Kevin's BBQ Joints

Kevin's BBQ Joints Blog

Burnt Fork BBQ – New BBQ Joint – Decatur, GA

Burnt Fork BBQ opened in Decatur, Georgia the last week of January. Jon Watson from Access Atlanta did a nice little piece on this unique BBQ joint.

From the article, “Though Burnt Fork BBQ serves many of the traditional southern barbecue staples like pulled pork sandwiches, beef brisket, and Brunswick stew, Kramer (co-owner) also takes a more international approach to his ‘cue. Diners can expect menu items like Korean barbecue, Cuban sandwiches, Vietnamese lamb or Peking duck tacos, and barbacoa. And though they are not featured on the limited menu currently, Kramer told me that he will also offer a BBQ potsticker, filled with pulled pork and Napa cabbage seasoned with sesame oil and rice wine vinegar.”

The joint was opened by Josh Kramer, his father John Kramer, and his wife Kara Ferris. Although many people simply want to go to an old school BBQ joint, this eclectic approach, when done correctly, is great for a nice change of pace. Burnt Fork BBQ is providing the greatest hits of BBQ while still shooting outside the box so to speak. They are using a Cookshack smoker to cook their meats for up to 16 hours.

See the entire piece here. Let me know if you get a chance to stop by and please send over photos. Will have to stop by the next time I’m in Georgia.

‘Like’ them on facebook here

Find Burnt Fork BBQ here:

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Big Earl’s BBQ – Scottsdale, AZ – New BBQ Joint

Thanks to Darcis Juris at the for pointing out a new BBQ joint in Scottsdale, AZ that opened called Big Earl’s BBQ.

From the article, “Chef/owner’s are James Porter and his wife, Wendy. James is also one of the head chefs over at Petite Maison French Bistro in Scottsdale as well. But now, he is gearing up for some good bar-b-que.”

Photo courtesy of Gwen Ashley Walters – Pen and Fork

From the menu here, to the emails I’ve received, this looks like a real deal low and slow BBQ joint. Please let me know if you’ve gotten a chance to stop by and shoot me an email as I would really like to add your point of view.

See the on facebook here

Check out Big Earl’s BBQ here:

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We have a winner! – Southern Soul Barbeque Giveaway

We have a winner! Here’s the step by step random drawing:

So @TheBBQDude is the WINNER! Please contact me with your (@TheBBQDude) complete address so Southern Soul Barbeque can set up getting you your BBQ swag.

Again, we have to thank Griffin and Harrison at Southern Soul Barbeque in St. Simons Island, GA for providing such an amazing BBQ prize package. Here’s what @TheBBQDude has won:

-3 Bottles of “Southern Soul Sweet Georgia Brown BBQ Sauce”
-2 Jars of “Southern Soul Dust” Butt Rub De-Luxe
-2 “Southern Soul Barbeque” Hats
-2 “Southern Soul Revival” Commemorative Tee Shirts.

Total prize value $ 115.00

Thank you to everyone that entered!

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Mike’s BBQ – BBQ Joint – Clonakilty, County Cork – Ireland

I’ve been friends with Mike Corcoran from Mike’s BBQ in Ireland (yes, Ireland) for a little while now. I met him while I was researching Amy Mill’s company OnCue. He’s a great guy with a ton of BBQ knowledge, but probably the most interesting thing is that he owns a BBQ Joint in Ireland. As I’m sure you’re just as curious as I am, I asked him for additional information about the joint. Here it is:

We recently imported a 1977 Chevrolet Stepvan and Custom smoker from Tennessee, where my grandad was from. The Stepvan is set up as a ‘stock truck’, with refrigerators, shelves, freezer etc. and also carries the generator used for outdoor concerts, festivals etc. It is the first and only American barbecue rig in Ireland, and we are the first in Ireland to introduce American BBQ to the public.

In my shop, I use a Cookshack smoker, as I had to go electric because of the unavailability of gas at the site. I will be expanding soon, and hope to bring in a big Ole Hickory, as I’ve visited the factory in Cape Girardeau, MO. and am quite impressed with the product, and the people. Besides that, Ole Hickory was personally recommended to me (over Southern Pride) by Mike Mills, Paul Kirk, and Lee Ann Whippen, so if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me!

I’m currently in a little ‘take-away’ shop in Clonakilty, Cork Ireland, where we do catering as well. It is at the southern tip of Ireland on the ocean. The Irish are largely unfamiliar with American barbecue, but have taken to the pulled pork and baby back ribs like a fish to water. They tend to think of barbecue as a summer event, with burgers and sausages, rather than a style of cooking, but we are doing our best to change that. They never knew pork could be so tender and juicy!

