Kevin's BBQ Joints

Kevin's BBQ Joints Blog

Search for the Smoker

As many of you already know, my smoker was ‘taken’ from my backyard many months ago. It was a 22″ Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker™ Smoker. I enjoyed having it (while I had it) and smoked many a pork shoulder, brisket, and on occasion some baby back ribs. It did require a lot of baby sitting to keep the temperature perfect, but after a few weeks, I had my schedule down where I could really do a good job with it.

So now I’m on a quest for a new smoker. I’ve been recommended the following and would love some advice and feedback on other smokers:

Traeger Pellet Grills
Smokey Mountain Grills
The Big Green Egg
The Stump’s ‘Baby’ Smoker

I’ll keep adding to the list as people recommend additional smokers and once I’ve made a selection I’ll post of photo as well as photos of the finished product it produces.

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Saveur – Book Review

In this month’s Saveur magazine there’s an article by Betsy Andrews entitled ‘The Well-Read Carnivore’ which was in name alone enough to stop my page flipping to read it. She reviewed a bunch of potential ‘meaty’ reads, but the two that stuck out were these:

Pig: King of the Southern Table by James Villas.


Planet Barbecue by Steven Raichlen.

I haven’t had a chance to pick up either, so I can’t adequately review until then, but from the article I would be interested in Pig: King of the Southern table as it ‘celebrates every part of the animal’ which is a philosophy I really commend. Also, the fact that there are 300 recipes culled from all across the southern portion of the United States make me very interested.

It appears Steven is at it again as he ‘reports on grilling traditions in a whopping 53 countries, from Burkina Faso to Uraguay’. I’ve been a fan of Steven’s for years as I watched his specials on outdoor grilling, and I have, as I’m sure many of you have, his 780 page tome BBQ USA (I think I have two copies for some reason).

As I wasn’t as acquainted with James Villas as Steven Raichlen, here’s a bit more info on him:
James Villas was the food and wine editor of Town & Country magazine for twenty-seven years. His work has also appeared in Esquire, Food & Wine, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Saveur, New York Times and the Atlantic Monthly, among other publications. Two of his cookbooks have been nominated for a James Beard Award. He’s also won a James Beard Award for journalism and received Bon Appetit’s Food Writer of the Year Award in 2003. James Villas is the author of more than a dozen cookbooks and books on food, including MY MOTHER’S SOUTHERN KITCHEN and THE GLORY OF SOUTHERN COOKING.

You can check out Steven’s blog here and get his extensive bio here

BBQ Joint of the Week – Spring Street Smoke House

Trying to find a good barbecue joint in Los Angeles is a little hit or miss. There have been too many times that my anticipation heavily outweighed the final product. That is not the case with Spring Street Smoke House located in Chinatown, a stone’s throw from downtown Los Angeles.

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Their menu is heavy on the greatest hits you’ll come to expect from a great eclectic bbq joint. I’m a huge fan of their brisket, pulled pork, ribs, beans, heck pretty much anything they serve. To top it off, I actually had them out to my parent’s house in November to cater a celebration and was more than happy to ‘accidentally’ order extra so I’d have a few more meals the following days.

Like any good joint in Los Angeles should, they’ve done a great job of crafting a beer menu to satisfy any discerning microbrew lover.

Check out what other’s are saying:
Los Angeles Times

So if you’re in town to catch or Dodger game or on a business trip that puts you in the heart of downtown, you can’t go wrong by heading over to Spring Street.

Hit them up on twitter too

Memphis BBQ – Ribs vs. Ribs

Here’s a piece I stumbled upon about two Memphis BBQ Joints:

It was a Travel Channel story about Corky’s BBQ vs. Cozy Corner BBQ. You have to check out the conversation they had with Desiree Robertson who’s owned Cozy Corner for almost 30 years. She really gets to the heart of what BBQ means to so many people across the country.

The great thing about this video is that after you’re done salivating over their ribs, you can go to their websites and order their BBQ to be shipped to your home.

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BBQ Joint of the Week – The Joint – New Orleans

This week I chose a spot that I’ve been dying to go to for years now. The Joint in Bywater, New Orleans. Their menu looked incredible and every write-up I ever read about them gave rave reviews. Of course this little piece on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives didn’t hurt my desire to visit(and also made my non-meat eating wife interested in trying their salad where they smoke the tomatoes and onions for the dressing).

Here are some reviews:

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Central Texas BBQ Dynasties

I’m a sucker for dynasties. You’ve got to have real respect for groups (or teams) that can keep success going for year after year. Having grown up in Los Angeles, I had the Lakers, but as I grew older, I became more interested in culinary dynasties, more specifically, BBQ dynasties.

It was perfect timing that I stumbled upon this article in the Austin Chronicle on the family dynasties of Central Texas.

First up is the Meyer’s. This fourth generation operation started in 1949 and run the Meyer’s Elgin Smokehouse.

