwaukee, WI, 203-237-6660
• Maxie's, Milwaukee
• Hickory Park BBQ, 1404 S. Duff, Ames, IA, 535-232-8940, 10:30-9, about 25 miles north of Des Moines.
Epicurious. The Best Eats section is good and the BBQ section is also helpful.
Roadfood. Although Roadfood is ostensibly focused on inexpensive restaurants on the highways and byways, the discussions on this message board often include restaurants in cities as well as recipes. They have a section on BBQ and it contains a lot of great joints. Some good tips. Easy to use.
MenuPages. Menus and more for NYC restaurants.
Zagat. The Zagat guides are among the most respected in the world. But you've got to pay to see the entire database. There are bits and pieces available for free online, but to get the complete reviews and to add your reviews, fork it over.
Eat My Town. Honest restaurant, bar, pub and hotel reviews in England.
...more to come (to be notified when new recipes and other articles come online, be sure to subscribe to my free, spam free, email newsletter).
This page was revised 5/26/2012
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