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BBQ Joint Disappointments

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    BBQ Joint Disappointments

    Maybe it is just me and the fact that I am a part of this group, but I haven't been able to find a good BBQ place I can oohhh and ahhh over in years. I have visited most of the places here in Chattanooga and I have not been satisfied, been to several places in the Atl area (but not Fox Bros yet; they have a good rep), Detroit and Toledo, OH, a couple places in the Charlotte area and in New Orleans (to be fair, when I am in NO BBQ is far down the list of what I want to eat) as well as a few other places. I went to Interstate and Rendezvous in Memphis years ago and I was impressed, but it is quite a drive to visit them. I am too far from TX and KC to just drop in and try some places. I don't think I was quite this picky before you people messed with my mind and taste buds. So my question is, am I alone in this? I'd hate to think my head has grown so big that I think my product is better that the "professionals".

    Of course, depending on who you ask, the answer might be that my head is big anyway, and I think I know way more than I actually do about just about everything (you married guys will know who has that opinion).

    #2
    I am so glad to liv in Texas. There are so many reasons.Memphis?

    Comment


    • klflowers
      klflowers commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah, but Memphis is 6 hours away. I am really thinking my attitude has changed because of the people here. What used to be good is maybe not so good anymore.

    • Andrrr
      Andrrr commented
      Editing a comment
      Totally agree klflowers It is hard to find anything that resembles good BBQ around these parts. I’ve stopped ordering it all together because now I can make it better at home.

    #3
    I often complain to my wife that I can cook this or that better than a restaurant, so don't think you are alone. And I don't consider it being big headed either. When you go to a steak house, your steak is just one of many steaks the cook is cookin'. They can't give it the attention you give your food at home. And you know exactly how you like your steak cooked. That might be 132° or 141° and you can pull it so that it will be at the proper temp when it hits your plate. The restaurant cook can't do that, and it has to sit 'till your waitperson has time to serve it too.

    I do love Carrabba's marsala chix and have not been able to duplicate it at home, and there are other things like that too, so restaurants do have their place. And sometimes I just don't feel like cookin'.

    Comment


    • klflowers
      klflowers commented
      Editing a comment
      I agree, but I used to find lot's of BBQ joints I liked. There was a place a couple of blocks from where I grew up that had great ribs. And the Wabash Inn in downtown Chicago made some baby backs that made me almost cry they were so good. I am just referring to BBQ; I seem to be able to find other great restaurant cuisine just fine, even when it is something I can make well at home.

    • klflowers
      klflowers commented
      Editing a comment
      On the subject of marsala, there was a place in Charlotte that made really good chicken marsala and it was on a buffet! I tried to duplicate it and it was terrible. I am going to have to try Carrabbas

    • smokin fool
      smokin fool commented
      Editing a comment
      Great point about lack of attention in preparation.
      I'll go one further, how many dishes are pre-prepared off site, delivered and re-heated to be served.
      There was a great Italian place nearby, always packed, you needed to book two weeks before until it was found out the majority of meals served came out of a microwave or was reheated.

    #4
    There are about 8 barbecue restaurants here in town but there is only 1 that is worth going to for people who know what good barbecue can be. Their brisket is the best restaurant brisket I have had outside of Texas. Most of the other places just slather everything in sauce (even the brisket) and call it bbq. I know a bunch of people who like those places and rave about them but I can only think they have never had really good bbq.

    Steaks on the other hand... I haven't paid for a steak in a restaurant in a long time. When I travel for work (if that ever happens again) I will get a steak if it is on someone's expense account mostly because most of the people I work with know me as the meat guy and it is expected. Some of them are from high end restaurants and they are good but as I am eating I am always nitpicking and thinking of what they did wrong while cooking it. And I hate that I am critical like that while everyone else is probably eating the best steak they will eat all year.

    Comment


      #5
      It’s not you my friend. It is the Amazing Wibs effect. You may think yer cookin is just ok but by most standards, restaurants that is, yer exceptional. The “joints” that are exceptional get written about, especially if they’re not in Texas or KC etc. it’s all in the Pit & it’s wonderful here.

      Comment


      • jecucolo
        jecucolo commented
        Editing a comment
        I totally agree! If you pay attention and practice the fundamentals taught here good restaurant food is hard to find. I owe a lot to Meathead and the Pit folks!

      #6
      The best BBQ joint in The Great State of Jefferson is my deck. In my humble opinion.

      Comment


      • jecucolo
        jecucolo commented
        Editing a comment
        I feel the same way about the food cooked on my deck.

