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Best Barbeque (Regional)


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#1 of 88 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted August 12 2004 - 06:50 AM

Here we are not talking about grilling, but cooking meat slowly so that it becomes tender and succulent (and often with a smoky characteristic.

Here in Texas the standard barbeque is beef: specifically brisket. Now brisket is a cut of meat that is ordinarily pretty tough and not to be sought out—however a nice slow cooking over wood transforms it into pure magic. Never cooked with sauce, but often a tomato-based sauce is served, especially on a sandwich.

The long-time leader in Dallas barbeque was Sonny Bryan’s which was in a dilapidated building, not nearly big enough to hold its customers. Those who were not taking away could eat inside on old school desks or outside (usually on the hood of their cars). But since his death you can now get Sonny Bryan’s everwhere, including DFW airport—it seems not the same.

My favorite area restaurants are:

Peggy Sue Barbeque (Snider Plaza, near SMU). The also barbequed turkey and pork ribs (and pulled pork)—and have some of the best vegetables around. They also have great fried pies for desert. They have two sauces: a mild one and a hot one—the later is reasonably hot. I love this place and live close enough to walk.

Clark’s Outpost, about 50 miles north of the metroplex in Tioga, Texas. Warren Clark was a disciple of Sonny Bryan and the food here is the very best. Don’t miss the coconut cream pie for desert. Besides standard beef brisket, you can get ribs, turkey and smoked trout. They offer calf fries for the adventurous. The fried okra is a treat. This is up in quarter horse country and the drive up is very pleasant. There are usually pickups with horse trailers in the parking lot. They put their sauce in old Grolsch beer bottles and keep them warm.

Angelo’s in Fort Worth. This is a place where you stand in line and go though a cafeteria type line. Usually Angelo’s son is at the front of the line cutting the brisket (Sonny Bryan used to do the same). Beer is the last stop Ribs are the best bet here.

There are several great places outside of Austin—and these places are for true barbeque purists. No sauce—not even if requested. No vegetables, other than you can get a whole onion to slice and a whole jalapeno. Simple white bread. And stunningly great meat. This is the City Market at Luling. Kreuz Market in Lockhart is also great—food is served on butcher paper. And finally there is Louis Mueller’s in Taylor, TX—the pit used to be right in the room, so it was very smoky. They actually will serve a sauce.


Moving east to Arkansas, pork is the barbeque of choice. My favorite place is in DeValls bluff (a few miles off the freeway). Their pork barbeque sandwiches are almost beyond description. It comes in three versions and the hot is very hot. Right across the street is the Family Pie Shop—which has nothing else. If you are in luck Mary will have sweet potato pie.


Memphis barbeque is also pork based—my favorite place here is Charlie Vergos Rendezvous. They are only open in the evening, but if you show up in the afternoon, you can eat so long as all you want is their ribs. This is all you want, as their ‘dry-rubbed’ ribs are divine. The last time I was here was before Christmas and it was full of downtown businessmen and ladies taking a lunch break from their shopping (kids in tow)—of course it was not too crowded as it was not open.


Finally the mutton barbeque of Owensboro, KY (are you paying attention Dome?). I used to live here and there were plenty of small pit barbeques around town. Petey’s Spot Light was a stop to pick up a sliced or chopped mutton sandwich on the way home. My parents particularly like the Shady Rest—they had full dinners and it was great. No doubt the best is The Moonlight. If the thought of mutton does not appeal, wait until you have eaten here—their hot sauce is very, very hot.


I’d go on but I’m getting hungry.
¡Time is not my master!

#2 of 88 OFFLINE   Dome Vongvises

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Posted August 12 2004 - 06:54 AM

My kind of thread.

#3 of 88 OFFLINE   Haggai

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Posted August 12 2004 - 07:50 AM

Quote:
Finally the mutton barbeque of Owensboro, KY (are you paying attention Dome?).

Sounds like some good places there, but I've never been to Owensboro, which is pretty far from Lexington (where I grew up). Dome is from even farther away, clear across the state, so he might not have been there either.

#4 of 88 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted August 12 2004 - 08:22 AM

With all due respect to Lew, I am a member of the Memphis-style barbeque religion.

Thank you, Lew, for telling the truth about real barbeque. Here in SoCal, people think barbeque is simply using outdoor charcoal broiler.

Not so. Barbeque is a process.

And so help me, I have been exposed to the glory and the truth that is Memphis barbeque in my many travels to the fine state of Tennessee.

Here in L.A., on La Brea Avenue, just about ten blocks from my abode, a Memphis transplant has set up shop with a killer restaurant, The Pig.

It's not just "like" Memphis-style BBQ, it is Memphis barbeque. The pork sandwiches, with coleslaw on them, and The Pig's own special sauces, are heaven on Earth.

We also have a great hole-in-the-wall Texas-style place in Hollywood, on Wilcox, called Hustons. He does pork as well, and it's good.

