Kevin's BBQ Joints

Kevin's BBQ Joints Blog

BBQ Video – Breaking Down a Pork Shoulder – Charlie McKenna

Here’s an instructive video of Chef Charlie McKenna from Lillie’s Q breaking down a whole pork shoulder at Memphis In May (where his team came in 12th out of 70 entries).

What do you think? Have you been to Lillie Q’s?

Check out Lillie Q’s yourself here:

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James Boo – My Favorite BBQ Joints – Volume 11

James Boo is one of those incredible writers that you have to assume that food blogging was created JUST for the likes of people like him. He has a phenomenal gift both in expressing himself in writing and with photographing that food as well. I have actually been blown away by the photos he’s taken on more than three or four dozen occasions. If you are just getting introduced to him, he’s the Barbecue Bureau Chief for Serious Eats and is the founder, editor, and head writer of the amazing blog The Eaten Path. I am honored to have him as a contributor and after reading his piece below I can’t imagine this wouldn’t be a BBQ Joint list you’l print up and save for future BBQ journeys. Here he is in his own words:

I’ve been on the barbecue trail for four years now, which, frankly, is a pitiful amount of time to be considered any kind of authority. Given the fact that I’m still on the learning curve, I’ve left out some joints that are surely worthy of mention, and plenty of joints I just haven’t had the good luck of being able to visit. I hope to change this over the years, and with luck, my list will keep on growing — along with my stomach and quite possibly my capacity for regret.

Chef Edwards’ Bar-B-Que – Oakland, CA
Hopefully, everyone remembers his first taste of real barbecue. Mine was handed to me in a styrofoam box at the business end of a cramped, single-row diner just a few blocks from the Greyhound station in Oakland. John Edwards passed a box of smoked chicken across the counter, then his signature sandwich, the Piggly Wiggly — chopped shoulder and vinegar slaw on white bread, with a spicy red barbecue sauce to make a believer out the most committed sauce opponent. The good Chef has let things slip a bit since he moved to nicer digs across the street, but every time I’ve been back to visit, sidling up for a Piggly Wiggly has been as inevitable as hunger itself.

Photo of Chef Edwards Bar-B-Que courtesy of Serious Eats

Lexington Barbecue (Honey Monk’s) – Lexington, NC
Lexington’s chopped shoulder sandwich with outside brown and barbecue slaw wasn’t my first taste of regional barbecue. It wasn’t my first taste of Carolina barbecue, either, and as I’ve discovered on repeat visits, Lexington’s ‘cue isn’t exactly the apex of tender, moist, smoked pork. Still, the moment I bit into my first sandwich at Lexington Barbecue was the moment that I got it. I sensed the history behind the food and the improbability of its survival in the fast food age. This was something special, in a special place, going toe-to-toe with a world that prizes a way of business totally opposite to the experience I was having in Lexington, North Carolina. I treasured every smoky bite, and I still do.

Photo of Lexington Barbecue courtesy of

Scott’s Variety and Bar-B-Q – Hemingway, SC
My one trip to Scott’s is the closest I’ve come to a through-and-through pilgrimage in the name of holy smoke. Rodney Scott’s open-pit-smoked whole hog achieves the perfect texture: tender, juicy, and plenty fatty. Equally important is Scott’s integrity of flavor: his barbecue is naturally sweet, meaty, and just slightly funky — tasting like a pig should — with a balanced smokiness that makes it all seem way too easy. When paired with Scott’s fantastic pepper-and-vinegar sauce and a slice of white bread, it is quite literally the perfect food.

Photo of Scott’s courtesy of Serious Eats

Fresh Air BBQ – Jackson, GA
I’ll be honest: I liked the barbecue here just fine, but that’s not why I’m putting it on this list. A good regional barbecue side is not something to be taken lightly, and Fresh Air served me the most addictive Brunswick stew I have ever tasted. It takes a certain mind to avoid turning a beautiful thing like slow-cooked, indeterminate glop into a chunky, undercooked backwoods chili. Fresh Air has what it takes to keep its stew simple, satisfying, and so good that I’d eat it for breakfast. I have done it before, after all.

Photo of Fresh Air BBQ courtesy of porkbelly24 – flickr

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BBQ Video – Memphis in May – Gnarly Head Wine

Since I’ve been hanging out with the good people of Gnarly Head Wine, it’s fun to see some video of their first stop on their Rippin’ Ribs Tour 2011 which wonderfully is at the Memphis in May Champion Barbecue Competition this weekend. The video shows the ribs being presented from (4) rib cooks who are fighting for a chance to be on the first ever Gnarly Head BBQ Team and a chance at five grand.

