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Fatback Joe
05-31-2012, 07:26 AM
http://blog.zagat.com/2012/05/10-high-end-bbq-spots-around-us.html

10 High-End BBQ Spots Around the U.S.



http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-IUv-hITW3bg/T8QD2OaunrI/AAAAAAAABbA/YGVQr5M5pYY/s1600/HUSKInt+PHOTO++www.jpg (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-IUv-hITW3bg/T8QD2OaunrI/AAAAAAAABbA/YGVQr5M5pYY/s1600/HUSKInt+PHOTO++www.jpg)Husk Restaurant in Charleston, SCBy Jennifer Evans Gardner (https://plus.google.com/u/0/102627708357275264529/posts)
Any barbecue aficionado knows that the best 'cue is always found in hole-in-the-wall joints, such as a shack in West Texas or a roadside pit in Oklahoma. However, barbecue snobs beware. The smoky flavors of barbecue have seduced chefs all over the country, making it possible to have a sensational upscale barbecue in more sophisticated settings. Click through the slideshow below to check out ten places that are doing 'cue all gussied up and let us know your favorites in the comments.

Jaskew82
05-31-2012, 07:47 AM
I can tell you Blue smoke is nothing to write home about.

Outnumbered
05-31-2012, 07:51 AM
Bet not a one plays Blues on the PA either.

Bamabuzzard
05-31-2012, 08:41 AM
I'm not sure who posted this on here but I know I read it here. Maybe Lakedog posted it. But it was posted on here that the problem with BBQ and restuarants is that BBQ isn't really a "restaurant food". Most restuarant food can be prepped, cooked and served quick. But BBQ cannot and still be worth a crap. But our society and our love for Q have tried to mix the two. Some find ways to make work but most do not.

certified106
05-31-2012, 08:42 AM
I can tell you one thing that doesn't look like any BBQ joint I would frequent. Way to fancy of a joint and doesn't capture the essence of BBQ for me at all!

Gore
05-31-2012, 09:04 AM
If the food is decent, this definitely fills a niche. I've been to The Pit. It is by no means the best BBQ in the area, but it is a pleasant experience and I would have no problems taking suits there for a business dinner. Every time I've been, it has been busy, and even people waiting on midweek nights. Can't say that for other, better BBQ places in the area. There is another BBQ joint near where I work in Maryland. If you go by at lunchtime, it is full of suits. The BBQ is not particularly good and the restaurant is not suit-friendly, but they are there. For those of you with restaurants, I would definitely take note of this and cater to this clientele. You can also charge more and I'd bet they tip much better too.

Incidentally,

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=125785

daninnewjersey
05-31-2012, 09:46 AM
To each his own I guess. Although....it would be pretty funny watching someone eating ribs with a knife and fork....:mrgreen::mrgreen:

Bamabuzzard
05-31-2012, 09:51 AM
Not to come across the wrong way but a lot of people go to restaurants for more than JUST the food. Sure the food has to have some level of quality but the atmosphere and the "social class" of people who attend also plays a role. You've got people (with money) who simply don't like being around people not in their social class and don't like going to restaurants that don't cater to their "high end" tastes.

tnjimbob
05-31-2012, 09:53 AM
BBQ ain't "cuisine", no matter how you try and dress it up and overcharge for it.

WeBeatYourMeat
05-31-2012, 09:57 AM
If the food is decent, this definitely fills a niche. I've been to The Pit. It is by no means the best BBQ in the area, but it is a pleasant experience and I would have no problems taking suits there for a business dinner. Every time I've been, it has been busy, and even people waiting on midweek nights. Can't say that for other, better BBQ places in the area. There is another BBQ joint near where I work in Maryland. If you go by at lunchtime, it is full of suits. The BBQ is not particularly good and the restaurant is not suit-friendly, but they are there. For those of you with restaurants, I would definitely take note of this and cater to this clientele. You can also charge more and I'd bet they tip much better too.

Incidentally,

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=125785

Which joint in MD?

deguerre
05-31-2012, 09:58 AM
Not to come across the wrong way but a lot of people go to restaurants for more than JUST the food. Sure the food has to have some level of quality but the atmosphere and the "social class" of people who attend also plays a role. You've got people (with money) who simply don't like being around people not in their social class and don't like going to restaurants that don't cater to their "high end" tastes.

