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Brethren Road Trips The travel logs of our members. Q- joints, restaurants, entertainment, reviews while we travel around the 50 states. Also, Post here for a shout out to members to meet up with while on the road.


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Unread 01-01-2014, 03:15 PM   #16
sliding_billy
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Originally Posted by MilitantSquatter View Post
great discussion...

Part of my intent was what I have noticed now living in NC compared to what I have seen in Northeast and on my two bbq roadtrips to Texas and some others in other areas.

Yes, I agree food quality goes a long way... however, I think there is something to be said for uniqueness, history etc.

As example, now living in NC, I have been exploring some of the more well known BBQ joints as time allows...

I went to the famed Lexington Barbecue in Lexington, NC a few weeks back (along w/ Cook's BBQ in Lexington)... While I enjoyed the food for what it is supposed to be (not what I thought it should be), I left with the general impression of cafeteria food... Also, their was not much special sitting in the place. Could have been any other local restaurant if the menu was different. Not bad, but nothing that I would feel like I'd want to go back very soon. I was also surprised to learn how few places in NC are left that actually only cook with wood/coals.

Now, I compare that to my visits to Central Texas and going to Louie Mueller's, Smitty's, Black's, Snow's, Kreuz, City Market in Luling etc. and I just found those places to be a lot more "special"..even if some of the food was not as great as all the hype. The kind of places I'd want to visit several more times to fully assess. And there are more in Texas I'd like to try that I never have.

NY had little to be desired more often than not but there has been a change there with over the last decade... A first wave elevated it and now quite a few up and comers trying to replicate the Franklin BBQ fame by serving high quality Central Texas type food in a bit more upscale atmosphere... often in the locations that cater to the "foodies" and hipsters in downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan. Some of the quality here looks totally outstanding..at the same time these guys are trying to be something else.
Your post made me think about the feel of a place. I think that in Texas I almost take the authenticity of places for granted so I focus on other things. There are a few that are lacking in vibe (again... Pecan Lodge), but most of the great TX BBQ joints ooze history.
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Unread 01-02-2014, 08:46 AM   #17
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Having eaten at over 430 Q-joints and barbecue restaurants in the USA, including over 375 in North Carolina, I must state that IMHO the quality and flavor of the meat is the overwhelming factor in what makes a good Q-joint great.
I enjoy fancy atmosphere (i.e., The Pit in Raleigh) with white linen tablecloths and napkins, and an extensive wine list, but that doesn't make it a great Q-joint.
I enjoy history and a long lineage of pitmasters (i.e., Lexington #1 in Lexington, NC; Arthur Bryants in KC; Sonny Bryants in Dallas; etc.), but history doesn't make it a great Q-joint.
I DON'T care what the meat is cooked on or over (wood coals, charcoal, electric, gas, etc.) as long as the meat is delicious.

IMHO, the best overall Q-joint that I've been to is "The Memphis Barbecue Company" in Fayetteville, NC (one of Melissa Cookston's restaurants). ALL of the meats were great and all the other criteria of what makes a good Q-joint great in this thread were met as well.
Another favorite is "Smokin' Guns BBQ" in KC. Especially their burnt ends!
One more favorite is "OinkAdoodleMoo Smoking BBQ" in Kettering, Ohio.
Finally, my list of favorites wouldn't be complete without mentioning "Q Barbecue" in Midlothian, VA (one of Tuffy Stone's restaurants).
Honorable mention goes to "Big Racks BBQ and Sports Grill" in Grapevine, TX (the most tender and flavorful piece of pork that I've ever put in my mouth at a restaurant!). Not only is the barbecue and other food good, but the scenery is pretty decent too!

Just my $0.02.
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Unread 01-02-2014, 04:11 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQchef33 View Post
i see where vinnys going with this.

to me, I break them in 2 catagories..

BBQ Restaurant, and BBQ Joint.

Famous Daves.. BBQ Restaurant.

Lockharts, franklins, etc.. BBQ Joint.
I like this way of thinking. Each has their strengths, and there are good and bad of each type.

One of my favorite local BBQ joints is a Texas style place where they cut the meat and lay it on butcher paper, hand you a stack of white bread and tell you where the sauce is "in case you want to ruin it."

My favorite BBQ restaurant on the other hand, everything comes pretty well sauced and probably over-tender -- I love it all the same.
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Unread 01-24-2014, 02:18 PM   #19
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I'll give any BBQ restaurant or BBQ joint a try however there is one thing I will not abide by and that is if I walk into a "BBQ" place and not smell smoke I turn around and exit as fast as I can.
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Unread 01-24-2014, 02:34 PM   #20
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In the end, greatness is simply, do I want to come back. Does the food sit in my memory as something that I want to experience again and again. This is actually how I measure most restaurants. A place can be a total dive, it can be a cart or truck, if I want to go back right away, then it is great in that context.

To be truly great, I suppose it has to be that way over and over, for a lot of people, over many years. That standard gets a little hazy, for instance, out here, Everett & Jones is defined as great for many, and had been so for over 40 years. I don't much care for it anymore, they slipped IMO. Yet, aren't they great, in that one family has run one business since the late 1950's, doing one thing well?
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Unread 01-24-2014, 11:39 PM   #21
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I responded to this earlier but have since thought about it a little. Greatness is:
1. Consistently and repeatedly providing a great meal.
2. An environment that complements the food.
3. Great service.
4. As Landarc mentioned.... a place I want to return to for another great meal.
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