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View Full Version : Research Project: Favorite BBQ Joints in North America


Diva Q
07-08-2010, 09:15 AM
I am working on a research project and I am really looking to find more BBQ joints to travel to. I am looking within anywhere in North America for favorite BBQ joints that still use just charcoal and or wood to make their restaurant food. It could be a roadside stand or a full fledged operation.

Johnny_Crunch
07-08-2010, 09:23 AM
See you in Houston?

lulingcitymarket.com (http://www.lulingcitymarket.com/home.html)

BingZ
07-08-2010, 09:26 AM
I have got 2 for you, Whole Hog in Little Rock and the Mean Pig in Cabot Arkansas.

billm
07-08-2010, 09:27 AM
Hey Diva! Come to Chi-Town ( a scant lake or two south of you)
Although we are not known as the BBQ capitol or anything we have a couple stand out places that are using old aquarium style smokers..wood and charcoal fires
Big Eds in North Chicago being my fav
Smoking M's in Forest Park, Il ( about 20-30 miles west of city)
also Honey 1 and Uncle Johns in the city
Let me know if you decide to hit our area

Dave Russell
07-08-2010, 09:27 AM
Leetha's in Hattiesburg MS. is pretty legendary down there....not much competition either.

sitnfat
07-08-2010, 09:36 AM
check out ncbbqsociety.com there is actually a bbq trail in NC about 25 places like what you are looking for. then agian when you come through TN let me know I will fire up the hickory pit and we will have a party :)

Chef Jim
07-08-2010, 09:44 AM
think I'm gonna like this thread. Be good for my next road trip.

aquablue22
07-08-2010, 09:46 AM
Poppa's BBQ
12211 49th Street North
Clearwater, Florida 33762

Brethren owned and operated, stick and charlcoal burners!

Dave Russell
07-08-2010, 09:46 AM
Martin's here near Nashville has been invited to the Big Apple bbq block party for the last two years and is supposed to be real good. I believe he's near or in Nolensville (TN).

McGurk
07-08-2010, 09:58 AM
I hope there are some places mentioned that are a bit farther north of the Mason Dixon line. It would be great to see some mentioned in MN, but I have nothing to contribute myself.

I don't think it's even feasible to open a wood/charcoal restaurant in a metro area anymore. No reputation or sales base, ridiculous land/lease prices, can't compete with sub-par chain bbqs and their prices, people don't feel a need to pay for authenticity anymore, and it's tough to start anything right now. Pretty sad, really.

Cre-B-Ce
07-08-2010, 10:07 AM
The Brick Pit in Mobile, AL has some of the best ribs I have eaten. (besides mine :-P)

SmokinOkie
07-08-2010, 10:26 AM
Writing a book or gonna star in a new TV series?

SmokeJumper
07-08-2010, 10:27 AM
The original Sonny Brian's in Dallas Texas. Open 52 years at that location.
2202 Inwood Road, Dallas, TX‎ - (214) 357-7120‎

In the Bay Area it is Phat Matt's BBQ in Oakland or Memphis Minnie's in San Francisco.

J_Don
07-08-2010, 11:15 AM
Leetha's in Hattiesburg MS. is pretty legendary down there....not much competition either.
I was going to suggest Leetha's but you beat me to it since I just started reading this thread. She started out in Columbia, 30 miles west. Another of my favorites is Strick's BAR-B-Q & Catering. There are at least 3 others but I personally would not recommend them so I will not mention their names.

ChicagoSizzlin
07-08-2010, 11:24 AM
Hey Diva! Come to Chi-Town ( a scant lake or two south of you)
Although we are not known as the BBQ capitol or anything we have a couple stand out places that are using old aquarium style smokers..wood and charcoal fires
Big Eds in North Chicago being my fav
Smoking M's in Forest Park, Il ( about 20-30 miles west of city)
also Honey 1 and Uncle Johns in the city
Let me know if you decide to hit our area


Ive been to all of those and they are good. I still think Baby Back Blues rocks ILL socks off for prob the best BBQ in Chicagoland area.

http://www.babybackblues.com

Bill if your ever out by 55 and Route 30 in Plainfied check it out! They got one of the best BBQ sauces I have tasted. Yea def let us know if your out this way and would love to grab some BBQ with ya!