Our long term plan is to bring our product to the retail sector, selling our sauces and rub in the supermarkets. We also are have begun to furnish the catering market with our finished pork and ribs. This will include restaurants, and sandwich bars and deli counters, which exist in nearly every gas station in Ireland. Many are dying for a new product to offer, which will make them stand out from the competition on the next corner. A great thing is we have received a grant from The Irish Enterprise Board for shelf life testing, logo design, and packaging.

We smoke with local applewood. Our pork is also local, coming from a small town on the coast five miles away called Timoleague. The Irish have proven to like their pulled pork in a ‘wrap’ as opposed to bread or a bun, not sure why, but it works for me. Wraps (tortillas) are cheaper, last longer, easier to eat on the move, and have a better yield (you needn’t throw away two ends or heels with every loaf!). I top all of the wraps with homemade slaw, and the contrasting crunch to the tender meat wins them over quite quickly.

I have studied under Mike Mills and Paul Kirk, and Dave Raymond (Sweet Baby Ray) is a friend and personal mentor. I also attended a twelve week course at a very highly regarded cooking school here in Ireland called Ballymaloe. (Pronounced Ballymaloo) It is run by a chef named Darina Allen, who would be the Irish equivalent of Julia Child. People come from all over Europe and America to attend. It is a “boarding school”, set on a 40 acre certified organic farm. They stress using high quality local and seasonal produce,meats and free range eggs, which we highly subscribe to, and they grow all their own produce, and raise their own chickens and pigs.

I have since been back to the school after graduating to conduct demonstrations on American bbq, and the response from the students has been overwhelming. We expect that within six months of our widespread roll out of products, that the imitators will begin. However, few (hopefully) if any will have the U.S. bbq experience and resume’ that I posess.

I moved to Ireland after meeting my Irish wife while over here on vacation, researching my family tree. My great grandfather came from Millstreet, County Cork, and I’d like to think he is proud as punch that the family has come full circle, and has now returned to their Irish roots, and brought the finest American cuisine with them!

Check out Mike’s view on cue here

It’s a small town, but here’s how you find Mike’s BBQ:

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BBQ Video – Chef Charlie McKenna – Lillie’s Q – Chicago, IL

Lillie’s Q is starting to get a nice name for itself even thought it’s only been opened since July of last year. A great part of that success is because of chef Charlie McKenna and his passion for BBQ (it does help that he has the skills to put out consistent product). Here’s a great little video of him talking about Santa Maria BBQ:

Photo of Lillie’s Q’s ribs courtesy of Jeff Ruby from Chicago Time Out Magazine

Learn more about Charlie here and read a nice interview with him here
Follow Lillie Q’s on twitter here
‘Like’ them on facebook here

Visit Lillie’s Q here:

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Drew Robinson – My Favorite BBQ Joints – Volume 4

I really have been lucky to get incredible collaborators for each week’s ‘My Favorite Joints’. This week was no exception. Drew Robinson, Executive Chef for Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q was kind enough to give me some of his ‘must stop BBQ joints’ when he travels around the country. Here it is:

I eat Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q everyday and don’t ever get tired of it but I don’t ever get tired of eating other folks ‘que either. The thing that I love most about it is the friendships I’ve developed through the years. There is no favorite joint for me. Instead I typically go where my friends are and for that particular moment in time, their barbecue becomes the favorite of the moment.

Photo of Jim ‘N Nick’s pulled pork sandwich

Scott’s Variety Store – Hemingway, SC
Rodney Scott introduced me to the concept of pork and grits. I kind of see it as him playing on the South Carolina tradition of shrimp and grits but using his whole hog barbecue as the star. Rodney only does whole hog. And he only cooks it over the charcoal he makes with the trees he cuts down himself. In addition to being a testament to tradition he’s one of the best guys in the barbecue universe and we welcome him into the Jim ‘N Nick’s kitchen every opportunity we get.

Photo of Scott’s Variety Store courtesy of James Boo – Serious Eats

Skylight Inn – Ayden, NC
Sam Jones is another guy committed to the tradition of whole hog barbecue. And he’s committed to the fact that it doesn’t need sauce if you cook it right which he does. You can get it on a sandwich with slaw or on a tray with cornbread. You can’t go wrong either way. Sam is actually coming to cook with us soon at Jim ‘N Nick’s for a very special dinner in Charleston. We can’t wait.

Photo of Skylight Inn courtesy of Michael Stern – Roadfood

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BBQ Pictures – LeAnn Mueller Photography – Texas BBQ

When embarking on this BBQ adventure I never realized I would make so many friends. The BBQ community is not only a tight knit one, but generous and encouraging. One friend I’ve met is LeAnn Mueller. You may know her brother John Mueller (who is a great Texas BBQ pitmaster) or her father Bobby Mueller (who was a James Beard award winner and ran Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, Texas until his passing two years ago). But LeAnn is well known in her own right (although she would deny it) for her amazing photography.