Hey, though I prefer the Memphis school, I love the Texas stuff too. I've had it every time I swing through that mother-luvin' big state. Beef is good. When done right.

Man, you haven't lived until you've experienced a real barbeque sandwich. And man am I hungry right now. Took the day off, in fact. And The Pig is just a fifteen-minute walk away.

Must log off.

#5 of 88 OFFLINE   Zen Butler

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Posted August 12 2004 - 08:29 AM

Restaurant: Winfrey's Compton, Ca.
(lengthy-smoke)

Sauce: Not to toot my city's horn but my friends here locally have just about the best sauces I have tried.

http://www.bbqnfools.com/home.htm

Foolishly Hot BBQ and Wing Sauce is awesome. Very, very hot.

As to the region, I know many of the places in Gardena, Compton and Carson serve the big three equally. Babyback(Pork), the most popular.

Also worth mention is the Korean BBQ community. (Ma Po of Torrance, Cham Sut Gol of Los Angeles as well as various locations in Koreatown) Lots of duck as well as tender beef.

Quote:
Here in SoCal, people think barbeque is simply using outdoor charcoal broiler.

That's unfortunate. BBQ's in Long Beach are an event and a lot goes into preparation. The Pacific Islander communities of San Pedro, Gardena and Carson also get it right.
This is from a man(me), who grew up Texan and Mississippi before coming here.
I know enough transplants as well as natives who take the
art of BBQ seriously. (I think I missed the intent of Jack's post)

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#6 of 88 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted August 12 2004 - 08:35 AM

Don't forget the Carolinas! When I lived in Hickory, NC there was a place called Shell's Bar-b-q. Just a corrugated tin shack with a drive through, but they had great Carolina pork (pulled or chopped). Carolina barbeque is pork butt (Boston butt) smoked, pulled/chopped and doused with a mostly vinegary, slightly sweet sauce (no tomato, sometimes mustard based). It's served on nutritionless white rolls with coleslaw on top (aka "all-the-way").

Mmmmm, what I would not do for a Shell's chopped pork all-the-way and a cherry lemon Sundrop with vanilla syrup. Mmmmm . . .

#7 of 88 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted August 12 2004 - 08:48 AM

I would not forget North Carolina barbeque—but as I’ve never lived in the region or traveled through for some time, I don’t know the really good restaurants.

Coleslaw is certainly a standard side dish for barbeque in a good many places—and for sure in the Memphis (and eastern Arkansas—and in North Carolina) it is often served on the sandwich. In Texas, even in places where you can get a North Carolina-style, pulled pork sandwich, the chances of getting slaw directly on the sandwich is very low.

So far no one has opted for Arthur Bryants in Kansas City. It has been so long since I’ve eaten there, that I am loathe to comment—but it is a place for aficionados.
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#8 of 88 OFFLINE   Zen Butler

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Posted August 12 2004 - 08:56 AM

Quote:
So far no one has opted for Arthur Bryants in Kansas City.


Lew, only for the same reason as you. Used to take trips with dad from Salina to Kansas City. It's been way too long.

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#9 of 88 OFFLINE   Haggai

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Posted August 12 2004 - 09:03 AM

Zen, are you from Salina? I know someone from there. And, of course, Judy Barton in Vertigo was also from Salina. Posted Image

#10 of 88 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted August 12 2004 - 09:07 AM

Quote:
Lew, only for the same reason as you. Used to take trips with dad from Salina to Kansas City. It's been way too long.



I love taking a road trip and figuring out which restaurants to check out.

It is probably more fun to locate an obscure barbeque place in an obscure part of the country (e.g. Lockhart, Texas or Owensboro, Ky) than finding a good high-end place.

Advance planning is helpful, but I also like to talk to a few locals in some small town and see if there is some place great.

Tioga, Texas (home of Clark’s Outpost) is really small and obscure—its only claim to fame is that it is the home of Gene Autry. But what great food. A stop at any of the small towns in the region would probably get you directions to this mecca (of course the chances of anyone actually driving through is pretty remote).
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#11 of 88 OFFLINE   Garrett Lundy

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Posted August 12 2004 - 09:45 AM

The problem is that Barbecue the word has become bastardized. it now means "grilled & sauced" to most people. If you just tell people you're going to have smoked pork, or pulled-pork you'll get fewer misconceptions. (I'm sorry texans, but you're wrong, barbecue is, and always will be pork*).

Best Barbecue in NY: Dinosaur Barbecue in Syracuse. They also have live blues music five days a week!

*In addition to pork, human flesh may be substituted if you're a cannibal tribe of New Guinea.
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#12 of 88 OFFLINE   Zen Butler

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Posted August 12 2004 - 09:57 AM

Haggai, I lived in Salina, KS. I went to Sunflower Elementary. Just one of the many places I have lived. (Winters, TX., 29 Palms, Ca., Vicksburg, Miss., and on and on) I was a military brat during the Vietnam conflict and never stayed put the first 9 years of my life.

