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Old 07-04-2010, 07:00 PM   #1
Ragone
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Kansas City BBQ (and bbq in general)

I've travelled around quite a bit.. trying bbq in a ton of different states, styles etc. With kansas city area being where i've tried the most.

I've lived in kc for quite awhile, honestly.. i've never been impressed with the so called "legends" of kc bbq.. (gates,arthur bryants)

I tried Oklahoma Joe's bbq the other day, and by god if that wasn't the best bbq i ever had.. I'd highly suggest skipping the so called "legends" and find the tiny restaurant thats attached to a gas station.

I'd love to hear of more bbq places around the country, as its one of my passions to find good bbq.

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Old 07-04-2010, 07:13 PM   #2
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I've travelled around quite a bit.. trying bbq in a ton of different states, styles etc. With kansas city area being where i've tried the most.

I've lived in kc for quite awhile, honestly.. i've never been impressed with the so called "legends" of kc bbq.. (gates,arthur bryants)

I tried Oklahoma Joe's bbq the other day, and by god if that wasn't the best bbq i ever had.. I'd highly suggest skipping the so called "legends" and find the tiny restaurant thats attached to a gas station.

I'd love to hear of more bbq places around the country, as its one of my passions to find good bbq.

OK Joe's is maybe 4th best in KC. That's probably being generous.

Bryant's, Gates, and Smokestack all outrank OK Joe's.

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Old 07-04-2010, 07:22 PM   #3
Ragone
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man. i'm telling you.. gates and bryants are a joke now. Last time i went to either of their restaurants i left saying i wouldn't ever go back. They used to be so good, i just dunno what happened with them.


I'm ok with smokestack being equivalent or even better.. but its also quite a bit more expensive
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:42 PM   #4
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I think Oklahoma Joe's is good but overrated. It's the trendy pick as a top 3 BBQ joint in KC but it's not that good with me. Gates is better than it was for a while -- I think Ollie got over extended with his restaurants there for a while and the quality of the meet was very low. It's a lot better now than it was, but I agree that it doesn't meet the reputation. I will agree with Bryant's -- I think it's best days are behind them.

Jack Stack/Smokestack is probably the consensus pick for No. 1 these days. I do think that overall it's very good.

Generally, I like different places for different things. Jack Stack has the best sides and is tied with Gates for burnt ends. I love Smokehouse (Gladstone) for chicken. Wabash in Excelsior Springs has my favorite sliced meet -- best sliced turkey and pork for sure.

A lot of the smaller places to me are better than the big names. Winslow's and LC's are pretty good. I'm embarrassed as a BBQ connoisseur that I haven't been to Danny Edwards -- I hear it's awesome.
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:52 PM   #5
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Wow...the Memphis guys can chime in on the BBQ around there...I can't think of the names of half the places I have had there beyond Rendezvous, Corky's and Interstate BBQ..

There was one I ate at out by the Memphis Airport that was in like an old bunker years and years ago that was amazing.

South Carolina I actually like Maurice's.
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:09 PM   #6
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South Carolina I actually like Maurice's.


yeah if you can get past eating under a KKK grand master outfit hanging on the wall, not too bad.
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:11 PM   #7
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yeah if you can get past eating under a KKK grand master outfit hanging on the wall, not too bad.

I didn't see that in the one place I ate at...
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:26 PM   #8
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yeah if you can get past eating under a KKK grand master outfit hanging on the wall, not too bad.

And I am going to Dola post....

Thanks for the wakeup....I googled him and I know he will never, ever get my business again when I am out there...(It's what I get for being a damn Yank)
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:55 PM   #9
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yeah if you can get past eating under a KKK grand master outfit hanging on the wall, not too bad.




I'll make sure I don't ever go to that place.
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:32 PM   #10
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I think Oklahoma Joe's is good but overrated. It's the trendy pick as a top 3 BBQ joint in KC but it's not that good with me. Gates is better than it was for a while -- I think Ollie got over extended with his restaurants there for a while and the quality of the meet was very low. It's a lot better now than it was, but I agree that it doesn't meet the reputation. I will agree with Bryant's -- I think it's best days are behind them.

