If you love BBQ, you should know Pork Barrel BBQ. They are first off a BBQ Sauce and Rub Company (they are in over 1,000 stores across the country and really knock it out of the park on taste and consistency) started by Heath Hall and Brett Thompson (you can read their interesting story here), but are really becoming so much more. After appearing on ABC’s Shark Tank they have slowly become an amazing internet sucess story in their own right (they have over 3,200 facebook fans and almost 28,000 twitter followers) and are about to open their first BBQ joint (aptly named Pork Barrel BBQ) in Del Ray, Virginia next month. Oh, and they just started a BBQ Social Networking site called BBQ Backyard here. I am honored to have Heath from Pork Barrel BBQ as my contributor this week for this week’s ‘My Favorite BBQ Joints’.
Brett & Heath – Founders of Pork Barrel BBQ
Here are Heath’s picks:
Life is full of questions; some are fairly simple to answer while others are not so simple. Have you ever wondered why some questions that at first blush seem like they’d be simple to answer are actually the most difficult to answer? I’ve certainly wondered this on a number of occasions, but when I’m asked what my favorite BBQ joint is I know exactly why it’s not only difficult, but impossible for me to answer this apparently simple question. That answer is that there are too many great BBQ joints scattered through the cities and back roads of America (and a few in places you would never suspect the words “excellent” and “BBQ” would cross ones lips in the same sentence) to narrow ones answer down to a single favorite joint.
In my opinion, not being able to answer this question isn’t a bad thing. In fact, I think it is a good thing. Who among us doesn’t like options, and amazing options at that?
Unfortunately for those of you reading this, the first place I’m going to mention isn’t one you can just stop by for a casual lunch and belly up to the counter for a brisket sandwich or slab of ribs, but I’d be remiss if I failed to mention it. This place is where the BBQ seed was planted in me and would be fertilized time and again until it blossomed into a major part of my life. Were it not for the plates of mouthwatering BBQ coming off the smokers in Rex Hall’s backyard at all times of the year and in all meteorological conditions I’m certain my BBQ journey would have been different. From the Thanksgiving turkey to some of the moistest brisket that will ever hit your mouth, my Dad’s Backyard is where my exploration into the wonderful world of BBQ began. Thanks Dad!!!
Menu Recommendation – Brisket sandwich, slab of ribs and a side of my Mom’s baked beans!!!
I need to give my Dad another big than you for taking me to and introducing me to some of the finest BBQ joints our country has to offer when he wasn’t manning the grill or smoker in our backyard. These are the BBQ joints that I love and think you’ll love too!
DICKIE DOO BAR-B-QUE – SEDALIA, MO
The first BBQ joint I ever ate at was Dickie Doo Bar-B-Que in Sedalia, Missouri. Even if it wasn’t a special occasion it felt like it was every time I was treated to the smoky goodness of Dickie Doo’s ribs and baked beans as a kid. To this day Dickie Doo’s baked beans stand alone as the best I’ve ever eaten and are reason enough for me to drop in any time I’m in the area.
Photo of Dickie Doo Bar-B-Que
Menu Recommendation – Slab of ribs with a large side of baked beans and fries!!!
GATES BAR-B-Q – Kansas City, MO
My introduction to Kansas City’s plethora of legendary BBQ joints took place at Gates Bar-B-Q, a joint that’s been serving up some of the cities best ‘Cue since 1946. My recollection of my first trip to Gates many years ago is a scene of mass confusion and panic – a memory shared by countless when they make their inaugural trip to Gates. As my foot began to breach the door that first time, a chorus of people yelling, “HI, MAY I HELP YOU?” rang from within leaving me feeling dazed like a prize fighter who had been dealt a striking left hook just under my chin. After picking myself up and shaking the daze from my eyes I focused on the menu that hung overhead and welcomed me to a smorgasbord of BBQ delights to choose from.
My advice to first timers is to go for the Mixed Plate – on the menu it comes with brisket, ham, ribs, fries, white bread and pickles, but you can ask them to substitute the two meats with any of their meats including turkey and pork. If you’re not quite that hungry go for a Beef on Bun Sandwich – you won’t be disappointed. You’ll also find some of the best sauce in the world of barbecue sauces at Gates – my favorite BBQ sauce (after my own of course) is Gates Extra Hot. If truth be told my years of eating Gates BBQ sauce contributed greatly to the flavor profile I used when creating the Pork Barrel BBQ line of sauces.
Menu Recommendation – Mixed Plate with double beef and a side of baked beans!!!