August 2, 2016 (Fault Lines) — Ed. Note: In the course of hashing out who wants to write about what, and how we can help to use our experience to help people gain a deeper understanding of criminal law, it occurred to Fault Lines contributors that we shared one common thing: a love of barbecue. What we did not share, however, was agreement on where the best barbecue could be found. And so, we’ve asked contributors to state for the record their favorite barbecue.
Sweet P’s Downtown Dive in Knoxville. Great “dive” restaurant feel, fresh “soul food” style sides to go with amazing, bring peace to the Middle East barbecue. You know it’s good when you can smell the meat two blocks away.
Bogarts Smokehouse, St. Louis. I left Misery a year and a half ago and I still dream about the ribs, the sandwiches, and the sauce. The pulled pork was luscious, tender, and melted in your mouth like the bastard offspring of an M&M and a stick of especially pretentious artisanal butter…how the ribs were smoked to utter perfection, complete with a dry rub that formed a crust that kissed your tongue before the meat embraced it…how their variety of sauces each had their own personality, from dark-and-mysterious-femme-fatale to perky-and-sassy-tomboy-next-door. Ahhhh, Bogart’s! Like Ilsa, I would have regretted it if I had stayed in Missouri, but at least we’ll still have St. Louis.
The best Que in Texas (and therefore, in the world) is in Lockhart, at the Kreuz Market. It’s served on butcher paper by the pound, and when it’s gone, it’s gone. The sausage is to die for, and everything else is good too. I don’t get to eat there often enough, so I’ll cover the best Que in Fort Worth, and no, it’s not Angelo’s or Cousins. It’s Riscky’s BBQ, home of the beef rib. For $13, you get all the beef ribs you can eat, great big hunks of perfectly cooked beef on a big rib bone, covered with their rub called “Riscky’s dust.” They serve a BBQ sauce with it, but to be honest with you, I never use it. Did I mention that you got all you could eat, and it was perfectly cooked?
On a side note, some people will be talking about smoked pig as barbecue. Listen to them speak, because that’s the polite thing to do, and then find you some real beef barbecue. There’s no need to hurt their feelings.
Judge Richard Kopf
I always eat at least two orders of bacon when I visit my favorite diner, the High-Way Diner not surprisingly on Highway 2. Why would you eat barbecue when you could eat mounds of bacon? I suppose you could ladle the bacon with ketchup, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
It’s not there all the time, but when McDonald’s brings back the McRib sandwich, my mouth starts to water. I hop on my Big Wheel and peddle my legs off to be first on line at Willy-Brandt-Platz 4 for those boneless delights. I spend the entire ride back licking my fingers, dreaming of the next time McDonald’s brings me a little taste of Houston.
James Beard, namesake of the highest award in the culinary world, said if he had to pick one meat for the rest of his life, it would be pork. If he was still alive, he would eat it at Henry’s Smokehouse in Greenville, South Carolina. Henry’s is old school. The meat is slow-cooked over hickory logs in open pits. The pulled pork and ribs aren’t just a tradition in Greenville, they are a religion.
Luckily, we live in America. The First Amendment protects people’s right to make the outrageous claim one can make barbeque from a cow. But James Beard knew barbeque should be made from pork. And now you know it should be eaten at Henry’s Smokehouse.
Little Miss BBQ, Phoenix. Brisket so good you’ll forget the scorching heat, long outdoor wait, and hipsters who liked it before it was popular.
My BBQ pick is City BBQ. It’s a local chain headquartered in Columbus. The brisket is the best I have had. It’s so good we usually get at least one smoked turkey during the holidays.
Miami’s The Pit Bar-B-Q is my choice. Despite some fellow Fault Lines contributors’ reservations when it comes to labeling pork as BBQ, this place’s pork ribs are insane. It’s located in the swamps near an immigration jail, behind a shooting range. They also have this “gold” BBQ sauce that makes any dish edible. Plus, they’ve got alligator bites and frog legs on the menu, which are bananas. We can call it the place for those BBQ weirdos.
Ana Sofia Walsh
My vote is for Salt Lick outside Austin, TX because 1) it’s the only BBQ place I’ve been to, 2) it’s BYOB and 3) their BBQ sauce is legendary.
Jug Little’s in Lubbock, Texas. Back when Jug was still alive, owned, and ran the place at its original location. (The place was never the same after he died and it moved.) It’s long since gone now.
I have an awful lot of favorites, but I would feel really bad if Spooney’s Bar-Be-Que in Greenwood, MS missed out on this list.
Not that there’s any really good reason to be in Des Moines, but if you are, go to the Flying Mango. Purists may grumble about its subtle Caribbean subtext, complex flavors, the fact that it’s not dirty and disgusting and its relative creature comforts, but who gives a damn? It almost makes a trip to Des Moines worthwhile.