Jack Stack/Smokestack is probably the consensus pick for No. 1 these days. I do think that overall it's very good.

Generally, I like different places for different things. Jack Stack has the best sides and is tied with Gates for burnt ends. I love Smokehouse (Gladstone) for chicken. Wabash in Excelsior Springs has my favorite sliced meet -- best sliced turkey and pork for sure.

A lot of the smaller places to me are better than the big names. Winslow's and LC's are pretty good. I'm embarrassed as a BBQ connoisseur that I haven't been to Danny Edwards -- I hear it's awesome.

+1 for the most part, except for the following:

1) Bryant's have the best meats - too bad I don't like their sauce. What I do is get a Arthur Bryant's beef, and douse it in the Gates BBQ sauce I sneak in.

2) You and I might be the only people that would mention Wabash BBQ with 'the big boys'. Only difference is that I think they have the best ribs in KC. Plus there's nothing better than sitting out on a picnic table, splitting a slab of ribs, and listening to some local jazz.
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Old 07-04-2010, 11:23 PM   #11
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I've heard of wabash but never been up there.

Smokehouse i will never go to again, i have never been treated worse then i have when i have gone there. Can have the best food in the world, but treat people like crap.. and it won't matter
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Old 07-04-2010, 11:34 PM   #12
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2) You and I might be the only people that would mention Wabash BBQ with 'the big boys'. Only difference is that I think they have the best ribs in KC. Plus there's nothing better than sitting out on a picnic table, splitting a slab of ribs, and listening to some local jazz.
First time I went to Wabash I got the big meat platter -- whatever it's called -- with about four sliced meats and a half slab of ribs. Those might have been the best ribs I've ever had. They simply melted off the bone. The atmosphere is great too, especially at night with music. I also recommend the sweat potato fries -- great stuff.

I don't think Bryant's is bad I just don't think it's as good as it was at one time and not as good as a few other places. I'm with you on the sauce -- that might be what holds them back for me.

The only thing I can't forgive is anyone going to a sweatshop barbecue place in a city like KC. It kills me to see people go to a place like Famous Dave's I went there against my will once and never again -- low grade dog food. St. Louis barbecue? No such thing.
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Old 07-04-2010, 11:38 PM   #13
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I've heard of wabash but never been up there.

Smokehouse i will never go to again, i have never been treated worse then i have when i have gone there. Can have the best food in the world, but treat people like crap.. and it won't matter
One in Gladstone or one of the others? I don't really care for the other locations that much -- only the original. We were there yesterday and our server was great. Now they have a couple of cranky waitresses but I've never really been treated poorly.

Back when we lived down the street from there, I would eat Smokehouse once a week or more. When I started dating Mrs. kcchief19, she would order a salad. I went to pick up our order one night and the guy working the pickup window took the ticket and told the hostess it was the wrong one. She said it was right -- his response: "This guy doesn't order salads." Gold.
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:01 AM   #14
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If you're ever traveling on Interstate 10 on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, try The Shed in Ocean Springs (actually the Gautier/Vancleave exit). It has been pretty awesome with the food and blues music today.
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:14 AM   #15
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Smokehouse was fantastic when I was there ten years ago.

There are a couple places I've been recommended down in Appleton since moving to WI, but I haven't made that pilgrimage yet.
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:14 AM   #16
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I was in KC a few weeks ago. We ate at a Gates in KC, Kansas. I guess yelling at people is part of their gimmick. The food was okay. The restaurant was very no frills. We watched game 5 of the NBA finals on their mis=colored TV.

We went to the Smokehouse at Zona Rosa a few days later. I had a great plate of meat. Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling well that day, and I got to taste it again a few hours later when I got very sick at the hotel.