She runs LeAnn Mueller Photography where she takes some of the most incredible photographs I’ve ever seen and wonderfully a portion of them are of BBQ and iconic BBQ figures.

As she knows how much I love BBQ pics, she allowed me to publish the following pictures. The first batch are ones of the family BBQ joint as well as amazing photos of her father, Bobby (you’ll notice John is in two of the photos too). The later group are ones that she did for Texas Monthly (the well known and well argued over Top 50 BBQ Joints from 2008).


Cripple Creek Barbecue – BBQ Food Truck – Kickstarter

Food trucks (mobile restaurants) are really gaining steam. There are hundreds here in Los Angeles and easily that many across the United States. It seems (at least here in LA) that most food trucks are a mashup of two different types of cuisines (i.e. Korean/Mexican, Chinese/Cuban, British/Brazilian), but I’ve often felt that these trucks should just be a way to bring good quality food to the masses and that they don’t have to follow any specific trend.

That brings us to Cripple Creek Barbecue, a unique BBQ Sauce company out of Colorado. They have a “strong belief in sustainability and environmental awareness. They not only try to please their customers, but try to please the planet as well.” I’ve known co-founder John Lynch from afar (only know him through twitter and facebook), for a little while now and have come to respect his passion for BBQ and his love for his BBQ sauce company.

They are using kickstarter to fund their project: A BBQ Food Truck. Kickstarter is a great way for entrepreneurs to get funding for their dreams (be them big or small). The beauty is that potential investors can invest as little as five dollars or as much as thousands of dollars, but you don’t actually have to pay unless the project gets fully funded. I would imagine you’d be investing hoping that a project becomes a reality, but really the risk is only if everyone believes in them.

Check out this link to see Cripple Creek Barbecue’s kickstarter page They are currently at $ 1,000 with their overall goal of getting to $ 12,000 (their funding period ends April 29th). The perfect thing is, you can invest as little as $ 5.00 or as much as $ 2,000.00. You’ll note there are great CCB swag that you get with each monetary level you hit.

Here’s some insight into their proposed menu
Menu ideas will include:
Pulled Pork Breakfast Burritos
Breakfast Quesadilla
Brisket Sliders
Braised Pork Belly “BLT’s”
Rolled Rancheros
Brisket or Pulled Chicken Philly’s
Pulled Brisket sliders

Here’s additional information about their company and their goals with the truck:

“Cripple Creek Barbeque is a company built on the idea of sustainable foods with sustainable practices. We only use meats sourced in our area. Our beef comes from Colorado’s Best Beef and our pork comes from Longs Family Farms, both are locally raised, all natural meats. Our produce will be sourced locally when in season and sustainable all year long. By using these local farmers, we help keep our community healthy financially and physically. Studies have shown that the closer you are to your food source, the better the food is for you.

Now by serving Barbeque it by no means limits us to the pulled meat sandwiches and ribs normally associated with Barbeque. All breads will come from Baker’s Way, a local all natural artisan bakery. The support we receive from our Kickstarter supporters will go for a myriad of things we need to get rolling. Firstly, a $5000 down payment will go for the truck being design by local food truck builder. Next we will need $1000-$2000 for permits, licenses and business insurance for the cities in which we will be operating. Each city has different regulations we need to abide by. Then we will need $1500-$2000 for operating expenses for the truck, gas, insurance, maintenance costs, and raw food items. Finally 10% goes to Kickstarter and Amazon for administration fees. 5% for each.”

Sounds like a well thought out plan and well worth putting a little seed money towards. If you’re interested, here is additional ways to contact them:

Kickstarter Project

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Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse – New BBQ Joint – Louisville, KY

Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar is set to open February 10th in Louisville, KY. It’s the brainchild of business partners Brett Davis, Michael Ton and Steven Ton.

Per the article co-owner Steven Ton says, “It’s southern cuisine, so everything from Charleston, South Carolina, all the way down to Texas. We’re going to do brisket, St. Louis ribs, and fried catfish.” We will offer the best of regional cuisine and American food in our newly renovated setting. Within walking distance of the new KFC Yum! Center arena.

From what I can gather, it’s definitely going to be low and slow BBQ in an upscale setting (a trend I’m seeing across the country). You can see the entire article here

‘Like’ them on facebook here

Visit them next week here:

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BBQ Video – Black’s Barbecue – Lockhart, Texas

Lockhart, Texas is a journey that most BBQ faithful want to go to and on that list is Black’s Barbecue (which is dubbed as the oldest BBQ joint in Texas). Here’s a great video of founder Edgar Black, Jr. and his wife Norma Jean from WeAreAustin. It definitely gives a behind the scenes look at Black’s and their history (even how their sauce came about).

Would love to know if you’ve been there (I’d be jealous of course).

Photo of Black’s Barbecue courtesy of Man Up: Tales of Texas BBQ

Check out Black’s yourself here:

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