Lew, all of my vacation time from my late 20's-30's has been roadtrips. I read On the Road at 12 and have worked toward being able to this. I'll need to consult this thread before my next one. Maybe a BBQ themed trip. Posted Image

Jack, cole slaw? oh yummy. I need to take the boys to "the Pig."

This thread is my pick for the most evil ever. Can't stop the drool.

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#13 of 88 OFFLINE   Brandon_S

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Posted August 12 2004 - 02:34 PM

I grew up about 45 minutes from Owensboro, Ky. They have an annual "BBQ Fest" that is a really big deal. They even have a Miss BBQ Fest pageant Posted Image.

Most people around the area will tell you that a little place called Old Hickory is even better than Moonlight. While I haven't eaten at Old Hickory, if it is better than Moonlight it must be downright amazing. If you are ever in the area hitting up one of those two restraunts is a must!

I wish I was still around home so I could eat at Moonlight more often Posted Image.
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#14 of 88 OFFLINE   Jeff Pryor

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Posted August 12 2004 - 05:53 PM

And I live just across the stateline from Memphis. Everyone here raves about Corky's and the Rendevous and whatnot, but I gotta tell ya the best barbeque is right here in Olive Branch, MS at Old Style Barbeque. I've eaten just about everywhere here in the mid-south and nothing beats that.
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#15 of 88 OFFLINE   Rob Gardiner

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Posted August 12 2004 - 06:06 PM

Has anyone in the Seattle area tried Chuck's Hole in the Wall? I've had their chili many times but never tried a barbeque sandwich.

EDIT: Here's a review:

Quote:
Chuck is an easygoing guy who takes his chili very seriously as evidenced by the walls of his hole in the wall which are covered with awards for his railroad chili from the best and brightest chili cookoffs. If you're not in the mood for the railroad chili, try the smoked brisket or turkey which come with Chuck's renowned bullwhacker sauce. Seating is limited so taking out is de rigeur at this downtown magnet. Barbecued pork and hot link sandwiches are also served, as well as the usual bean and coleslaw type sides.


#16 of 88 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted August 13 2004 - 01:07 AM

Quote:
Most people around the area will tell you that a little place called Old Hickory is even better than Moonlight. While I haven't eaten at Old Hickory, if it is better than Moonlight it must be downright amazing.


The Old Hickory was around even when I lived in Owensboro, and it did have very good mutton sandwiches. A high school friend of mine worked there one summer and he used to get a bunch of chopped mutton gratis—this would prove the basis for a very fine picnic.

Things change—and though I’ve eaten at both the Shady Rest and the Moonlight not too long ago, The Old Hickory was not of that standard back in the 50s—back then it was little more than a carry-out (a very fine carry-out, indeed). Both the Moonlight and Shady Rest are restaurants.

Quote:
(I'm sorry texans, but you're wrong, barbecue is, and always will be pork*).

And those in Kentucky got it wrong too. Posted Image As Jack so rightly said, proper barbeque is a process. That process may be applied to most any meat.

I come down solidly on the side of it is all good. And much of it is great.
¡Time is not my master!

#17 of 88 OFFLINE   Julian Reville

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Posted August 13 2004 - 01:33 AM

Not much hope of converting you guys to vegetarians, is there? Posted Image

#18 of 88 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted August 13 2004 - 01:38 AM

Quote:
Not much hope of converting you guys to vegetarians, is there?

Never say never Julian. Posted Image To be sure, I can go a long time as a straight vegetarian (primarily when I’m on a South Indian kick). But I’m not ready to give up chili, barbeque and the odd sausage or steak quite yet.
¡Time is not my master!

#19 of 88 OFFLINE   Matt Souza

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Posted August 13 2004 - 02:22 AM

come on guys, you can't talk about BBQ and not even get a mention of the central california version: Open pit, using aged red oak wood, aged cuts of top sirloin, or tri tip right over the fire, french bread toasted on the pit and then buttered up, slow cooked pinto beans, SALSA, can't for get that! And a fresh salad, or mac/potatoe salad. Mmmmm.....

This happens every weekend along broadway in Santa Maria, CA buy several non-profits. Just driving through makes your mouth water.

Of course you can get fancy to, throw a t-bone, porterhouse, new york, tenderloin, or rib-eye steak on there, and (if you can cook it right) you'll be in heaven Posted Image

#20 of 88 OFFLINE   Matt Souza

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Posted August 13 2004 - 02:40 AM

I guess I could throw out some of the local places around here also Posted Image

My fav, 1. F. McLintocks steak house in shell beach. If you like steak in a nice place, this is it.

2. Jockos, just a hole in the wall where all the locals hang out

3. The Hitching Post, in Casmelia?sp, made famous due to the proxitmity of the former toxic waste dump near there!

4. The local Elks club #1538, Tues night cook your own. get it the way you like it Posted Image


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