This explains Vergo's Rendevouz to a "T".

NorCalQue
05-31-2012, 10:04 AM
Ad Hoc is just down the road from me, but I haven't been there since they added the take-out BBQ area. While I can say everything else I've had there has been pretty amazing (the menu changes based on what the chef can find fresh,) I too am pretty hesitant to order BBQ from a "fancy shmancy" place. Because I'm always disappointed by the tiny amount of meat with a large price tag. If I could only eat at Ad Hoc once as a tourist, I wouldn't order Q I'd get something else that is different.

While I don't feel qualified to critique good Que, if I ever try it I'll report back.

Bamabuzzard
05-31-2012, 10:07 AM
This explains Vergo's Rendevouz to a "T".


We've got several non-BBQ places like this in my area. It is "the place to be" in town. One serves "high end" Mexican food and the other is a "steakhouse/bar". From a food quality standpoint only the food is "okay". But definitely not worth the price you pay. However, you're not paying simply for the food. You're paying for the atmosphere the restaurant is offering and the overall experience. I would say their primary goal is to provide a high end type atmosphere for those who don't like to eat in the same place as us common folk. Their secondary goal is the food. :thumb:

Carolina gamecock
05-31-2012, 10:31 AM
I want my BBQ to come out of a place that looks like DHEC should shut it down!:becky:

Gore
05-31-2012, 10:34 AM
Not to come across the wrong way but a lot of people go to restaurants for more than JUST the food. Sure the food has to have some level of quality but the atmosphere and the "social class" of people who attend also plays a role. You've got people (with money) who simply don't like being around people not in their social class and don't like going to restaurants that don't cater to their "high end" tastes.

That is my point exactly. I don't necessarily agree with you about social classes in these cases, but there are different purposes in eating out. One is to eat and another is to socialize. The Pit caters to this latter aspect very well. They even have rotating specialty beer and wines. I do not think of it as a high-social-class restaurant, but it is a nice restaurant. If I'm having a family gathering or after-business dinner, I'm not going to go to a take-out style restaurant. This fits the bill. I do not think this is high end by any stretch of the imagination.

Guerry, I'd put Rendezvous in another classification. It is not high end. I think of it more as a historic novelty restaurant. But it fits the bill as a sit-down and socialize restaurant. Some easy questions to answer to let you know what we're talking about:
1. Do you order your food at the counter or at the table?
2. Is more than 10% of the food ordered for carry-out?

@Meat, I'm thinking of the Urban BBQ on New Hampshire Ave. I was probably a little harsh on the BBQ. I went another time and it was more than respectable, but I was shocked by the number of suits I saw there on a weekday lunchtime. I also went to the one in Olney and had a very decent meal there and a very nice time. Been meaning to go back, but I just don't go out for BBQ when I'm at home.

Gore
05-31-2012, 10:39 AM
We've got several non-BBQ places like this in my area. It is "the place to be" in town. One serves "high end" Mexican food and the other is a "steakhouse/bar". From a food quality standpoint only the food is "okay". But definitely not worth the price you pay. However, you're not paying simply for the food. You're paying for the atmosphere the restaurant is offering and the overall experience. I would say their primary goal is to provide a high end type atmosphere for those who don't like to eat in the same place as us common folk. Their secondary goal is the food. :thumb:

I agree with you up to the point where you make this a class issue. I frequent both these types of restaurants but for different purposes.

deguerre
05-31-2012, 11:13 AM
Guerry, I'd put Rendezvous in another classification. It is not high end. I think of it more as a historic novelty restaurant. But it fits the bill as a sit-down and socialize restaurant. Some easy questions to answer to let you know what we're talking about:
1. Do you order your food at the counter or at the table?
2. Is more than 10% of the food ordered for carry-out?



Never called the Rendezvouz high end. What I did imply is that it is a "Gathering Place for the local Society Types" where they can be seen. That, and it's a tourist attraction.

Bamabuzzard
05-31-2012, 11:42 AM
I agree with you up to the point where you make this a class issue. I frequent both these types of restaurants but for different purposes.