We also ate at Minsky's Pizza a couple of times.
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:52 AM   #17
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I was in KC a few weeks ago. We ate at a Gates in KC, Kansas. I guess yelling at people is part of their gimmick. The food was okay. The restaurant was very no frills. We watched game 5 of the NBA finals on their mis=colored TV.
NFL tournament at Park Hill?

Yeah, Gates has there, "Hi, may I hep you?" that they scream when you walk in. I'm only pleased with the service about 1 in 3 trips to Gates. I was at Gates last week watching tennis and the screen had lines running through it. TV had to be at least 20 years old.
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:30 AM   #18
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If you're ever traveling on Interstate 10 on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, try The Shed in Ocean Springs (actually the Gautier/Vancleave exit). It has been pretty awesome with the food and blues music today.

+1 on The Shed. It's a very fun place. Good food and interesting atmosphere (it does play up to it's "shed" name).
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:42 AM   #19
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People in Atlanta swear by Fat Matt's Rib Shack (it even got mentioned in Up in the Air), but I'm not really a fan. I prefer Williamson Bros. BBQ. They may be shameless Republicans, but they sure know how to cook pig.

I also love Maddy's and Spiced Right. However, the number of bad BBQ restaurants in the area is surprising. I've had way too many experiences at restaurants who apparently think it's perfectly fine to serve tough, rubbery, unseasoned ribs and try to hide that by drenching it with BBQ sauce.
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:05 AM   #20
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Williamson Bros's sauce kinda sucks though.

Best BBQ in Atlanta is probably Fox Bros' BBQ. Great cooked meat and wonderful sauce, and some great appetizers and sides (I'm partial to the fried jalapeno slices). I also like Dreamland BBQ up in Roswell, which is, of course, part of the Alabama chain of BBQ restaurants.
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:51 AM   #21
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Ha! I had the same thoughts when I was in Kansas City a few years back. I was all amped up for some killer BBQ and while it was good, it also wasn't that great. I've had better down South in Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:01 AM   #22
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Oh, my. How could I forget Dreamland BBQ, Siddi? Excellent all the way around. Some of the best ribs I've ever eaten (never really had the BBQ there, been drunk on ribs all the time) was at Bishop's BBQ in Saltillo, Mississippi, just north of Tupelo.
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:11 AM   #23
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Wow...the Memphis guys can chime in on the BBQ around there...I can't think of the names of half the places I have had there beyond Rendezvous, Corky's and Interstate BBQ..

There was one I ate at out by the Memphis Airport that was in like an old bunker years and years ago that was amazing.

South Carolina I actually like Maurice's.

OK, for dry rub or muddy ribs, you can't beat the Rendezvous. However, if they screw up the ribs and dry them out, make sure to send them back, dry rub with dried out ribs are not good (only had this happen once). Once of the best experiences in Memphis, you go to the Peabody piano bar downstairs, watch the ducks go back up to their penthouse, grab a few cocktails, then head across the street to the Rendezvous. Make sure you try the BBQ cheese and sausage plate!

For ribs with sauce, you have to go to the ORIGINAL Corky's. The branch locations and franchise locations are too hit and miss, the original is still the best.

For best BBQ buffet, you have to go to Leonards, don't go there after dark though.

All around BBQ, I would probably say Interstate, they don't do anything poorly.

For a pulled pork plate, I love Pig N' Whistle, however, I heard their quality has gone down the last couple of years.

For sandwiches, you have to go to the Germantown Comissary. Their sides here are probably the best, deviled eggs, sweet potato fries, mmmmm....

Tom's BBQ is pretty dang good as well. It is a bit different from most other BBQ places here in that they have a fairly sweet sauce compared to other places.

The best BBQ I have ever had though, was a little place in Decatur, AL. Big Bob Gibson's BBQ. Absolutely awesome, make sure to get their BBQ potatoes, those are a meal in and of themselves and are to die for completely loaded.
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:19 AM   #24
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Oh, my. How could I forget Dreamland BBQ, Siddi? Excellent all the way around. Some of the best ribs I've ever eaten (never really had the BBQ there, been drunk on ribs all the time) was at Bishop's BBQ in Saltillo, Mississippi, just north of Tupelo.

