Food should be fun.

— Thomas Keller

Smoke Daddy's Review of Big Os

Weighted Overall

Even re-heated, the rib was Big O's best meat offering.  The brisket was good, and the regular sauce worked on both meats. Leave some room, because the desserts were excellent.  Next time, I'll either get there on Friday for the ribs, or try the steak on Saturday.

MAIN FARE:Big Os Spread

  • Brisket - Light on rub, and its simple... maybe just salt?  The meat is falling apart, but a tad chewy on the finish.  Mild smoke.  Solid effort.
  • Rib - Big O sees the frowns on our faces when he tells us that we missed his "Rib Day" on Friday.  Not long after, we get a plate of the re-heated ribs we missed tasting fresh yesterday.  These have good flavors, with a nice balance on the rub-to-meat ratio.  Mild smoke.  Greasy, but good!
  • Sausage - Commercial, probably Hillshire Farms.


Smoke Daddy's Review of Squares Bar-B-Que Express

Weighted Overall

My favorites were the brisket and jalapeno-cheese cornbread.  And the rib wasn't far behind!

MAIN FARE:Squares Spread

  • Brisket - Mesquite. Smoky, with good texture.  Very light rub.  Lean cut.  Very good.  Fatty is also very good.
  • Rib - Short with flat rib bones... baby/loin backs.  Wet.  Well done... fat has rendered, and its been steam-panned.  Bark is soft.  Greasy but good.
  • Sausage - Hillshire Farms.  Casing is tough/chewy.


Smoke Daddy's Review of Harolds Pit Bar-B-Q

Weighted Overall

<<Update: Harold Christian suffered a stroke in May 2011, and the restaurant was closed at the end of July 2011.>>

Overall, my favorites here were the Hot water jalapeno cornbread and atmosphere.  The brisket led the way for the meats, which were all above average.

MAIN FARE:Harolds Spread

  • Brisket - Good texture, cut, and flavor.  Mild smoke.  Bark trimmed off the slices.
  • Rib - Comes clean off the bone, but meat is firm - rather than mushy.  The meat around the "knuckles" (breast bone & cartilage) is not quite fully rendered.
  • Sausage - Salty, but good.  On the better end of the store-bought spectrum, with a nice spice on the finish.
  • They automatically sauce all the meats... so we got sauced


Smoke Daddy's Review of Big Boys Barbecue

Weighted Overall

My favorites were the jalapeno popper, "My Way" country style ribs, and our desserts.  The brisket and rib were also both very good!

MAIN FARE:Big Boys Spread

  • Brisket - Great texture, tenderness, moisture.  Well-cooked and fully rendered.  Nearly melts in the mouth.  Mild smoke, and its been held/ovened... no crispness to the bark/crust/outside brown.
  • Rib - Sweet glaze applied.  Tender & juicy.  A bit on the greasy side, but very good.  Re-heated?
  • "My Way" Country Style Rib - Good nuggets-o-meat here! Nice flavor... where the pork chop meets the rib. 
  • Sausage - Same as Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que (it doesn't taste as good as it looks)


Smoke Daddy's Review of Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que

Weighted Overall

<<Update: This joint burned in March 2011, and has closed>>

The brisket, pork rib, atmosphere, and pork chop were all very good to outstanding.  The beef rib was cooked right, but over-rubbed.  Sides were standard fare.

MAIN FARE:Old Time Spread

  • Brisket - Fatty and lean are both "ON" today!  Good texture and great flavors... yum.
  • Rib - Now THIS is a good rib! Wowsa.
  • Sausage - OK, this kinda leaves me flat.  Doesn't taste as good as it looked.
  • Pork Chop - Double Boner... of course!  Thick 'n nice.  But a bit tough on the interior.
  • Beef Rib - Cooked until rendered.  Easily comes off the bone.  Rich beef flavor... but too much rub!


Smoke Daddy's Review of Packsaddle Bar-B-Que

Weighted Overall

My favorites were the brisket (minus the outer brown), potato salad, and homemade vanilla ice cream.

MAIN FARE:Packsaddle Spread

  • Brisket - Looks like it will be dry... but its not.  Meat has a thin smoke ring, but smoke flavor is evident.  The surface/ring is a little bitter.
  • Rib - This is a monster rib.  Good color.  Meat comes off the bone with a little work. The thicker portions are not yet fully rendered.
  • Beef Rib - First one of the tour.  This rib still has a long way to go before it is fully rendered.  The meat thermometer may register "done" for beef, but it is not ready for prime-time.  Looks like it would be good when finished...
  • Sausage - Good flavor, with some heat.  Casing is not tough, but has a nice snap. Good.


Smoke Daddy's Review of RJ Barbecue

Weighted Overall

The potato salad and peach cobbler were outstanding, followed closely by the rib.  Beans and sauce were also very good.  And, although we didn't try them, the Fish & Chips looked awesome.


  • Brisket - Good color, moisture, texture, and tenderness.  Nice smoke ring, but bitter.
  • Rib - Moist & tender.  Pulls easily from the bone.  Not overly greasy... a good rib!  2nd rib has a touch of bitterness in the bark - but still a very good rib.
  • Sausage - Commercial taste & consistency, with a bit of spice on the finish.
  • Note: meats served "sauced" by default


Smoke Daddy's Review of Bar-B-Que Barn

Weighted Overall

Ribs and brisket were good, as was the slaw.  I'd like to visit on a Fri/Sat night when the tap room is jumpin'!

MAIN FARE:BarBQ Barn Spread

  • Brisket - Chunks. Smoky & tender, but dry.  Good texture and mouthfeel.
  • Rib - Last ribs of the day! Tender. Cooked right.  A chewy bit on the end.  Very light on spice and smoke.
  • Sausage - Sweet, with allspice.  Different.


Smoke Daddy's Review of Ronnie Ingle Pit Bar-B-Que

Weighted Overall

Great atmosphere - hospitality was world-class.  Very good brisket, cornbread, sauce, and slaw.

MAIN FARE:Ronnie Ingle Spread

  • Brisket - Smoky, tender & good.  Nicely done!  Ronnie won't share what is in his rub, but it is a tasty mix.
  • Rib - Has good flavor.  Nice smoke, with good balance of meat and rub.  Mine was slightly above average, but Wooster got the 'good rib'.
  • Sausage - Commercial... Eckrich 'rope' sausage.  Ronnie claims that the best sausage in the world comes from Snook, TX... but no distributors here, so he can't guarantee a steady supply, and won't switch unless he can.


Smoke Daddy's Review of Joe Allens Pit Bar B Que, Inc

Weighted Overall

Staff was well-trained for the new location/kitchen, and everything was above average. The ribs, brisket, and cornbread were very good to excellent.  We were sorely disappointed to learn that we missed visiting the original location by a few days!

MAIN FARE:Joe Allens Spread

  • Brisket - Best of the day (Giving Pit Stop a run for the money).  Tender, moist, & not chewy.  Trimmed, so not getting much seasoning... needs just a bit of salt to bring the flavor out.
  • Rib - Salty rub.  Good flavor in this meat.  Well rendered... done to the point of falling off the bone.  This is a very tasty rib!
  • Sausage - Firm texture, with a strong black pepper kick. Very good.


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