Every joint, from the best to the worst, seems to have people who think the food served there is the very best. Even bad barbecue is somebody's favorite.
Peace, Love, and Barbecue
Good spot to hang out on a nice afternoon. My favorites were the sauce and atmosphere.
- Brisket - Another deli-slicer, but each slice has both flat & high-side. Not separated.
- Pork - Butt. Good moisture content.
- Pork Chop - Nicely spiced. Moist and fairly tender. Good smoke flavor.
- Spare Rib - Nice spices in rub, but not overpowering. Moist, but just a little tough.
- Baby Back Rib - Meat is rich and a bit gamey (like mutton). Hmmm.
- Sausage - Eckrich. Standard. Commercial.
<<Click here for an update on Lil Jakes>>
Nothing below average here. My favorites were the brisket, burnt ends, and atmosphere.
- Brisket - Thick slice, across the grain. Smoky and tender ... fall apart tender. Very good.
- Burnt Ends - Smoky, but nearly as tender as the brisket. Moist. A little more of the rub flavor comes through here. Simple rub - maybe just salt & pepper? Very good.
- Rib - Nice job on the smoke flavor, meat, and rub balance. Fully rendered, but firm texture... maybe cooked a tad hot?
- Pork - Definitely butt. Don't get as much smoke flavor here, and not much spice from the rub either.
This is about as good as a high-volume, commercial restaurant enterprise can be. My favorites were the beef rib, spare rib, and beans.
- Brisket - Not sliced paper-thin. Good smoke-meat balance. Moist & tender. Rub doesn't add much. Good.
- Rib - Sweet exterior. Fully rendered. Meat is tender, moist, and comes off the bone easily. Best rib of the tour so far (12th stop on KC tour).
- Sausage - Sliced lengthwise, of course. However spices are not italian. Good.
- Crown [Beef] Rib - Oh, this is yummy! Greasy, but good. I like the rub used on this beef. Excellent.
Everything was above average here. My favorites were the brisket, ribs, and corn nuggets!
- Brisket - Good. Moist. Tender... maybe the best brisket we've had so far (this is our 14th stop)
- Rib - Fall off the bone tender. Good flavors here!
- Sausage - Good flavor. Med-course grind. Pan fried.
- Burnt Ends - Good chunks. Moist & Tender.
- Pork - Good texture, but just a tad dry. There is a little funky flavor on the finish.
- Meats rubbed with just a bit of salt? Very light on rub spices.
My favorites were the ribs, sausage, and atmosphere. Oh, and don't forget the awesome bread pudding!
- Brisket - Paper thin. Tender and moise enough to enjoy. Flavor is OK...
- Ribs - Nice color. Will they taste as good as they look? Well, I'm knawing at the bones.
- Sausage - Very course grind with black pepper. I like. Casing snaps, but its not tough. Italian seasonings here, but that doesnt matter. Real good!
- Pork - Tasty and not too greasy. Not too much flavor in the crust/rub... its a little bland.
- Burnt Ends - Fatty. Second bite was more lean. These are good. A little spicy, but not overpowering
Everything rated above average. Pork, Sauce, and Atmosphere were my favorites!
- Brisket - Good texture and flavor. Tender... nice.
- Pork - Oh, now this is good stuff!
- Pork Burnt Ends - OK, but oversmoked = bitter.
- Rib - Exterior is a bit tough, but inside is tender and smokey!
- Hot Link - First hot link of the tour (on the last stop). Hot dog with spice.
During Day 2 of the 2001 Barbecue Tour, our caravan was meeting in Sulphur Springs and the first group arrived slightly ahead of time. Members of this group were scouting for 'Ray's Bar-B-Que'... and maybe looking a bit lost. K-Dawg was approached by a rodeo clown (in full costume - and with a teardrop on his cheek) and informed that if we were looking for barbecue, we should give 'Big Smith's' a try.
After the group assembled, we altered our plans and headed south to Big Smith's B-B-Q. Danelle (our server) and "Big" Steve Smith (the owner) were gracious hosts, and welcomed us enthusiastically. Danelle told us "this [barbecue] is going to be the best of the day!" And a table of four near the door said "You can stop your tour right here. There's no need to go anywhere else for BBQ." This place certainly had swagger.
This is a 'Best of BBQ' listing for an area we are considering for an upcoming tour. You can read the full article on the Riverfront Times site by clicking the headline above. We are currently in 'intelligence gathering' mode to determine the key focal points of this tour. Our tours are typically 3-days in length, targeting five (or six) barbecue joints each day, and covering 600-700 miles. We would likely head south out of St Louis, but we might choose to avoid Memphis because of plans to dedicate an entire tour in that area. Little Rock, AR has come up in conversation as an endpoint of this tour -- but so has Jackson MS. Still to be determined...
Plus, our BBQ Crew will need some distractions such as: minor league baseball; brewery tours; pit manufacturer plant tours; bowling; etc.
Here is the current 'Best of Barbecue' listing from Riverfront Times:
<<Note: Harvey's closed after serving lunch on June 21st, 2001. The BBQ Tours Crew was there.>>
- Rib (baby back) - This is a good rib. Not too crusty on the outside. Salt is prominent in rub with a hint of spice. Good flavor in the meat. Nice texture and not too fatty... I'm definitely gonna get all the meat off these bones!
- Brisket - Just a touch dry today. Thin smoke ring, but smoke flavor still comes through.
- Sausage - Heavy garlic. German-style bologna? Has an interesting 'tang'.
- Rib - a little 'oversmoked', but otherwise good flavors. Luscious texture!
- Brisket - Big chunks. Smoky and flavorful. Nice texture and moist, but just a bit chewy.
- Sausage - Pork made special in Fredricksburg. Good.