Re: And Surely I Haven't Scratched the Surface


You could at least provide names for the south side chicago places.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12- 3-04 11:18 AM
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If I remembered, I would. Would it be worth my time to look through the site comments to see if you ever said something affirming, w-lfs-n?

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 3-04 11:21 AM
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I don't know. I think you would find at least a few comments that could be construed as affirming, maybe even some that wouldn't need construction because obviously affirming. I would hope so, at any rate.

Anyway, I haven't been there but there are frequently very good smells emanating from Smoke Daddy on Division & (more or less) Wolcott in Chicago.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12- 3-04 11:33 AM
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Ok, so here's the best I've had for pork shoulder, by a lot:

1) Big Bob Gibson, Decatur, Alabama

2) Mitchell's Barbecue, Wilson, North Carolina

3) Payne's, Memphis, TN

Posted by: TomF | Link to this comment | 12- 3-04 2:52 PM
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Also: Stamey's, Greensboro, NC

and I have heard tell that anywhere in Lexington, NC has good barbeque.

Posted by: Claudia | Link to this comment | 12- 3-04 3:03 PM
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When was your last visit to the East Coast Grill, ogged? I've found them subpar recently.

Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 12- 3-04 3:29 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions! Keep em coming!

baa: more than five years ago. Sorry to hear that it's not so good now. Is the Cafe China still on the corner there? That was also a great place.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 3-04 3:32 PM
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'Red Bones' in Somerville (Davis Square) is the best BBQ I've had in Massachusetts, for whatever that's worth.

They've got a great beer selection too.

Posted by: skippy | Link to this comment | 12- 3-04 3:51 PM
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Ogged'll be putting this into a spreadsheet for download, right? I don't need to be copying stuff down right now, do I?

Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 12- 3-04 5:15 PM
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Cafe china is still there, and still good. Magnolia's (which used to be the Cajun Yankee) is another excellent destination in the ever-more-hip-by-the-second Inman square.

Skippy -- when did you last go to Redbones? (I am sounding like much more of a food snob then I am, believe me) I am a partisan of all things Somervillian, but my last Redbones experience was mediocre. Of course, mediocre could well be the best BBQ Boston has to offer.

Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 12- 3-04 5:50 PM
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Haven't hit East Coast Grill yet, but there's a new place in Harvard Square called Brother Jimmy's that's in the old House of Blues location. The fake-Southern kitsch all over the place is kind of dumb but I've found the ribs to be pretty solid.

For an interesting BBQ-Caribbean blend, check out The People's BBQ in downtown Miami. Good conch salad.

Posted by: B | Link to this comment | 12- 3-04 7:49 PM
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*The* best BBQ I've ever had was at Fat Willy's in Chicago (Corner of Schubert and Western; 2416 Schubert to be precise). They used to have a home page, but I can't seem to Google it anymore.

Anyway, the meat falls right off the bone, and is delicious and tender. The Texas toast (comes standard with a rib order), and the 4-cheese macaroni are also excellent.

Just be sure to either eat it in the restaurant, or get it for take out and eat it as soon as you get home. For some reason the meat seems to toughen when I've had it for delivery.

Posted by: Noel | Link to this comment | 12- 3-04 7:51 PM
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people, it's all about the Pink Pig in Levy, S.C. (on the road between Bluffton and Savannah, GA. ambrosial. all the sides are good, too. and the fried shrimp.

Posted by: belle waring | Link to this comment | 12- 3-04 8:21 PM
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Mmmm, barbeque. I like that South Carolina mustard- based, but I've never had Greens! I stop through Maurice's when I go through Columbia, though that's not a terribly PC move since he led the fight to keep the rebel battle flag on top of their state capitol. You can get plenty of neo-confederate tracts along with your sandwich.

If you want to find out about any kind of noshing in Chicago, here are the folks to ask:

Chowhounds Chicago Message Board.

They have message boards for all different regions around the country and people trade favorite hole-in-the wall joints for all sorts of food. I planned my last (&first) visit to New Orleans by trawling through the recent discussions.

Posted by: cw | Link to this comment | 12- 3-04 8:27 PM
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Fat Willy's, if it still exists, is 15 blocks away, and a straight shot by bus. Rock.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12- 3-04 8:35 PM
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Bessengers in Charleston S.C. Best sauce EVER. And, cw, I believe he and Maurice are brothers.

Posted by: Grotesqueticle | Link to this comment | 12- 3-04 8:43 PM
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it's been probably 7 years since I've been to Red Bones, so they might indeed have gone down hill.

Also, you may have a point that "the best of Massachusetts" ain't so hot.

Also, also, that giant beer selection may be skewing my experiences towards the positive...

Posted by: skippy | Link to this comment | 12- 3-04 10:31 PM
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Hmm, did Ogged just tip his place of residence?