      #7
      I'm the same way. This place has ruined me for 99% of the BBQ restaurants out there. A smoker used to be some kind of magic black box that produced some of my favorite foods. Now that I have seen the wizard behind the curtain, there is no going back to those days.

      Comment


        #8
        I've long lamented the lack of BBQ joints in the GTA and the fact that we've been in Covid lockdown on and off and now since Dec is not going to help things .
        Many/most can't/won't survive on take out orders alone.
        Adamson BBQ took a stand against the shut down and was handed down $187,000 in fines this week so see how he fares.
        I don't think your alone in thinking your BBQ is any better than the 'pros' in some cases, when you hit a cook outta the park why not stick your chest out.
        I'm sure the pros would give you your due's for a job well done too.

        Comment


          #9
          klflowers it's not just you. Over the last decade or two, as I honed my BBQ chops, especially the last 3-4 years, I've found that a BBQ restaurant is about the last place I want to go, as I know I will usually walk away disappointed. Or if I go, I'll get a half chicken or something other than pulled pork.

          We ate at Dreamland after church with my son and his wife recently, and my son ordered ribs. I think I got rib tip nachos or something crazy, as I wasn't wanting straight up BBQ from there. My son even mentioned that the ribs were good, but not great.

          I was in Chattanooga on Wednesday, and for lunch we just ate at touristy old downtown Big River Brewery or whatever its called, and had a very good bbq chicken pizza and some beer battered fish and chips, which we shared. I intentionally bypassed the downtown BBQ options. If we eat out, I'll try to get something I don't make at home, or else a burger, which is usually good out.

          The exception is if I am in Memphis, or out in Texas. And I'll take the chicken with white BBQ sauce at Big Bob Gibson's over in Decatur, AL.

          Comment


          • klflowers
            klflowers commented
            Editing a comment
            Big River is a pretty good place

          #10
          It’s the same for my family, we grew up eating Big Bob’s on hunting trips, those were the best pork shoulders. The owner was in our club so we always felt special when he’d plop that big ol’ Smokey hunk of goodness on the counter.

          I say all that to say we were spoiled at an early age and learned to just cook it ourselves at home. I now live in Bham metro and the bbq here is terrible. The sad thing is people here think it’s great, they can’t help it, it is what they know. Imagine dry meats covered in ketchup-y sauces.....

          klflowers , Fox Bros BBQ is legit, terrific brisket.

          Comment


            #11
            I am in the same boat. I have yet to get a good pulled pork at a restaurant. Nine times out of ten it is re-heated and watery or slathered in BBQ sauce. When I make it at home it doesn't really need sauce.

            Ribs same thing. There are a few places that make decent ribs but only if they are fresh. Again they are mostly kept warm all day under a heat lamp or re-heated from the day before. Even when my ribs are just ok they are better because they are fresh.

            I am still trying to master brisket so I usually order that when I go out for BBQ since I don't make it at home.

            Comment


              #12
              I almost never eat BBQ at a restaurant. Unless I’m in Austin, Dallas, or Kansas City. Even there, I’m pretty picky where I go.

              Comment


                #13
                I live in a vast wasteland. I have to go to the Smoking Pig in San Jose (about 50 miles) to get anything decent.
                But then I do a pretty good job at home if I do say so myself.

                Comment


                • ecowper
                  ecowper commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Yeah, there’s not much in the way of good BBQ in Western WA

                #14
                My wife and I have been talking about this same topic for many years. When we lived outside Houston there were a couple decent BBQ places but I have a difficult time paying paying $18-$20/lb for ribs or brisket when I can make the equivalent (and usually better tasting) at home much cheaper.

                We don't do a lot of beef anymore and lean towards fish especially here in FL but getting served even a fish wrap that is overcooked really ticks me off. I have a hard time going back after being served something that is overcooked which is why we usually go out to breakfast if anything. OK, off my soap box...thx.

                Comment


                  #15
                  With few exceptions I know I can usually cook BBQ better than most commercial operations. However, I cook in a different world than they do. I usually cook for 2-12, occasionally for up to about a hundred or so but all those meals have my full attention the entire time. I may have spent a week or more in the planning and preparation just for those meals.

                  The commercial operations has to do this everyday for possibly 100’s of meals, with all the distractions of also running a business and having to employ other people who aren’t always there or on their best game. I always have to cut them some slack even if I think I could have done better. After all, someone else is doing the cleanup.

                  There are those exceptions but they have, probably from experience, the right people, the right equipment, the right suppliers, and the right attitude to repeatedly turn out their best hundreds of times each day. Most don’t or can’t.

                  Comment

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