billm
07-08-2010, 11:34 AM
Ive been to all of those and they are good. I still think Baby Back Blues rocks ILL socks off for prob the best BBQ in Chicagoland area.

http://www.babybackblues.com

Bill if your ever out by 55 and Route 30 in Plainfied check it out! They got one of the best BBQ sauces I have tasted. Yea def let us know if your out this way and would love to grab some BBQ with ya!
have not been there yet but I do know the owner Ken..IM not sure if he is using a charcoal/wood smoker though whcih is what Diva was looking for. I think (but could be wrong) he uses Southern Pride which is gas fired
Im in that area all the time doing product demos for my sauce at the Caputos at 59 and 11tth..be glad to meet up one day

BigButzBBQ
07-08-2010, 11:38 AM
I hope there are some places mentioned that are a bit farther north of the Mason Dixon line. It would be great to see some mentioned in MN, but I have nothing to contribute myself.

I don't think it's even feasible to open a wood/charcoal restaurant in a metro area anymore. No reputation or sales base, ridiculous land/lease prices, can't compete with sub-par chain bbqs and their prices, people don't feel a need to pay for authenticity anymore, and it's tough to start anything right now. Pretty sad, really.

I know of one up North but, it's very exclusive and only serves friends and family. :laugh:

billm
07-08-2010, 11:41 AM
I hope there are some places mentioned that are a bit farther north of the Mason Dixon line. It would be great to see some mentioned in MN, but I have nothing to contribute myself.

I don't think it's even feasible to open a wood/charcoal restaurant in a metro area anymore. No reputation or sales base, ridiculous land/lease prices, can't compete with sub-par chain bbqs and their prices, people don't feel a need to pay for authenticity anymore, and it's tough to start anything right now. Pretty sad, really.

CG Hooks is in MN at White Bear Lake (St Paul region)..they serve up BBQ although I have not eaten there im only familiar with the little BBQ store attached to the restaurant
http://cghooks.com/CG_Hooks_Tallys_Dockside/C._G._Hooks_Eatery.html

McGurk
07-08-2010, 12:14 PM
I know of one up North but, it's very exclusive and only serves friends and family. :laugh:

I hear you, Butz, and I did think of you. Are Brethren considered family? I'd like to make a trip your way, but the summer's pretty packed as it is.

Prairie Smoke
07-08-2010, 01:27 PM
The Brick Pit in Mobile, AL has some of the best ribs I have eaten. (besides mine :-P)

Agreed! Best BBQ in the Mobile area.

The best joint I've ever eaten at is the BBQ Barn in Odessa, TX. Here is a review I posted in April 2008, and I went back there at least 20 times that spring. Never disappointed.

I've driven by this very small restaurant twice. It wasn't open either day, but something intrigued me. I've eaten at enough bbq restaurants to know that finding great Q is difficult. More times than not I leave disappointed. This little place in Odessa, TX had a 'shack' just outside the restaurant, about 10' x 10', with a chimney out the top and a thick steel firebox poking out the side. And there was lots of wood stacked nearby.

Today I went to Subway for lunch, with some other folks. Turns out the Subway was right next door. So I got a sub, not wanting to rock the boat and try a new place that was more than likely going to disappoint.

When I was done my sub I excused myself and ran next door to check the place out. There was smoke in the air outside. Good sign. As soon as I walked in you could smell the mesquite. Great sign. Behind the counter stood the 3 friendliest old ladies you could ever meet. Good sign.
I ordered a half bound of sliced brisket and a half pound of spares. The bill came to $8.25. I told my 'associates' that I just got a snack.

We rode back to the office and the car filled with smoke & spice flavor. There was lots of jealousy, let me tell you. I wouldn't let anyone peek because I didn't want them to know how much food I bought http://www.phpbbserver.com/phpbb/images/smiles/icon_redface.gif

I snuck into an office, shut the door, and chowed down. This was absolutely the best restaurant 'Q I've ever had. It may have been the best brisket I've ever had. I didn't even touch the sauce. The beef & ribs were lightly seasoned, but they were seasoned. Both meats were a bit on the tough side but MAN, were they loaded with flavor. Very distinct smoke flavor. The brisket was quite juicy. I was smiling. Stuffed, but smiling. The whole office smelled like smoke all afternoon. I didn't wash my fingers until 4:00 so I could keep smelling the smoke http://www.phpbbserver.com/phpbb/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif

Life is good. I'll take pictures next time.