BBQ Fest: One “Gnarly” Competition:

What do you think of the (4) rib recipes presented? What’s your favorite way to bbq ribs?

The next stop for the Rippin’ Ribs Tour is the Food Lion SpeedStreet in Charlotte, NC on May 28th, 2011

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Fatty Snack! – World Financial Center Plaza – New York

First there was Fatty Crab, then came Fatty ‘Cue (which has earned rave reviews for their unique take on BBQ), and now there is Fatty Snack!, a ‘Fatty’ kiosk in the World Financial Center Plaza serving ribs and pulled pork sandwiches (among other incredible items).

Here are some early photo shots:



Fatty Dog:

Here’s a glimpse of their kiosk and their menu list from Grub Street New York

Check Fatty Snack out on facebook HERE

Find Fatty Snack here:

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Memphis in May – Gnarly Head Wine Rippin’ Ribs Tour – Stop #1

If you’re at Memphis in May and want to sample some great wine from Gnarly Head (and of course meet some great people) head over to:

Space R45 on South Tiger Lane – Near Judges Building

It’s their first stop on the Rippin’ Ribs Tour 2011

Here’s a great map of all of the festivities

If you want the heads up as a visitor to the event you can find info HERE

Williamson Bros. BBQ Giveaway

Wow. I am extremely excited to have Williamson Bros. BBQ participate with Kevin’s BBQ Joints for an incredible BBQ giveaway. Coming from this BBQ Joint I knew it was going to be a good one, but this one will really blow you away. They are offering (4) different BBQ prizes (straight from Georgia) for (4) lucky winners. If you love BBQ you’ll want to enter as often as possible.

Here’s what you can win:

1st Name Drawn Wins: Boston Butt Package
Details: Average butt is 6lbs. and package includes 2 bottles of the Original sauce and a bottle of hot sauce.
Feeds 8-10 people

2nd Name Drawn Wins: Case of their Original sauce in 1 gallon containers
Details: Qty. 12 – 16 oz. bottles

3rd Name Drawn Wins: Sauce gift pack
Details: All 5 flavors in 16 oz. bottles.
Original, Classic Carolina, Spicy Chipotle, Roasted Garlic, and Honey

4th Name Drawn wins: Spice gift pack
Details: Qty. 5 – 16 oz. bottles.
Black pepper, Poultry seasoning, Granulated garlic, Bay leaves, and Red pepper

Check out all the prizes and everything else that Williamson Bros. BBQ sells online HERE

Pretty incredible, huh? Here are the easy ways to enter:
(1) Tweet about the contest including @kevinsbbqjoints so I can track it (or simply retweet I just entered the Williamson Bros. BBQ Giveaway @kevinsbbqjoints), (2) Post a comment about your favorite type of BBQ in the comment section below this blog post, or (3) Post a comment about your favorite type of BBQ on the facebook page for Kevin’s BBQ Joints here on the post announcing this contest. To up your odds, you can enter every day (one entry per day though).

Contest ends at midnight Pacific time on May 20th and we will be drawing the lucky winners on Saturday May 21st. Announcement will follow later that day. If you share the contest on facebook please comment on my facebook page to let me know you shared.

Photo of Williamson Bros. BBQ courtesy of Blissful Glutton

If for some reason you don’t know of Williamson Bros. BBQ, here’s some additional info:
Danny and Larry grew up helping their father, Jack cook real southern style barbecue. 1989 they brought their authentic southern style barbecue to Marietta and the rest is a well known success story. They have catered many events in Atlanta for small and large functions. They have mouth watering favorites such as ribs, pork, beef, whole hog, chicken, hot dogs and hamburgers. They have three Georgia locations; Marietta, Canton, and Douglasville.

Follow them on facebook HERE
Follow them on twitter HERE

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5 Great BBQ Joint Pics

Here are 5 Great BBQ Joint pictures from BBQ joints across the United States:

Gonzales Food Market, Gonzales, TX

Black’s Barbecue – Lockhart, TX via Ful Custom Gospel BBQ

Slows Bar-B-Q – Detroit, Michigan via Hungry Dudes

Lockhart’s BBQ – Royal Oak, MI

Allen & Son Bar-B-Que – Chapell Hill, NC via Menu in Progress

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Best in Smoke – Food Network

The Food Network is taking a big step further into the BBQ genre with the (4) episode series Best In Smoke which premieres on Sunday May 8th at 10 PM. The show is hosted by Bryan Caswell who was a finalist in season three of The Next Iron Chef and is chef/owner of Reef, Stella Sola, and Little Bigs, all in Houston.