I agree with you because I frequent both types as well. I'm not saying all people do this but you do have people who do. Just like you've got people who refuse to go to Wal Mart because of the "type people" that go there. It happens.

Gore
05-31-2012, 11:44 AM
Never called the Rendezvouz high end. What I did imply is that it is a "Gathering Place for the local Society Types" where they can be seen. That, and it's a tourist attraction.

You mentioned Rendezvouz fit BB's description to a T when he described "high-end" tastes. When I was there, I'd say it was mostly tourists and regular families, a pretty normal clientele, but I was there lunchtime on Saturday. In any case, not too important and sorry if I misrepresented you.

deguerre
05-31-2012, 11:56 AM
You mentioned Rendezvouz fit BB's description to a T when he described "high-end" tastes. When I was there, I'd say it was mostly tourists and regular families, a pretty normal clientele, but I was there lunchtime on Saturday. In any case, not too important and sorry if I misrepresented you.

Yep, I did. My bad. I associate "High End Tastes" with "High End Types"...

I've got Mars in Aquarius on the ascendant. Gimme a break. :becky:

Gore
05-31-2012, 12:01 PM
OK, I'm with you both! :thumb:

I think the point is that there is a definite strong demand for places like this. As Guerry points out with Rendezvous, they can even survive with sub-par food, which is difficult for a "high-end" restaurant to do. This speaks for supply/demand. If I were looking to open a restaurant, this seems a no-brainer.

caseydog
05-31-2012, 12:03 PM
I don't necessarily agree with you about social classes in these cases, but there are different purposes in eating out. One is to eat and another is to socialize.

Absolutely. This is probably your European experiences showing. Europeans see a meal as much more than stuffing food in your mouth until you are full. It is a social experience with family and friends. Dinner can last two or three hours. Food is consumed in courses, and eaten slowly. And, this is common for Europeans of all classes.

I personally love places like Coopers in Llano, where your Que is served in butcher paper, and you sit at long picnic tables with communal loaves of supermarket bread. But, I also enjoy dressing up a little, sitting down to a multi-course meal and drinks in a nice restaurant, talking and laughing with people I like. Two different experiences, both thoroughly enjoyable, IMO.

I can't afford to go out to eat very often, so I want it to be more than an "all-you-can-eat for cheap" experience. I can do that at home.

CD

Gore
05-31-2012, 12:04 PM
^^^ That's it exactly.

caseydog
05-31-2012, 12:12 PM
I agree with you because I frequent both types as well. I'm not saying all people do this but you do have people who do. Just like you've got people who refuse to go to Wal Mart because of the "type people" that go there. It happens.

Dallas has a lot of "trendy" people -- probably more than most cities. They have their favorite places. I mainly avoid them, because I'm not hip enough for that crowd. BTW, it has nothing to do with money. Most of the "hip" crowd are "wannabees" in the financial department.

But, there are some expensive restaurants that are wonderful. People who really love good food go there for the good food. That's my kind of "high-end" restaurant.

BTW, many of us avoid WalMart because of what the WalMartization of America has done to the middle class. The "type of people" who shop there are fun to watch. :becky:

CD

El Ropo
05-31-2012, 12:15 PM
If a BBQ joint feels the need for fancy decorations and furniture, there is most likely the need. IE making up for mediocre food.

Try standing in line for 2 hours and suffering in 100 degree temps during the wait at Franklin's. That's BBQ.

I agree, that it's a daunting task to make good BBQ under restaurant fast food conditions.

We had a place down the street that opened up a catering BBQ business. Within a few months, they were so overwhelmed with off hours business, they closed the public door and went with straight up private catering.

They are still there and doing a heck of a business. But you can't walk in the door and buy their BBQ anymore. You can still see them packing up the catering van with fresh cooked food 7 days a week, and the neighborhood smells like post oak every day.

IMO, even when they were serving to the public, their food was engineered to be enjoyable to the fast food type of folks. Low smoke flavor, and boring. Brisket tasted bland while being moist (they skimp on the rub). PP was same way, edible but boring. Sauces bore the resemblence of Rudy's BBQ, which is another ho hum place with sub mediocre food and a reputation that is not deserved.