Big Jim BBQ
07-08-2010, 01:45 PM
For ribs - Dreamland BBQ in Tuscaloosa, Al (the original) and Birmingham,Al. They have other locations but these are the only 2 I have eaten at. "There Ain't None Better". Big Bob Gibson's in Decatur,AL is also good.

J_Don
07-08-2010, 02:09 PM
For ribs - Dreamland BBQ in Tuscaloosa, Al (the original) and Birmingham,Al. They have other locations but these are the only 2 I have eaten at. "There Ain't None Better". Big Bob Gibson's in Decatur,AL is also good.
I ate at Dreamland in Tuscaloosa a few years back and they were absolutely the best I had ever had at the time. You walk in and they give you a bib before you even order. Didn't know they had one in Birmingham. Will be going to a two week school in the near future so I will definitely have to look it up. Thanks for the info.:clap2:

deguerre
07-08-2010, 02:17 PM
For ribs - Dreamland BBQ in Tuscaloosa, Al (the original) and Birmingham,Al. They have other locations but these are the only 2 I have eaten at. "There Ain't None Better". Big Bob Gibson's in Decatur,AL is also good.
If you go to Decatur, check out Whitt's on 6th ave (HWY 31) too.

kingsnob
07-08-2010, 04:27 PM
Well I haven't been to many real BBQ joints, but one I did go to just recently was Dinosaur BarBQue in Syracuse NY.
www.dinosaurbarbque.com (http://www.dinosaurbarbque.com)

I thought the food there was pretty good, and I could see someone pitching another log into the smoker as we walked in. Good beer selection too.:-D

John

indianagriller
07-08-2010, 05:54 PM
There was a good BBQ place here in Columbus, In called TC's Memphis BBQ. Sadly they had to shut down due to the economy, but the bright side is now the Owner joined my competition team and took 2nd place brisket a few weeks ago in Jeffersonville,In.

swamprb
07-08-2010, 08:11 PM
The Depot Cafe and Smokehouse
Everett, WA

http://www.depotcafebbq.com/1.html

Gil Ruiz cooks, caters, competes and rocks out!

Bigmista
07-08-2010, 08:17 PM
I hear there's a guy selling BBQ at Farmer's Markets in L.A...

Big_AL
07-08-2010, 08:26 PM
If you are in the St Louis area, Pappy's Smoke House at 3106 Olive Street is a must. If going with a friend go for the Big Ben. Everytime some food show films in STL they either hit Pappy's or Iron Barley. Apparently there are only two places to eat in all of STL.

FullBoar
07-08-2010, 08:43 PM
There's a place in Emmitsburg MD called Chubby's that does pretty good BBQ. Make sure you get collard greens as one of your sides:thumb:

Rylo
07-08-2010, 08:55 PM
http://dannyedwardsblvdbbq.com/index.html
They are only open till 3pm but Danny Edwards is one of the most overlooked BBQ places in KC. I have ate at most places around KC and Danny's is really great, brisket and pork are my favorites. Its near the state line between KC, KS and KC, MO on Southwest Blvd.
http://www.oklahomajoesbbq.com/
Is the other great place for BBQ. Vanity Fair just picked them as one of the best places in the country.
Gates has great sauce, Bryants is overrated IMO, Jack Stack is really good but pricey, I dont like Masterpiece, too bland. LC's is good but they been shut down by the health department a few too many times.

Big Jim BBQ
07-08-2010, 08:58 PM
I ate at Dreamland in Tuscaloosa a few years back and they were absolutely the best I had ever had at the time. You walk in and they give you a bib before you even order. Didn't know they had one in Birmingham. Will be going to a two week school in the near future so I will definitely have to look it up. Thanks for the info.:clap2:
They also have a location in Mobile but I've not been there.

BingZ
07-09-2010, 10:47 AM
Another good BBQ stop in Arkansas is Craig's BBQ in DeValls Bluff, AR. It is a small joint, maybe 5 table but great food.

chad
07-09-2010, 10:53 AM
Eli's BBQ in Dunedin, FL, is pretty good.
Small place with the humongous pipe smoker in back, near the woodpile.
Only open Friday and Saturday 11AM-6PM.