As for Boston-area barbecue, I'd have to say that Redbones is 2nd best, but not to East Coast Grill. I think the best (or at least most consistent) barbecue is found at Blue Ribbon BBQ -- but be sure to go to the one in Arlington, not Newton.

The best I've had in a city is at Mark's Feed Store, in Louisville. But it's better out in the stix -- the tastiest barbecue I've ever had was at a gas station/food mart on the way to Paducah (no kidding) and also some mom-and-pop place in Tunica, Mississippi, that I can't remember the name of right now.

Posted by: bobraham | Link to this comment | 12- 3-04 11:11 PM
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Funny thing about Boston--I had better barbecue there than in any non-Southern city in the country. Briefly

1) Jake's Boss BBQ in Jamaica Plain. M...M....damned good.

2) Redbones. Good BBQ, and Underbones is the best bar on the T in Boston. Awesome Long Island Iced Teas and the best rotating beer menu around

3) Blue Ribbon. Great stuff

4) M&M Ribs in Dorchester--comes out of a trailer on a vacant lot.

5) Porter Square Cafe

But, it all takes a seat to Bullock's Barbecue in Durham, NC. All bow before their all-you-can eat pulled pork, Brunswick stew, beans, and fried chicken. Drinks available: Mello Yello or sweet tea only. That's real stuff.

Posted by: Dan | Link to this comment | 12- 4-04 12:27 AM
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Hey, where's the apostropher on this? Somebody needs to chime in for eastern carolina vinegar-based barbeque. But maybe fetishizing bbq is only something effete northern transplants do, not natives.

Posted by: cw | Link to this comment | 12- 4-04 5:33 AM
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CW: I'm southern. You'd probably convict me of fetishizing... In any event, one of the places I mentioned above, Mitchell's Barbecue, Wilson, North Carolina, is east NC vinegar based bbq. What's even more remarkable about it is that he does whole hogs. For my one experience, he opened up a portable cooker, and there was a whole, smoked hog skin, looking like it had been rendered of its fat. He lifted it up, and there was pulled pork that needed no sauce or anything else to be wonderful. It was the first bbq I'd ever eaten that made me think Memphis may not be the only true bbq church.

The range of styles available for pork shoulder is pretty interesting. I've tried SC-mustard based (Maurice's Piggy Park is pretty good if you can get past the south-will-rise-again political and religious tracts), several in central Georgia (Fresh Air is pretty interesting because it is a 20s roadhouse set in amber, to a great extent, but the bbq is not a revalation), where the sauce is not that different from what you'd see elsewhere (but Brunswick Stew is a constant on the menues) and lots in North Alabama (where you get some offering an odd white sauce, and some adding the tang you should get from vinegar in the sauce by substituting a dill pickle, which I find strange), West Tennessee, and Mississippi. I've never been sure why my home state, Mississippi, seems not quite up to our neighbor just north of us.

The food writer John T. Edge is a good source for a lot of info about Southern places, in his book Southern Belly. Jane and Michael Stern can be good sources, too, and their website is pretty great,

Someone mentioned the Chowhounds board; I find it somewhat overwhelming, and sometimes find it hard to tell how reliable an informant might be, but do use it some.

Posted by: TomF | Link to this comment | 12- 4-04 1:15 PM
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Tom, the fetishizing comment was meant as a self-deprecating joke. I was a northern transplant who fell in love with the carolinas and all types of barbeque. But I know hundreds of natives who put my passion to shame.

We have a friend in York, SC who pit roasts whole pigs as a sideline, and they are just phenomenal. My wife has helped out, digging the pit & tending the fire overnight for a party. This friend has gotten bored with barbeque, though, and now he's more into making his own boudin.

I'll have to check out John Edge's book. I'll admit to mixed feelings about Jane and Michael Stern. They're cute on radio, but...

I was the one who posted about chowhounds. Yeah, you need to triangulate reviews when you use it, but damn there's a wealth of information. Here is the definitive post on chicago, with extensive references to other posts. A friend forwarded this to me as possibly the best discussion board posting ever, on any topic: chicago eats.

You name the food, that post has three recommendations for the best in Chicago. It has immediate validity with me because I've been sampling the stuffed pizza and I agree that Malnatti's is the standout.

Posted by: cw | Link to this comment | 12- 4-04 8:28 PM
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Rendez-vous in Memphis--best ribs ever.

In Missouri, Johnny's Smoke Stak in Rolla or Chubby's in Hayti.

Posted by: Julie | Link to this comment | 12- 4-04 10:46 PM
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There are a number of other good BBQ joints in Columbia that don't make you uncomfortable with neo-confederate literature, so skip Maurice's if you can and try one of these other places:

Big-T's Barbeque, 7535 Garner's Ferry Rd. (take the Garner's Ferry Rd. exit off of I-77 and go 1 1/2 miles east. It's on the right in a shopping center, across from a Super Wal-Mart) - mixed mustard sauce, to die for hash.

