The barbecue world is filled with a lot of really great people. More often than not these people wil go out of their way to accommodate you (it’s not out of the realm of possibility for more than one person to offer you up lodging (and most likely an incredible BBQ meal) if you say you’re headed to their neck of the woods for an bbq event or contest). One of those truly special individuals is Danielle Dimovski of Diva Q. She’s the real deal when it comes to barbecue, competing, and cooking just about anything (follow her on twitter and/or facebook and you’ll be amazed with what she comes up with). I’ve never personally met her, but from our interaction and correspondence I feel I can call her a friend and am very proud to do so. I’m also extremely honored that she took the time out of her busy schedule to take part in this week’s ‘My Favorite BBQ Joints‘. I know that you’ll find this entertaining to read as well as a fantastic guide for BBQ joints you’ll want to visit in the near future.
Here are her Favorite BBQ Joints in her words.
“Travelling all around eating BBQ, talking with BBQ folks and competing in BBQ competitions is the life for sure. I have been really blessed to be able to have some excellent BBQ while on the road. This list is in no way complete – there are just so many great places but these are a few highlights.
I sure do love Dinosaur BBQ in Rochester NY. They make consistently great food – chill atmosphere plus a whole lot of good food. They serve it all up with a variety of BBQ sauces – their Creole Mustard being one of my favorites. Also don’t miss their fried green tomatoes.
Photo of Dinosaur BBQ courtesy of Philip Kamrass / Times Union
In Texas it would have to be Louie Mueller BBQ for the best BBQ beef ribs I have ever laid my hands on. Super succulent smoky and so jam packed full of flavour – it just makes you want to know what they are feeding the cattle. It’s hard to top Louie Mueller’s for authentic BBQ atmosphere. It is a BBQ joint from way back. They haven’t changed anything in forever with the 3rd generation of Mueller’s running the place. Served on butcher’s paper slapped on a tray leave your cutlery at the door – you don’t need it here.
Photo of Louie Mueller BBQ courtesy of Man Up: Tales of Texas BBQ
Snap ! That’s what the sound that a great sausage makes when you bite into it and some of the best comes from Texas! If you can get to Cooper’s Old Time Pit BBQ in Llano Texas for their smoked Jalapeno Cheddar sausage is beyond awesome. – Seriously this stuff I have dreams about -so glad they ship their products all over.
Photo of Cooper’s Old Time Pit BBQ courtesy of Man Up: Tales of Texas BBQ
Another great sausage and BBQ joint would have to be Southside Market in Elgin, Texas. In Elgin they call them hot guts. Don’t let the name fool you or put you off- their location has delicious meats to offer from their deli case to their full serve restaurant. Excellent food and the Bracewells are a great family.
Photo of Southside Market courtesy of LTHForum.com
Brisket. Ahh I love a good brisket and there is a California guy (well he is from Texas) that serves up some of the best brisket to be had – and he doesn’t even have a restaurant. Bigmista’s BBQ served me up some brisket when I was visiting the Atwater Farmers Market in Los Angeles California and it was truly the bomb. This guy makes brisket sing. Not sure what he does with it but it’s delicious. Truly delicious. Don’t miss out if you are in the area.
Bub-ba-Q’s in Jasper, Georgia. Just go. Eat. Enjoy and leave full and happy. From their meats to their sides – It’s all good there. Smoky succulent pork, delicious ribs & yummy sides. Plus while you are there you can check out some of his really cool BBQ trophies their top ranking competition team has accumulated over the years from KCBS and FBA BBQ competitions.
If you really want a BBQ Sammie then you must had to Oklahoma Joe’s in Kansas City for one of their Z man’s. I got the beef brisket, smoked provolone with onion rings all piled high on a soft bun. It is awesome. Truly an indulgent-over the top sandwich- that will more than fill you up. They make great BBQ.
Photo of Oklahoma Joe’s courtesy of Food Network
While in Memphis TN I heard of smoked Cornish game hens from Cozy Corner. They were excellent and their smoked bologna was memorably yummy. The joint (and it truly is a joint) has stained ceiling panels, blue carpeting and a rundown lived in atmosphere. One you walk in and smell their BBQ you just don’t care about the ambiance because it’s perfect with all its imperfections.
Photo of Cozy Corner courtesy of Michael Donahue – The Commercial Appeal Dept.
Some of the best Chicken I ever had at a BBQ restaurant would have to be from Q Barbeque in Richmond, VA. No shock really that everything on the menu is good too since Tuffy Stone is one of the best BBQ competitors on the circuit and is a trained chef. Our kids loved it there and love his logo too.
One of my all time favourite sandwiches comes from a really tiny place in Toronto Ontario – The Stockyards. Tiny location but HUGE flavours. Their porchetta sandwich is made with fennel and garlic scented pork loin, belly, all served up on a baguette with cracklings. Get a side of their BBQ beans (the best I have ever eaten) and you can die a happy happy person.
Photo of The Stockyards courtesy of kskl – Flickr
For a dry rib without sauce my go to place is Buster Rhino’s in Whitby, Ontario. Their rib rub is incredible. A great rub that I use at home as well. Sweet, savoury with a little heat make their ribs just about perfect in my mind.
Last but not least would be a new place I just had a few weeks ago – The Pompous Pig in Anderson, South Carolina. Their ribs are going to be legendary. Absolutely delicious. Great sweet sauce, great bark on the ribs- don’t miss out on this place.
Photo of The Pompous Pig courtesy of Ken Ruinard – Anderson Independent
Well I could go on but this is just the beginning….”
Here’s some additional information about Danielle:
Diva Q is me – Danielle Dimovski Mom of 3 awesome kids (Lexi Ella & Gabe) and wife of my amazing husband Vlado Dimovski. I started Diva Q after judging the 2006 Canadian Open in Barrie. Shortly after judging I bought my first of 3 WSM’s and started playing with fire and meat. I am an OCB (Obsessive Compulsive BBQ’er) now. I use Traegers and WSM’s to compete with. I live breath and eat BBQ constantly. When I am not competing I am promoting BBQ for my sponsors, doing TV segments, writing about BBQ and generally thinking about BBQ non-stop. In 2007 I competed for the very first time at a Pro competition. Since then we have won 5 Grand Championships – 4 Reserve Grand Championships, 28-1st place awards, 33 Top 10 overall Finishes and 99 Top 10 category finishes. We are the only Canadian team to ever win 2 Grand Championships in the US and the only Canadian team to ever receive 5 – 180′s – Perfect Scores. Additionally for the last 2 years we have been the highest ranked Canadian/International Team on the KCBS TOY (Team of the Year) Listings. We travel all over throughout North America to compete in a variety of sanctioning bodies. For us BBQ is not just about winning (although we LOVE to win) its about the experience. Its about friends and spending time with our family. C’mon out and visit us on the road. We love to meet new people. Stop by and say Hi!