Kevin's BBQ Joints

Kevin's BBQ Joints Blog

New Joint – The Q – Jacksonville, FL

Seems there are a great number of cities across the US that are inundated with BBQ chains instead of stand alone joints. One place in particular is Jacksonville, FL, which has been ‘dominated’ by chains of all types including BBQ.

The Florida Time Union did a story on a new joint, The Q, in old San Marcos. Seems like they are going the right direction in their preparation of BBQ and sides.

You can find it here:

904 398-8437

The joint is too new for any additional reviews (and I can’t even find a website for it yet). Let us know if you try it and we’ll post your review.

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Review – Rib Ranch – Woodland Hills, CA

I hadn’t been to the Rib Ranch in Woodlands Hills, CA in a little while as I have moved a little north up the coast, but since I crave BBQ for pretty much every meal of the day and work in Woodland Hills, it dawned on me that I should take a lunch time visit. I’ve been going there since I was a kid (at the time Lenny and Bernie Kahn, identical twins, owned the place) and now it’s owned by Mike Ignezli, a former dishwasher for the place back in 1971. His wife (who he met there when she was waitressing) and their three daughters pitch in to make this a well run joint.

Here’s a shot of the outside. It’s hard to make out, but there are drawings of Lenny and Bernie on their sign.

Spoke to Mike for a while about their BBQ technique. They use a more of direct cooking method (as opposed to indirect) that became a staple of the Kahn brothers when they started in the 70′s. He uses a Cookshack Smoker, utilizing primarily hickory wood. After smoking they finish off in a commercial oven or their large indoor grills, depending on what meat they are cooking.


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New Chicago BBQ Joint – Lillie’s Q

According to the Chicago Tribune, there’s going to be a new BBQ Joint in town. Lillie’s Q dubbed on their ‘coming soon’ website to be Southern-style Barbeque Mastery, is the brainchild of Charlie McKenna, who you might know for his stint (18 months) as sous chef at the renowned TRU.

Here’s the joint’s location:

773 772-5500

McKenna says “We won in Memphis in ’07 (pork shoulder category), and we’ve placed in the top 10 for the last five years. Our barbecue is going to be a step above. Lillie Q will smoke pork shoulder, tri-tip beef, chicken and back ribs to make a variety of sandwiches and entrees, augmented with “non-Q” dishes as shrimp and grits (“a family recipe we’ve perfected over the years”) and sides such as baked beans, mac & cheese and cornbread with Tupelo honey butter.” Sounds good to us.

Check out the piece from the Chicago Tribune here

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BBQ Joint of the Week – Rocklands BBQ – DC, MD, VA

OK. Some people might be turned off by the fact that Rocklands has 3 locations. As if having more than one joint makes you a chain or a sell out, but from what I’ve heard over the past six months from people in the DC and surrounding area, Rocklands is really doing a great job bringing authentic BBQ to the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. However, you can see a review below from Beltway BBQ that runs contrary to the emails we’ve received, so I suppose you should check out all the reviews before heading over.

Here are their main offerings:
Barbequed Pork
Pulled Smoked Chicken
Barbequed Brisket of Beef
Grilled Top Sirloin of Beef
Grilled Leg of Lamb
Hot Italian Sauage (with grilled onions)

Photo from Beltway BBQ

They seem standard fair for what you’d expect at a quality joint. Not many people doing grilled leg of lamb, but if you are, you’re probably doing it right.

Here are maps to their three locations:

DC Location

VA Location

MD Location

Check out their recipe of the Month on their site. This month it’s ‘Freehand Barbeque Sauce

I’d say the good reviews outweigh the bad ones, but as with anything and especially BBQ, it’s a preference thing. Let us know what you think though if you stop by one of their locations (and send some pics as we’ll post them).

Here are some reviews:
Beltway BBQ

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How to Make Brisket That Doesn’t Suck – Serious Eats – James Boo – The Eaten Path

I’m a big fan of Serious Eats and always love when there’s a post by James Boo as it’s generally about BBQ or insane food I love to eat. This one struck me a little deeper as I just spent half a day on Sunday smoking a brisket that turned out to really ‘suck’ (and I received a really bad sunburn on top of it). James really hits all of the notes about how difficult it is to make a brisket properly and how many joints out there really don’t do a good job (these are the ones that generally cover their brisket in a ton of sauce to hide the overcooked qualities and overall dryness).

