Kevin's BBQ Joints

Kevin's BBQ Joints Blog

My Favorite BBQ Joints Volume 30 – RL Reeves Jr. – Scrumptious Chef

I’m actually surprised that RL Reeves Jr. accepted my invitation to provide his list of favorite BBQ joints. Perhaps it’s from my persistence or a weak moment on his part, but regardless of the reason, you’re in for something special this week. RL Reeves Jr. is easily the busiest and most proficient writer in pursuit of all that Austin (and beyond) offers when it comes to food and drink. By the time you’ve read this short paragraph he’s no doubt penned and published 3-4 pieces on either Scrumptious Chef or Chowpapi. What makes this week’s list different than the other 29 previous is that he has gone outside of the United States to offer up a few gems that I know for sure you’ve never heard of.

Here are RL Reeves Jr.’s favorite BBQ joints in his words:

“This is tough. Tougher than it has any right being. It’s hard to make a top ten list out of the hundreds of barbecue joints I’ve eaten at over the years but I’ve been tasked {tricked} into having a go at it, so here they are: In order, starting with the number one spot.

1} Archibald’s Barbecue in Northport, Alabama. The finest smoked meat I ever put in my mouth and holder of the always revered “final meal on earth if I had time to plan such a thing.” Since 1962, the Archibald family has been putting out pork butts and pork ribs in their tiny {seats 6} barbecue stand just north of Tuscaloosa. George Archibald Jr is the pitmaster {a term I do not use lightly, big difference between pitmaster and pitboss} and his sister Paulette makes the sauce. It’s the best barbecue I’ve ever eaten and the only sauce on earth I buy a gallon at a time.

Photo of Archibald’s courtesy of Buffetbuster @

2} JMueller Barbecue in Austin,Texas. Street fighting man. The hot-headed John Mueller is a cypher to this day. A puzzle of a man who has left a giant, fist-shaped mark on the world of Texas barbecue. I never know if I’m going to get the plate of smoked meat I’ve just ordered or if we’re going to start rolling and tumbling in the dirt parking lot of his eponymous food trailer in south Austin. The best handmade sausage I’ve found in Texas and the best beef chuck ribs in the Great State.

Photo of JMueller BBQ courtesy of Full Custom Gospel BBQ

3} R&G Barbecue in McMahan, Texas. The old pit boss of City Market in Luling and Luling City Market in Houston, Roy Jeffrey has a half-century of experience in the world of Texas smoked meat. Superb brisket, handmade Texas hot guts sausage and some of the best barbecue sauce I’ve ever eaten. Go on a Friday afternoon when the old-timers gather to throw bones, eat brisket and hang out in one of the sweetest dining rooms you’ll find in Texas.

Photo of Jeffrey from R&G Barbecue courtesy of

4} I have a deep love for American barbecue but after years of research and eating my way across our country, I felt like there was a giant gap in my education. Time to go to Turkey. In Istanbul there are numerous barbecue joints with the meat cultures of Syria, Kurdistan, Egypt, Morocco and a host of other countries represented. I’ve eaten at dozens of them but only one can rule the city and that is Zubeyir. Run by 5 Kurdish brothers, the little cafe in Beyoglu district puts out traditional barbecue representative of the eastern provinces of Turkey-Kurdistan according to some folks. Their tarak {lamb spare ribs} are one of the greatest dishes I’ve ever eaten in a restaurant.

Photo of Zubeyir

Meyer’s Elgin Smokehouse – End of Summer BBQ Giveaway

It’s hard to believe, but we have one more week left until the official end of Summer 2012. With that being said, Kevin’s BBQ Joints has teamed up with Meyer’s Elgin Smokehouse in Elgin, Texas to provide an incredible End of Summer BBQ Giveaway to ease you into Fall and of course tailgating season.

