Monday, April 16, 2007

Heaven? Not quite, but close

Wyatt McSpadden calls it heaven. And, the truth be told, it's not far from it. He's talking about Bar-be-que (BBQ) in some of the hallowed halls of meat smoking found in towns in the South, the Midwest and Texas.

Having eaten in three of his top six, I can attest to this: he's onto something when he says that he's found the best BBQ on Earth. He's not letting on which one is the best, but he's found it among the six.

I'm sticking with Lexington BBQ in Lexington, North Carolina as my personal number one. The original Dreamland BBQ in Tuscaloosa, Alabama is likely the most pure -- you can order nothing but ribs with a side order of white bread. No fries, no slaw, no potato salad, no pie. Only ribs, sauce (and what sauce it is!) and bread. Drinks are canned and available from the fridge. And, I'll claim that Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse in Dallas, Texas is pretty fair if you like BBQ made from a cow. Heresy comes in many forms, and calling something BBQ when it's not pork may qualify.

He's left out the venerable Rendezvous in Memphis, Tennessee with its unique dry-rubbed and spicy 'que. Also, no mention of one of my all-time favorites: Johnny Ray's in Birmingham, Alabama with their nearly perfect blend of spices in the sauce and in the batter for the HUGE Vidalia onion rings that they serve as 'wedding bands'.

Hmmm.... I think that I'll eat at BB's this afternoon. I hear some pulled pork calling my name.

PS: Tried Carl's Perfect Pig BBQ in White Bluff, Tennessee this weekend. It was mighty tasty. Great 'que (use the hot sauce) and some darn good okra, too.


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