Next up are the Coopers. Starting out in 1954, Cooper’s Pit Bar-B-Q has four locations.

The third dynasty family is the Inmans. Not only are they famous for their BBQ at Inman’s Ranch House Barbecue, but they are equally well known for their turkey sausage.

Fourth on the list are the Bracewells. They’ve owned the Southside Market & Barbecuesince 1968.

Moving along the list are the Muellers. Their BBQ journey began in 1936. Louie Mueller has his joint and John Mueller is opening his new joint shortly. You can follow him on twitter here.

The Blacks are next on the list. They officially started Black’s Barbecue in 1932.

The Schmidts have a long history in Lockhart. Their father was a legend, but now the siblings own two stellar joints: Smitty’s Market and Kreuz Market.

Last, but of course not least, on their list is the Mikeskas. They are dubbed the ‘first family of texas barbecue’. They span over three generations and own or owned a number of joints. There is still currently Clem Mikeska’s Bar-B-Q, Mikeska’s BBQ and Catering, and Jerry Mikeska’s Bar-B-Q.

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Lexington BBQ #1

The first time I went to North Carolina (I travel to North Carolina about twice a year) I stayed at a hotel across the street from Smokey Bones. I ate there the first night, but being new to BBQ, I thought it was good, but nothing special. At my meeting the next day a woman named Becky let me know that this wasn’t Carolina BBQ and that if I wanted the best, I had to follow her to Lexington BBQ #1. That pretty much changed my life. I’ve eaten at a ton of joints in North Carolina since, but I always find myelf going back to Lexington.

They serve their BBQ in the classic North Carolina style and offer the pork coarse chopped or finely chopped (I prefer the coarse). Their vinegar based cole slaw is a must along with a side order of hush puppies.

Picture above courtesy of John B.

It’s not easy to find as it seems to be in the intersection of a number of streets, but it’s worth the journey.

BBQ Illuminati has a great review of it here

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Adam Perry Lang – Daisy May's BBQ

I first learned about Adam Perry Lang, owner and chef at New York’s Daisy May’s BBQ USA, when I received a copy of Serious Barbecue from my good friend Devon who lives in Japan and runs Super Simple Songs (has nothing to do with BBQ, but if you’ve got kids they’ll love it). The book was great as he really focused on adding as many fresh herbs as possible to your meat before grilling (the book’s main focus is your backyard grill, not your Ole Hickory Pit.

I didn’t realize how badly I wanted to try his BBQ until I saw Michael Symon talk about the beef ribs he had:

Here he is doing some grilling in Jimmy Kimmel’s backyard with Adam Carolla, Joel McHale, and Jimmy Pardo.

There’s a part two here and a part three here…if you’re interested.

So this one time Daniel Boulud chef turned BBQ guru has done pretty well for himself. Not only does he have the Joint at 623 11th Ave. (corner of 46th St.), but has BBQ food carts in the city. Here’s what New York Magazine had to say

Also, he’s a contributor to Rachel Ray’s Show and website. His recipes can be found here and he’s joining forces with the ever multi-tasking Jamie Oliver to open a BBQ joint in the United Kingdom. They’ve already chosen the location, at One New Change where it is scheduled to open in October of 2010.

Here’s a thread on Jamie’s site with a bunch of marinades Adam worked up.

I think the best thing about Daisy May’s is that they will deliver anywhere in Manhattan. Haven’t been, but it’s on my short list next time I’m in New York.

Pecos Bill's Pit Bar-B-Q

Had a chance to go by Pecos Bill’s Pit Bar-B-Q in Glendale, CA today. It had been a really long time since I’d been there and I recall fondly how I would stop there with my parents when I was a kid to get a pound of pulled pork, bag of buns, and enough cole slaw and baked beans to feed an army (or just our family for two or three meals).

Here’s a view of their sign when you first walk up:

It’s a tiny little place with a window where you order and watch the pitmaster chop the meat (beef or pork) right in front of you:

Here’s their bare bones (no pun intended) menu:

I had a beef sandwich and a pork sandwich. Wolfed down the beef before I could take a photo, but here’s the pork:

Both were just as great as they were when I first had them (note they are a little sloppy and greasy, but that’s the way I expect them to be). I’d order a side of their hot BBQ sauce too as it really makes the sandwich. Here’s what they used to look like many, many years ago:

I’ve never tried the ribs (or the ham or turkey sandwiches), but I hear they are all really tasty. If you’re in the area (near any of the studios in Glendale/Burbank) you should check it out. They are only open until 3 though (or until their meat runs out).

Here are some links to their reviews:
Yahoo! Local

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BBQ Joint of the Week – Martin's BBQ

This week’s joint is located in Nashville, TN. Martin’s Bar-B-Que opened three years ago by owner and pitmaster Patrick Martin.

Here are some of their reviews:

If you’re in the area, you should definitely check them out.

Follow them on twitter here:

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