I have to admit that I was a little skeptical when I first heard about this show as the past ‘BBQ’ shows on other networks proved to be more about time limits and pointless non-BBQ related eliminations instead of focusing on the BBQ itself. Best in Smoke appears to be different. From just the few minutes we (myself and a number of bloggers) got to speak to Bryan it let us know that he is extremely passionate about BBQ and food in general (we could hear him bark orders to food purveyors and staff in the background in between answering questions to us). If you go off of contestants and judges alone you know you’re in for a great overall show.

For a small ‘taste’, here’s their promo video:

Here’s the scoop: “The six competitors’ first challenge is to create their single best bite of barbecue. They can smoke up whatever they want, but the judges will only take one single bite. In the next round, the competitors find out that they have another chance to stay in the game. They have to cook cocktail party fare for an art gallery show in Chelsea. One pitmaster is eliminated at the end of the show.”

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Gnarly Head Wine BBQ Pairing – 2nd Stop – Baby Blues BBQ

Our second stop on the Gnarly Head Wines Los Angeles BBQ adventure with Holly (from Gnarly Head) to promote their Rippin Ribs Tour 2011 was at Baby Blues BBQ in West Hollywood, CA.

We paired the same four Gnarly Head Wines with the many courses of BBQ delivered to our table. They were:
2009 Old Vine Zinfandel
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
2009 Pinot Noir
2009 Chardonnay

We started with the ‘Tackle Box’ which is grilled shrimp, fried green tomatoes, hush puppies, and wings. Our second course was their ‘Suicide King’ which is grilled shrimp on cornbread with cotija cheese. Our main courses were memphis ribs, pulled pork, as well as their incredible baby back ribs. Our sides were baked beans, sauteed okra (which was pretty insane) and macaroni and cheese. For dessert we had the banana pudding. After pairing all of the wines with each item and side, these are my suggestions as to what wine we would pair with each item.

2009 Old Vine Zinfandel
Their flagship Zin is easily the most approachable and paired well with all BBQ items. I felt it matched BEST with the Memphis Ribs, baby back ribs, and pulled pork. Best sides with this Zin were the mac and cheese and sauteed okra. I only drank the zin with the banana pudding dessert and was very impressed by it’s pairing.

2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
Their Cab is very drinkable and not one of the over the top tannin heavy Cabs that are out there. Because it is more bold it went great with the Memphis Ribs and pulled pork. My favorite side with this wine was the beans.

2009 Pinot Noir
Pinots tend to be on the lighter side and this one from Gnarly Head was no exception. Because of this, we felt the grilled shrimp went best with this wine. All of the sides went well with this pinot, but the sauteed okra stood out to all of us.

2009 Chardonnay
What I liked best about their Chardonnay was that it wasn’t on the buttery side (which some California Chards lean towards). Because of this light crispness, I felt the grilled shrimp went best with this wine. I felt the sauteed okra was a little too heavy with this chardonnay, but the mac and cheese matched well.

Baby Blues BBQ selections and sides were a great compliment to the Gnarly Head wines and the service was behind attentive. Overall it was a wonderful evening that left us about as full as I’ve been in a long time.

Below are additional photos of our visit:

Baby Blues BBQ custom BBQ sauces and hot sauces:

The Tackle Box:


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MoMo’s BBQ & Grill – New BBQ Joint – Harrisburg, PA

A big thanks to Penn Live for the first write up on new bbq joint MoMo’s BBQ & Grill in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Per their website, “Our meats are slow smoked in house with a combination of apple and hickory woods. This process is what gives us that “perfect” smoke ring, allowing our meats to be cooked to perfection. Enjoy our championship quality, award winning meats and BBQ sauces that we take so much pride in preparing for you.”

Photo courtesy of Sue Gleiter, The Patriot-News

Per the article by Sue Gleiter, “Owner is Mike Moran. He operates a MoMo BBQ concession stand at Metro Bank Park and has won awards on the national barbecue circuit. He’s also created 14 sauces some of which are sold in bottles under the MoMo BBQ label. He’d been looking to open a restaurant for several years when he came across the vacant spot between Mama’s Pizza and Rite Aid.”

Their impressive list of awards:
3 time finalist – Memphis in May World BBQ Championship in Whole Hog
3 time finalist – Safeway DC BBQ Battle, Washington DC
2 Top 10 overall finishes – American Royal International BBQ Championship, Kansas City
13 Awards of Excellence from the National BBQ Association for their sauces.

Have you been yet? Let me know what you think as Mike seems real deal when it comes to BBQ.

Find them here:

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