Where is Bishop's? Is it off of 45?
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:19 PM   #25
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Yes it is, Hammer. At the Hwy 145 exit at Saltillo. Near the Mexican restaurant and liquor store across from the main businesses....McDonald's and such.

The ribs almost melt in your mouth.
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:07 PM   #26
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Ha! I had the same thoughts when I was in Kansas City a few years back. I was all amped up for some killer BBQ and while it was good, it also wasn't that great. I've had better down South in Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
My critique of KC barbecue has to be taken in context. The worst KC barbecue is still better than the best barbecue anywhere else. Hands down.

The only minor exception is pulled pork, where I will give the nod to Memphis. Otherwise, KC all the way.
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:38 PM   #27
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My critique of KC barbecue has to be taken in context. The worst KC barbecue is still better than the best barbecue anywhere else. Hands down.

The only minor exception is pulled pork, where I will give the nod to Memphis. Otherwise, KC all the way.

+1

It's embarrassing to see what constitutes good BBQ in most states. Memphis and the Carolinas are the only areas that deserve real consideration with KC BBQ.
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Old 07-05-2010, 08:45 PM   #28
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Never had anything out of the Carolinas but for good BBQ all around and not in just one spot, KC and Memphis has to be tops.
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:13 PM   #29
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yeah if you can get past eating under a KKK grand master outfit hanging on the wall, not too bad.

Actually, that's secondary to being a BBQ joint in South Carolina period. Mustard?! Heresy!
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:51 AM   #30
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Used to be you couldn't find anything BUT pulled pork in Memphis.

Will need to try out Bishop's this week as I will be in Tupelo later this week.
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:32 AM   #31
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Actually, that's secondary to being a BBQ joint in South Carolina period. Mustard?! Heresy!

I'd rather eat BBQ that David Duke served me than some of that mustard based bullshit.
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:59 AM   #32
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I'd rather eat BBQ that David Duke served me than some of that mustard based bullshit.
I hesitate to attach a +1 to David Duke but ... +1. That Carolina sauce makes me sick.

If you want a great sauce with a little kick, try Big Rick's. It's more of what I call a "gourmet sauce" in that a little goes a long way. But it's got great flavor, a nice bit and is well seasoned.
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:08 PM   #33
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NFL tournament at Park Hill?


That's the one.
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:10 PM   #34
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I can't stand the molasses or brown sugar based bbq sauces. I like them tangy or spicy.
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:11 PM   #35
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The only Dreamland that Iwill go to is thoe original shack in Tuscaloosa. It seems a little like blasphemy to find there are bbq sandwiches there now. I loved it when the only menu items was ribs white bread and beer and coke.

Now several of my friends claim there is a better bbq joint in Tuscaloosa, well Northport. Archibald's is another little hole in the wall that has great ribs.
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:12 PM   #36
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Used to be you couldn't find anything BUT pulled pork in Memphis.

As it should be.

Anything that doesn't involve pork isn't BBQ.
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Old 07-06-2010, 07:16 PM   #37
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As it should be.

Anything that doesn't involve pork isn't BBQ.

+1 bazillion
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Old 07-06-2010, 07:30 PM   #38
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Williamson Bros's sauce kinda sucks though.

Best BBQ in Atlanta is probably Fox Bros' BBQ. Great cooked meat and wonderful sauce, and some great appetizers and sides (I'm partial to the fried jalapeno slices). I also like Dreamland BBQ up in Roswell, which is, of course, part of the Alabama chain of BBQ restaurants.

This this and this. Too bad it's all the way down Dekalb Avenue on the other side of the planet from me

Maddy's is ok at best. Loud, bad music, ok food. If you go to a Braves game, Harold's is the shit, but not sure what the hours are. My wife will pretty much only go to Fox Bros now, especially with Fat Tire on tap and those huge Mac and Cheese servings. Get yourself some to go before a Braves game (you can hop right on Moreland to 20 and sneak up behind the park).

