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Unread 07-25-2011, 10:00 AM   #1
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Default Southern Livings "South's 20 Best BBQ Joints" list

First things first, don't kill the messenger, this is not MY list!

The July issue of Southern Living has an article by Matt and Ted Lee, (who I believe also wrote "Southern Living's Big Book of BBQ").

They ranked a total of 20 BBQ restaurants based on four styles/regions: Carolina Style, Texas Style, Memphis Style and Kansas City Style. There was a overall winner for each style, plus a list of "More Pit Stops", which I guess means they rated them high. Thought I would share the list for the folks that are always asking about places to eat when they travel. So here it is:

Carolina Style
Winner:
Wilber's
Goldsboro, NC

More Pitstops:
Lexington Barbeque No. 1
Lexington, NC

Skylight Inn
Ayden, NC

Scott's Bar-B-Que
Hemingway, SC

Sweatman's Bar-B-Que
Holly Hill, SC


Texas Style
Winner:
Smitty's Market
Lockhart, TX

More Pit Stops:
Black's Barbeque
Lockhart, TX

City Market
Luling, TX

Lambert's Downtown Barbeque
Austin, TX

Sonny Bryan's
Dallas, Tx


Memphis Style
Winner:
A&R Bar-B-Que
Memphis, TN

More Pit Stops:
Charlie Vergos Rendevous
Memphis, TN

Interstate Barbeque
Memphis, TN

Cozy Corner
Memphis, TN

Payne's BBQ
Memphis, TN


Kansas City Style
Winner:
Arthur Bryant's BBQ
Kansas City, MO

More Pit Stops:
Gates Bar-B-Que
Kansas City, MO

Oklahoma Joe's Barbeque
Kansas City, KS

Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbeque
Kansas City, MO

Woodyard Bar-B-Que
Kansas City, KS
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Unread 07-25-2011, 10:23 AM   #2
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That may be an accurate list for people that live in those few places but they missed out on some serious bbq from the state of FL. From basically fast food bbq at Sonny's (which is awesome) to some of the more local joints here in the Tampa area. They missed some beautiful food.
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Unread 07-25-2011, 10:28 AM   #3
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They lost credibility with me on these two:

More Pit Stops:
Charlie Vergos Rendevous
Memphis, TN

Interstate Barbeque
Memphis, TN
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Unread 07-25-2011, 10:29 AM   #4
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I can't imagine Sonny Bryan's (Dallas) out scoring *anything* from the Central Texas region. Certainly not anything coming out of Lockhart.

Seriously, you're gonna score Smitty's top and not even mention Kreuz?
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Unread 07-25-2011, 12:25 PM   #5
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Arthur Bryant's isn't good at all. I went with a dozen people, so we tried everything. I really wanted to like it but we all agreed it was terrible. Everything was dry, tough, and flavorless.

When I was in KC I did have a very good beef rib at Fiorella's, though.
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Unread 07-25-2011, 12:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigsapper View Post
I can't imagine Sonny Bryan's (Dallas) out scoring *anything* from the Central Texas region. Certainly not anything coming out of Lockhart.

Seriously, you're gonna score Smitty's top and not even mention Kreuz?
Yup, list lost it's cred after I saw this too. Maybe Sonny Bryan's was something back in the day but it's not good BBQ now. Looks like the list was just created based on stuff they read on the internet.
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Unread 07-25-2011, 12:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burris View Post
Arthur Bryant's isn't good at all. I went with a dozen people, so we tried everything. I really wanted to like it but we all agreed it was terrible. Everything was dry, tough, and flavorless.

When I was in KC I did have a very good beef rib at Fiorella's, though.
Agreed ok joes should have been tops
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Unread 07-25-2011, 12:54 PM   #8
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Speaking for the KC joints listed. All 5 are top notch and if ever in town you should hit them all. Personally I would order them this way based on my preferences but I can see how everyone has their own favorite.

Kansas City Style

Oklahoma Joe's Barbeque
Kansas City, KS

Gates Bar-B-Que
Kansas City, MO

Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbeque
Kansas City, MO

Woodyard Bar-B-Que
Kansas City, KS

Arthur Bryant's BBQ
Kansas City, MO

Regardless, if you ever make it to KC, hit them all. Plenty of other great places too but I think these are a good representation of the KC style.
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Unread 07-25-2011, 01:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamadrummer View Post
That may be an accurate list for people that live in those few places but they missed out on some serious bbq from the state of FL. From basically fast food bbq at Sonny's (which is awesome) to some of the more local joints here in the Tampa area. They missed some beautiful food.
I have yet to have a meal from Sonny's that could be called good. And I've been to several over the years.
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Unread 07-25-2011, 03:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JD08 View Post
I have yet to have a meal from Sonny's that could be called good. And I've been to several over the years.

I like their "big deal" with sliced beef on garlic bread with their hot bbq sauce and fries.

I don't know where in SE FL you live but they didn't have Sonny's down there when I lived there. We had fat boys and a few other places. I lived in Lauderhill and Davie but it has been 15+ years since I lived down that far south.
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Unread 07-25-2011, 04:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burris View Post
Arthur Bryant's isn't good at all. I went with a dozen people, so we tried everything. I really wanted to like it but we all agreed it was terrible. Everything was dry, tough, and flavorless.

When I was in KC I did have a very good beef rib at Fiorella's, though.
Agreed. Arthur Bryant's was crap when i went also. Oklahoma Joe's is much better.
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Unread 07-25-2011, 05:05 PM   #12
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Thanks for posting the list. It is always interesting to see what they pick. They do always seem to pick the same diehards even though there are probably hundreds of other places just as good or better. Regardless, interesting to see and rekindle the discussions with Brethren, new and old.
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Unread 07-25-2011, 06:17 PM   #13
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Have to echo the dissapointment I felt after eating at Arthur Bryant's. Last time I was in KC I made it a point to eat there. I was expecting at the very least for the Q to be good, and was hoping for excellent (considering how well it is spoken of in publications). Saying the Q I was served was marginal is probably giving it too much credit. I can go to any number of local joints and get better, Chit! I can go to Famous Dave's and get better. I think more than one of the above joints listed are basically tourist trap bbq, and those that write these articles just don't know any better.
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Unread 07-25-2011, 06:44 PM   #14
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I think it speaks to the importance of reputation and the manner in which it affects perception of reality. I have to say, having eaten at none of them, I have no idea whether any are good or not.
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Unread 07-25-2011, 07:00 PM   #15
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