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Best Barbeque (Regional) (1 Viewer)

Lew Crippen

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There was a publication about 20 years ago titled Road Food and it was followed by one called (I think) ‘Road Food and Good Food’.

The concept was that Road Food was restaurants located close to highways that served good regional food. They stretched this concept a bit, as you might have a TexMex place listed in New York. But chains need not apply. Good Food listings were a bit more upscale and might not be close to highways.

We traveled with our copy for years, so much so that some of the listed restaurants were no longer open. But I really considered this an indispensable guide in planning a trip.

Anyone who actually lived in an area, might take exception to some of their choices (for example, I could suggest some Dallas/Ft. Worth area places that should be included, but this quibble aside you could find some really neat, small places to eat, with outstanding food. I have also found that these places (and some of their patrons) are happy to suggest other fine, local places.

You will never need fast food again.

Actually I quite think that Jack would have eaten in some of their listed diners. ;)
 

Jack Briggs

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Zen, if you want to come up to L.A. some Saturday with the boys, I'll be more than happy to meet you at The Pig -- it's on La Brea and less than a half block south of Melrose Avenue, right next to The Showcase Theatre (one of the few remaining single-screen cinemas left).

You will not be disappointed. The barbeque pork sandwich is the traditional Memphis approach -- and up there with any such eatery I've enjoyed in the "Bluff City." (Memphis is an interesting town, you know. Paradoxical and even a little scary, but interesting nonetheless. And they know barbeque, which makes up for everything else. [I have relatives in that town.])

Heck, if there were enough rooms in our respective stomachs (unlikely in my case, weighing in as I do at between 120-125 pounds), I'd suggest tooling up to Hollywood to check out the Texas-style offerings at Huston's.

I've been told that there are some fine examples of "real" barbeque in South/South Central L.A. and in Compton. And I am going to check them out.
 

Randy Tennison

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I'm a Kansas City person, so Bar-B-Que is near and dear to my heart.

I've never been a fan of Arthur Bryants. The sauce is too gritty.

I love Gates and Sons! They have great sauce.
 

Zen Butler

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Jack, that would be superb. The boys and I are constantly in L.A. proper. For good cole slaw alone, I would make that trip. I'll PM you some great smoke orientated Compton BBQ locations.

You know, Merrill Schindler knows some good BBQ. He's a bit silly, but his radio show always makes me hungry.
 

Lew Crippen

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A lot of great barbeque places are also quite quirky. (I’m pretty sure I posted this once before), but for example before Sonny Bryan expanded, he only had one place and only made so much barbeque for each day. In theory he was open until five (as I recall), but in practice he closed when he had sold all the food made for that day.

Which meant that a person could come by at three and have a limited menu—or none at all.

Angleo’s has a stuffed bear in the entrance—standing on its hind legs, the better (one assumes) to great the customers. Plus you really have to know the drill here—you can pick some side dishes and cold drinks out of the refrigerated cases before you get to the serving line (and before you know what you want). Even though the cold drinks are first, the beer is last.

The Moonlight is basically buffet style (it may have changed—been a couple of years since I’ve been there)—something I normally avoid at all costs.
 

Matt Souza

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well I guess it's a regional thing, cause I call a BBQ as cooking some kind of meat with WOOD, either by direct or indirect heat. Grilling is what McDonalds does with their patties, or a cooking a piece of meat in a pan on the stove.
 

Jeff Gatie

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The indirect vs. direct heat is the key. BBQ is low, indirect heat, often with smoke, for long (sometimes 12 hours and beyond) cooking times with hard to cook cuts of meat that would be inedible if grilled (ribs, brisket, pork butt, anything with a lot of connective tissue; some throw chicken in here but I disagree). Grilling is direct heat on tenderer cuts of meat (steak, roasts, loins, tenderloin, some chops) for short cooking times (no BBQ is ever ordered "rare" or "medium", etc., like grilled food is).
 

Wayne Bundrick

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Jack's Old South barbecue in Vienna, Georgia is winner of the Memphis in May contest. Their ribs are incredible.

Vienna is also home of the Big Pig Jig contest coming up in October.
 

Lew Crippen

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Technically, grilling is done on a grill (this can be indoors as well as outdoors. There are some pans that simulate grills, and often oven broilers are used in place of a grill.

Lots and lots of people confuse true barbeque with almost any type of meat cooked outdoors. In Australia, where parties with outdoor cooking are ubiquitous, almost all of the cooking is actually grilling—but every Aussie worth his prawns would call it a barby. :)

I would not judge Matt’s take as not barbeque until I’d tasted it—I’ve had meat cooked outdoors on spits over an open pit in eastern Venezuela that I think could well be termed barbeque. The heat is not high and the meat cooks for a reasonably long time—and as Jeff correctly points out—you can only get it one way—no such a thing as medium-rare in a barbeque.

I only differ with Jeff in that it might not be necessary for indirect heat. Or perhaps some of these open pits provide such a diffuse heat source that it could well be considered indirect.
 

Jeff Gatie

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I agree with this. Pit barbecue is different than smoker or grill barbecue, but I think we can say the size of the pit and the distance of the food from the heat source makes for a type of indirect heat, if not true indirect heat. Heck, my ribs are cooked in a gas grill with only the back burner on and I call that "indirect". :b (I do add wood chips for smoke, what more do you want from a nor'easterner?)
 

Angelo.M

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Not directly relevant, as per my usual, but I was in Mississippi on business last year and had a great barbeque meal, complete with deep fried pickles. They were highly recommended and rightfully so!
 

Jack Briggs

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And Merrill used to be a colleague and co-worker of mine. He was the chief restaurant critic with the late, great Los Angeles Reader, where I was Calendar Editor, as well as chief "war on drugs" reporter (and a music reviewer).

We'll coordinate this for the very near future. Meanwhile, there's a movie playing in town next week, one I am a bit fond of.
 

RobertR

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Hey, you guys have piqued my interest in this BBQ restaurant. I'd like to try it. :)
 

Rob Gardiner

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Seattle barbeque fans rejoice!

I ate lunch at Chuck's Hole in the Wall today and they are the real deal. I'd been in there before for their prize-winning "railroad" chili but had ignored their sandwiches until reading this thread.

They serve 3 types of sandwich: Brisket of Beef, Pork, and Turkey. The walls are covered with newspaper clippings, reviews, awards they've won (mainly for the chili), and detailed descriptions of the procedures they use. The meats are slow cooked with indirect, low heat overnight and the results are as tender as can be.

Today I had the Brisket of Beef and I'll try the other 2 next week. The shop is located at 215 James St., on the edge of Seattle's historical district, Pioneer Square.
 

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