There are 2 new places near me, one called Community BBQ (near Emory) and the other one is in the Highlands but I forget the name.
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Old 07-06-2010, 07:53 PM   #39
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I like hearing the regional differences in what someone thinks is BBQ. In the west BBQ is how something is cooked, not what is cooked.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:15 PM   #40
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I like hearing the regional differences in what someone thinks is BBQ. In the west BBQ is how something is cooked, not what is cooked.

Here, it's definitely the "how". About the only agreement anyone from North Carolina has is that BBQ is chopped/shredded pork meat. After that, it's all about how it's cooked. Vinegar or ketchup base for the sauce? Whole hog or just the shoulder? And so forth. The fault line between styles tends to run on a northeast-southwest line that roughly passes through or just to the west of the Raleigh-Durham area. On either side of that line, you pretty much announce favor for the opposing style at your own peril.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:44 PM   #41
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Here, it's definitely the "how". About the only agreement anyone from North Carolina has is that BBQ is chopped/shredded pork meat. After that, it's all about how it's cooked. Vinegar or ketchup base for the sauce? Whole hog or just the shoulder? And so forth. The fault line between styles tends to run on a northeast-southwest line that roughly passes through or just to the west of the Raleigh-Durham area. On either side of that line, you pretty much announce favor for the opposing style at your own peril.
Allen and Sons ftw.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:49 PM   #42
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I like hearing the regional differences in what someone thinks is BBQ. In the west BBQ is how something is cooked, not what is cooked.

I do remember being confused when I was a kid and my mom took me to a barbecue and all they had were Hot dogs and Hamburgers. I wanted to know where the hell were the Ribs?
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:53 PM   #43
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I like hearing the regional differences in what someone thinks is BBQ. In the west BBQ is how something is cooked, not what is cooked.
Yeah, people on the West Coast conflate "grilling" with "barbecuing". Definitely a misnomer...

I've had pulled pork sandwiches at Gates and both pulled pork and ribs at Shorty's (a famous place in Miami) - both very good, but I've also had really good pulled pork sandwiches in Seattle. I think the regional superiority thing is seriously over-stated...
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:00 PM   #44
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Actually, that's secondary to being a BBQ joint in South Carolina period. Mustard?! Heresy!


Mustard sauce blows...period.

I like both eastern and western (carolina) style they are just totally different thins to me. Vinegar on occasion and red sauce most of the time..but no sweet red I want it as spicy as buffalo wings or hotter....
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:32 PM   #45
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Mustard sauce blows...period.

Testify.
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Old 07-08-2010, 02:19 PM   #46
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Speaking of BBQ, slaw...Just saw on our lunch menu here at work that the slaw they are serving today has apples in it. Apples????
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Old 07-08-2010, 02:22 PM   #47
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Speaking of BBQ, slaw...Just saw on our lunch menu here at work that the slaw they are serving today has apples in it. Apples????

I have to figure that whoever came up with that idea originally did so when opportunity of not knowing how to make slaw met having too many apples lying around.
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Old 07-08-2010, 02:28 PM   #48
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I have to figure that whoever came up with that idea originally did so when opportunity of not knowing how to make slaw met having too many apples lying around.

That's probably not far from the truth. I've seen people put apples in their dressing for Thanksgiving, which is just wrong to begin with and now apples in coleslaw, wow.
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Old 07-08-2010, 02:43 PM   #49
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That's probably not far from the truth. I've seen people put apples in their dressing for Thanksgiving, which is just wrong to begin with and now apples in coleslaw, wow.

It's actually a minor trendy thing (or was at some point, I haven't noticed it much lately). A Google of the phrase "who the hell puts apples in slaw" produced a number of references to how wonderfully it goes with pork
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Old 07-08-2010, 02:47 PM   #50
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Speaking of BBQ, slaw...Just saw on our lunch menu here at work that the slaw they are serving today has apples in it. Apples????


Chopped brisket, slaw, and a hotlink on a bun. Yummy
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