Green's, like Ogged mentioned

Little Pigs BBQ, 4927 Alpine Rd. near the intersection with Percival Rd. (take the Percival Rd. exit off of I-77) - serve all three kinds of pulled pork (ketchup, mustard, and vinegar/pepper-based sauces) in a buffet style

Meyers BBQ, 10324 Wilson Blvd. Blythewood, SC (just off exit 24, I-77) - three sauces, but chopped, not pulled.

Millinger's, West Columbia, near I-26 and U.S. 378. It's on the access highway so you can see it from the interstate. Mustard-based, buffet style.

The Palmetto Pig, 530 Devine St. between Huger St. (that's U-G) and the Carolina Coliseum. Buffet style, apply your own sauce, mustard or hot vinegar pepper. About 3-4 miles from I-26 from either U.S. 1 or S.C. 302, going into town, and turning onto Huger St once you're in Columbia.

Posted by: Chris | Link to this comment | 12- 5-04 7:33 AM
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OK, here's another SC favorite. Anybody been to Harold's country club in Yemassee? We often stop by when we go canoeing in the ACE basin where the Ashepoo, the Edisto, and the Combahee rivers come together at the Atlantic.

Harold's is an old gas station/bar that serves steak on weekends. Pick rare/med/well done, and they hand you the steakfrom a bin. Go back to eat in the converted bays of an old garage. Then go up front for some karaoke, ice cream, and budweiser.

Posted by: cw | Link to this comment | 12- 5-04 1:01 PM
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For really prime barbecue, you need to go to Lexington, NC and then just pick a restaurant at random. I actually prefer the thick red sauces to the thin vinegar sauces from down east.

Here in Durham, Bullocks is pretty good, but not great. The Q Shack also opened this past year, and it's pretty good pig as well. All the best barbecue I've had has, of course, been served in somebody's back yard, where I've pulled the meat off the pig directly.

Are pig-pickings common elsewhere, or are they largely a Carolina phenomenon?

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 5-04 3:46 PM
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Mmmmmm. This all sound so good, so I'll jump in.

Best in Kansas City: Jack Stack Barbecue !!

The beef brisket is cut with a hard stare, the pit beans are loaded with that same brisket, and the burnt ends (cubes of extra smokey beef or pork) are a local treat.

It's local, but you can have it shipped right to your door in the good ol' U.S. of A. It's so good, it'll perhaps make you Easterners consider a new favorite bbq joint, even after it travels 1,500 miles to you.

Posted by: No Hurry In Missouri | Link to this comment | 12- 6-04 12:45 AM
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To all of the Boston folks: Why has no one even mentioned Bob the Chef's?

Posted by: JW | Link to this comment | 12- 6-04 7:09 AM
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beef brisket is cut with a hard stare

Love that.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 6-04 9:37 AM
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We stopped by Maurices BBQ before returning home, to the later shagrin of friends in Columbia. The BBQ chicken that we ordered was not fully cooked, and it had blood oozing from the leg. The hash (served with every meal) was thick and salty from a variety of smoked meat chips of unknown origin. To add insult to injury, the decor was in confederate flags and confederate literature. Upon arriving home, our friends expressed regret that we had not informed them of our intention of eating at Maurices BBQ. "We all know here that he is the biggest racist in South Carolina".

Posted by: Robert Holland | Link to this comment | 01-19-05 1:39 AM
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When in Columbia, SC area try Duke's Barbeque instead of Maurice's. Maurice's is WAY over priced and not near as good as Duke's. The bad thing about Duke's, though, is they are only open on weekends.

They are located on Emanual Church Rd. close to Platt Springs Rd.

Posted by: Steve Boland | Link to this comment | 02-11-05 10:17 AM
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Maurice's is displaying Southern Heritage not racism. You can't just slander a business like that. I think their bbq sucks, but still you can't just call someone a racist because of Confederate flags. It's history.

Posted by: Belle | Link to this comment | 07-22-05 3:13 PM
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I thought "Southern Heritage" was racism? Well, that or plantations. Does it mean something else?

Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 07-22-05 3:19 PM
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More history.

Posted by: Joe O | Link to this comment | 07-22-05 3:23 PM
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OK, it's pretty easy to figure out what Maurice means by flying the flag. via this blog, Maurice's political views; note that he thinks it all started going downhill with Lincoln, which should give you some idea of why he's got a beef with federal power. This is one of the books he sells; here's a review that I haven't read closely, but I just include in case (off-topic) you really want to see what it is for 'neo-conservative' to be used as an anti-Semitic slur.

Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 07-23-05 12:23 PM
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Millender's barbecue in Columbia is closed. They worked on the road and it ruined their business.

Posted by: C. Platt | Link to this comment | 09- 1-05 6:32 PM
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