For the Meyer’s Elgin Smokehouse / Kevin’s BBQ Joints giveaway there will be TWELVE different winners (yes, we’ve gone a little crazy with this one). Here are the prize packages:

The first person drawn will receive the Cowboy BBQ Combo (Value $ 82.95)
Includes One slab of Meyer’s St. Louis-style pork ribs (2-2.5 lbs)
One 1/2 smoked Texas brisket (2-3 lbs)
Two lbs. of smoked sausage
One 16oz. bottle of Meyer’s Honey Mesquite BBQ sauce
One bottle of Meyer’s Smokehouse seasoning
One bottle of Meyer’s Texas Bean seasoning

The second person drawn will receive Two slabs of St. Louis pork ribs, one 16 oz. bottle of Meyer’s honey mesquite BBQ sauce and one bottle of Meyer’s smokehouse seasoning. (Value -$46.95)

TEN additional people drawn will receive a BBQ Seasoning Sampler AND a Fightin’ Sausageheads t-shirt (Total Value – $ 32.90)

There are (3) easy ways to enter. All you have to do is ONE of the following:
(1) Tweet about the contest including @kevinsbbqjoints so I can track it (or simply tweet I just entered the Meyer’s Elgin Smokehouse 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 meat on the facebook page for Kevin’s BBQ Joints here on the post announcing this contest. To up your odds, you can do any and/or ALL of these every day (one entry per day though). Contest ends at midnight Pacific time on Monday September 3rd and winners will be drawn later that week. NOTE: If you share the contest on facebook please comment on my facebook page to let me know you shared. Note that prizes #1 and #2 are available only to US residents(since they are perishable food), but #3 winners can be from anywhere in the world. Good luck!

To purchase any of Meyer’s Elgin Smokehouse’s famous sausage, brisket, ribs, sauces, and more follow this LINK
Follow them on twitter here
See their facebook page here

Once again, I want to give a HUGE thank you to Gregg and Gary Meyer as well as the rest of the Meyer family for both this incredible giveaway and the support they’ve given me and my site.

Posted in BBQ Giveaway,BBQ Joints on by kevin - Comments (18)

5 Great BBQ Joint Pics – New York Edition

I wanted to highlight some BBQ joints from New York for this week’s set of pictures and knew that there was only one place I could go to find great photos from unique BBQ joints. That place is If you’re into BBQ and you’re on the east coast (or traveling there in the near future) you have to make Gary’s site a once a week minimum visit. He’s extremely knowledgeable, has honest and thorough reviews, and is passionate about BBQ.

All 5 photos below are via

Fatty ‘Cue – Brooklyn

Butcher Bar – Queens

Mables Smokehouse – Williamsburg

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que – NYC

Wildwood Barbeque – New York

Have you been to any of these? Any of these your favorite? If not, which spot is your favorite New York BBQ hang out?

4 Great BBQ Joint Pics – Texas Edition

Since Texas has the most BBQ joints within it’s boundaries in America, I figured it would be fitting to have (4) pics representing the state (many, many BBQ joints are not pictured below so expect further editions). Enjoy.

Photo of Lockhart Smokehouse – Dallas

Photo of Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew – Austin

Photo of City Market – Luling via Man Up: Tales of Texas BBQ

Photo of Black’s Barbecue – Lockhart

Ardie A. Davis – My Favorite BBQ Joints – Volume 29

You’ve got to be excited when someone as influential in the world of BBQ as Ardie Davis agrees to contribute to your weekly feature, “My Favorite BBQ Joints“. It’s truly an honor and I can’t thank him enough for taking time out of his busy schedule to be a part of my site. What I like most about his list is that he gave me specifics on the BBQ items he likes best and focused on a list of his favorites no matter if they were a chain or not. People do tend to lean towards what would leave the best ‘impression’ on readers when Ardie shoots straight as to what he actually likes.

If you’re not familiar, Davis founded the Diddy-Wa-Diddy National Barbecue Sauce Contest in his backyard in 1984 (it was later renamed the American Royal International BBQ Sauce, Rub, & Baste Contest once it became part of the American Royal). He is also the author of the official judges’ oath that is taken at all competitions sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society and writes a monthly column in the National Barbecue News and the Kansas City Bullsheet, which is the official newspaper of the Kansas City Barbeque Society.