ChicagoSizzlin
07-09-2010, 11:29 AM
have not been there yet but I do know the owner Ken..IM not sure if he is using a charcoal/wood smoker though whcih is what Diva was looking for. I think (but could be wrong) he uses Southern Pride which is gas fired
Im in that area all the time doing product demos for my sauce at the Caputos at 59 and 11tth..be glad to meet up one day

Hey Bill send me a PM next time your out and about and well grab a sammich!

Bill-Chicago
07-09-2010, 11:41 AM
Hey Bill send me a PM next time your out and about and well grab a sammich!

Unfortunately, not at Thomas' BBQ on Montgommery in Aurora.

R.I.P.

RubMeTender
08-23-2010, 01:51 PM
Poppa's BBQ
12211 49th Street North
Clearwater, Florida 33762

Brethren owned and operated, stick and charlcoal burners!

You know it Ken!

jonboy
08-23-2010, 04:19 PM
I have not been here yet but would like to try them out.
http://www.webergrillrestaurant.com/about/openkitchen.html
Several locations.
jon
can you tell us more about your project?

luke duke
08-23-2010, 05:05 PM
Franklin BBQ
Austin, TX

Roadside stand, people wait an 1+hr in line, and they always run out of food.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=80089&highlight=franklin

The_Kapn
08-23-2010, 05:52 PM
Webb's 231 BBQ north of Dothan, AL.

A hole in the wall joint with the best commercial BBQ I have ever eaten.
Been there about forever!

I am just glad they do not do competitions--I would just stay home :redface:

http://local.yahoo.com/info-14828358-231-bbq-midland-city;_ylt=Agwv4Sefb6od0OflD92AUI6KNcIF;_ylv=3?tab= reviews&allreviews=1#reviews

TIM

shdybrady
08-23-2010, 06:15 PM
if you go to tractor supply. If you have those in canada. Or buy it on line. There is a magazine issue of popular plates. And in the back it has a directory of the best bbq shops across north america

Smoothsmoke
08-23-2010, 06:22 PM
Bludso's BBQ in Compton, California.

Gore
08-23-2010, 08:41 PM
Owned and operated by fellow brethren, we really enjoyed Desperados BBQ in Angola NY:

http://www.desperadosbarbecue.com/

Here's my review (if you can call it that :rolleyes:)

3 Rivers BBQ
08-23-2010, 08:59 PM
If in SC...then go by Sweatman's in Holly Hill, but only Thurs- Saturday. Old school, whole hog, 3rd generation...backwoods style que! I have eaten at BBQ places from Virgina down to Florida, Alabama and Tennessee...the best pork I have tasted..so far. Of course, I have about 40 more states to try(and Canda).

ganks
08-23-2010, 09:13 PM
Franklin BBQ
Austin, TX

Roadside stand, people wait an 1+hr in line, and they always run out of food.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=80089&highlight=franklin

I will 2nd this, it's fantastic. Check their Yelp review. I hate to keep recommending them as the line keeps growing...

Roll Tide
08-23-2010, 10:05 PM
For ribs - Dreamland BBQ in Tuscaloosa, Al (the original) and Birmingham,Al. They have other locations but these are the only 2 I have eaten at. "There Ain't None Better". Big Bob Gibson's in Decatur,AL is also good.

I honestly have never had a good rib at dreamland. I've ate in Tuscaloosa, northport, B'ham, and Huntsville. I prefer archibalds in n orthport when I'm in the area.

brownkw
08-23-2010, 10:29 PM
I was going to suggest Leetha's but you beat me to it since I just started reading this thread. She started out in Columbia, 30 miles west. Another of my favorites is Strick's BAR-B-Q & Catering. There are at least 3 others but I personally would not recommend them so I will not mention their names.

I was born in Hattiesburg and lived in the area for eighteen years, and I have never had a chance to go to Leetha's. That is something I will be correcting with my next visit to MS.

campdude
08-23-2010, 11:53 PM
I hear there's a guy selling BBQ at Farmer's Markets in L.A...
Notice there are only 2 entries from SoCal. Gotta get out towards LA from the Inland Empire and try some Bigmista's Q. The article from the LA times about Bigmista was how I found this forum.
Anybody in SoCal know any great spots?