He did a comparison of two top notch joints in New York to their competition, which is basically all good BBQ joints in Texas.

Here are the two he featured:
Hill Country Barbecue Market

Fatty ‘Cue

Check out the complete story here

Here’s the competition:

Beef brisket barbecue at Smitty’s Market in Lockhart, Texas. [Photograph: James Boo]

I have a trip planned to Texas in the next month of two so I expect to get my fair share of brisket. Of course, I’ll be logging the entire thing as I’ve set the bar extremely high for Texas brisket and hope to not be disappointed.

If you love food, check out The Eaten Path here

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Review – Perdue’s Q – BBQ & Catering – Pasadena, CA

I’ve been meaning to stop by Perdue’s Q – BBQ & Catering for a while now, but haven’t been able to make it over there. Luckily, our Los Angeles correspondent, Miguel (aka The Notorious BBQ), had a chance to hit it up on Sunday. Here’s his review:

Today, I moseyed on down to Perdue’s Q – BBQ & Catering in Pasadena, just north of historic Old Town Pasadena. I have suddenly become more analytical toward my approach to BBQ-sine and I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing yet. For now it takes a bit away from the enjoyment of eating as I find myself in constant analysis mode while eating.

However, as I refine my palate, I guess I will ultimately know what is “top shelf” grill master bbq-sine and I can then just enjoy great BBQ. Well that is if I get out of California more to eat BBQ. Anyway, I’ve digressed.


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City Barbeque – New Location – Kentucky

According to Cincinnati.Com, BBQ chain City Barbeque is set to open it’s first Kentucky location.

Here’s the new location:

Follow City Barbeque on twitter here
Become a fan of them on Facebook here

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Taylor Takes a Taste – Great Food Blog – BBQ

I don’t know how I stumbled upon the food blog Taylor Takes a Taste, but I’m really glad I did. Most of the blogs I read have really interesting write-ups and nice photos, but Taylor Mathis is a professional photographer who specializes in travel and food photos. Just clicking around his site for a minute or so and you can see he’s telling the truth. His pictures are incredible. The lighting is near perfect and he makes the food tell the story.

Here’s a pic he took at Blacks Barbecue

Here’s a pic he took at The Salt Lick

The thing that makes me most like his work is that he hits up BBQ joints from time to time. See below the joints he’s covered with many more photos and details:

Bessinger’s Bar-B-Q – South Carolina

The Salt Lick – Texas

Blacks Barbecue – Texas

Bridges BBQ – North Carolina

These two aren’t BBQ Joints, but you’ve just got to check them out:

Bacon Wrapped Scallops
The Varsity - Georiga

So if you’re interested in his services (really, why wouldn’t you be), you can check out his professional photography site here.

Learn more about him here and here.

Follow him on twitter here

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Baltimore’s Best BBQ Sweet Spots – Baltimore Sun

I love best of lists, especially the ones that cover the ‘best’ BBQ joints in a particular area. They generally are not the ‘best’ and most likely will include some places that aren’t even BBQ joints (note the Korean BBQ and Pit Beef ones below). Here’s what the Baltimore Sun just put out as Baltimore’s Best BBQ Sweet Spots:

Big Bad Wolf’s House of Barbeque

Smokeys & Uncle Grubes

Joung Kak (Not BBQ)


Chaps Charcoal Restaurant (not BBQ)

Would love to know what those in and around Baltimore thinks of this list.

Also, is it me, or did Arby’s ‘borrow’ the idea for their sandwiches from Chaps Pit Beef? I haven’t tried one (the pit beef), but from what I’ve seen on TV and online it seems extremely similar. Quality is pretty poor these days at Arby’s so I’m sure that Chaps is light years ahead.

BarBersQ – An Evening with Grgich Hills – Napa, CA

BarBersQ in Napa, CA isn’t your traditional BBQ joint. Actually it’s not a BBQ joint as much as it’s a really good farm to table restaurant that serves up some killer traditional BBQ dishes (really love their St. Louis Ribs).

They’re having “An Evening Celebration with Mike Grgich” of Grgich Hills Cellars tonight. Grgich Hlls makes exceptional wines and pairing them with their incredible menu would make for a memorable evening.

If you’re in the area and are interested you should call:
707 224-6600

They are located here:

Follow them on twitter here

Here are some reviews of BarBersQ:

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