People are so used to eating fast food, they don't know the difference.

redvert05
05-31-2012, 12:27 PM
I imagine that in the "High End BBQ" spots, I would not see alot of License Plates nailed to the walls above the tables we would be eating on! Moe's BBQ, Orange Beach, AL.....that's the Shack Style of eatery I associate with good Q! :clap2: I wonder if my wife sucking sauce off her fingers would be proper etiquette in the more "civilized" establishments??? :biggrin1: Seems to be ok with the folks at Moe's!

I also have a problem visualizing some pristine, white clothed, barely understandable "chef" getting hit with a wall of smoke off his "pit" while he is tending the coals in the back of the establishment that will charge $35 a plate for pulled pork!

Just sayin! :twitch:

Ryan Chester
05-31-2012, 12:44 PM
I think this is awesome. Thanks for sharing the list.

Gore
05-31-2012, 12:55 PM
Just for the record, the "high-end" Pit restaurant in downtown Raleigh is not super expensive. A rack of ribs runs $22 and pulled pork platter is $12. We're not talking high prices. I've paid that much at hole-in-the-walls. They offer an interesting menu (complete with tofu), a nice alcohol selection, and some comfort.

http://www.thepit-raleigh.com/

and here is their dinner menu (others are also available)

http://www.thepit-raleigh.com/grub/menu.php?p=dinner-menu

and their alcohol menu:

http://www.thepit-raleigh.com/grub/menu.php?p=beer-cocktails-menu

Ryan Chester
05-31-2012, 01:06 PM
Our place SMOQUED BBQ will be more of a high end BBQ joint. We will also boast a nice craft beer selection too.

Bamabuzzard
05-31-2012, 01:10 PM
I have to say I've actually sat at a table with someone who ate ribs with a fork and knife. He wasn't "comfortable" eating them with his hands. :crazy:

caseydog
05-31-2012, 01:28 PM
FYI, no matter where you eat, finger food is finger food. It's not bad form to pick up a rib and eat it with your fingers, even in a "high-end" restaurant.

CD

deguerre
05-31-2012, 01:43 PM
I have to say I've actually sat at a table with someone who ate ribs with a fork and knife. He wasn't "comfortable" eating them with his hands. :crazy:

Um, I will use a fork while holding a rib with my fingers. Then again, I guess I could just simply shampoo my face after the meal.:becky:

Gore
05-31-2012, 02:52 PM
I've eaten ribs, chicken, even corn on the cob with fork and knives. I don't know why, but my father followed Miss Manners to a tee, and we were taught that it is bad manners to pick up your food. No, we weren't close to high-class and we did eat with our hands, but we were taught how not to, "if you can't eat it with a fork and knife, you shouldn't order it." Well, I like ribs and corn on the cob, so I made sure I could eat them with a fork and knife. He thought this should be part of our education, along with which is your water glass, which fork and knife to use, etc., and what else to do just in case we found ourselves at a fancy restaurant some day. My mother didn't believe in such nonsense, but I have impressed people with how well I can clean my ribs or T-bone using only a fork and knife. I'd say times have changed and this is out of style now.

DpSyChO
06-19-2012, 06:41 PM
I want my BBQ to come out of a place that looks like DHEC should shut it down!:becky:

Hey, you must have eat at some of the same places that I have.
And I'll keep going back till they get shut down.

DpSyChO
06-19-2012, 06:45 PM
Just for the record, the "high-end" Pit restaurant in downtown Raleigh is not super expensive. A rack of ribs runs $22 and pulled pork platter is $12. We're not talking high prices. I've paid that much at hole-in-the-walls. They offer an interesting menu (complete with tofu), a nice alcohol selection, and some comfort.

http://www.thepit-raleigh.com/

and here is their dinner menu (others are also available)

http://www.thepit-raleigh.com/grub/menu.php?p=dinner-menu

and their alcohol menu:

http://www.thepit-raleigh.com/grub/menu.php?p=beer-cocktails-menu

I wanted to try that place the next gun show we went to in Raleigh but heard the pitmaster changed and not sure if its the same or not.