Here are Ardie’s favorite BBQ joints in his own words:

“So much barbecue, so little time,” comes to mind when I’m asked to name my favorite barbecue joints. I’ve been to many, but by no means all of the more than eight thousand joints that specialize in barbecue in the USA. My list is a snapshot of what I’d love to have for lunch today. Other places may be added as time goes on, and no doubt I’ve missed some excellent establishments. I look forward to experiencing many more really great places. My list is not prioritized from number one favorite, on down. It is like the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. All are wanted in whatever order they can be captured. I like all of these bbq joints in no particular order. Here goes:

Arthur Bryant’s – KCMO – Brooklyn Street location – beef & rib combo with fries
Oklahoma Joe’s – KC KS – 47th Avenue location – Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich; Z-Man Sandwich; ribs; fries
Jack Stack – KCMO – Freight House behind Union Station – wood-fired grilled steaks; prime rib; Denver lamb ribs; pulled pork or burnt end-stuffed baked potato; cheesy corn bake
BB’s Lawnside – KCMO – chicken, gumbo, beans, beer & blues
Johnny’s – Mission KS – ribs; beef on white with seasoned fries, beans
Big T – KCMO – sausage & beans
Smoki O’s – St. Louis MO – pig snoot & rib tips
Charlotte’s Rib – St. Louis MO – ribs, pork steak, fries
Head Country – Ponca City OK – brisket, ribs, beans
Iron Works BBQ – Austin TX – brisket, beans, chili
Smitty’s Market – Lockhart, TX – brisket, beans, coleslaw
Louie Mueller Barbecue – Taylor TX – brisket, beef ribs, spareribs, original sausage; pinto beans and a frosty Lone Star Beer
Cooper’s – Llano, TX – sirloin steak; brisket; sausage; pinto beans
Rudy’s – Leon Springs TX – brisket; spareribs; sausage; beans; cold beer in a longneck
The Salt Lick – Driftwood TX – ribs, brisket & beans
The County Line on Bee Cave Road – Austin TX – beef ribs, spareribs, beans, bread pudding with whiskey sauce
The Bar-B-Q Shop – Memphis TN – bbq spaghetti
Payne’s BBQ – Memphis TN – chopped pork sandwich, coleslaw, fried pie
A&R on Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis TN – pork sandwich, fried pie
Cozy Corner – Memphis TN – Cornish hen, ribs
Tom’s BBQ & Deli – Memphis TN – rib tips, rib tips & rib tips
Johnny Harris – Savannah GA – Brunswick Stew; fried green tomatoes; 1924 Salad; bbq combo platter
Maurice Bessinger’s Piggie Park – West Columbia, SC – Little Joe Pork Sandwich; Carolina Hash over Rice; hushpuppies
Allen & Son – Chapel Hill, NC – chopped pork, coleslaw, cobbler
Stamey’s – High Point Road, Greensboro NC – chopped pork, coleslaw, beans
B’s Barbecue – Greenville, NC – chicken, pulled pork, coleslaw
King’s – Kinston, NC – pig in a puppy
Skylight Inn – Ayden NC – chopped pork with cracklins’ & skillet cornbread
Speedy’s Barbecue – Lexington, NC – chopped pork, slaw, beans, & banana pudding
Righteous Urban Barbecue – NYC – fried green tomatoes, bbq ribs
Boney’s – Denver CO – pulled pork, ribs, collard greens, hush puppies
Daddy Bruce’s – Boulder CO – ribs & beans
Arapahoe Café & Pub/BonnieQ BBQ – Dillon CO – ribs, Firecracker Coleslaw, beans
Big Papa’s – Littleton CO – bison ribs, bbq beans, mustard greens, sweet potato casserole

Ed Mitchell in eastern North Carolina – wherever Ed is cooking whole hog, I want to be there. He is no longer at The Pit in Raleigh. I don’t know where he has settled for his next venture.

Places on my to-do list
Melvin’s – Charleston, NC
Big Bob Gibson – Decatur, AL
Tin Roof BBQ – Hoover, AL
Sorry Ass Wilson’s BBQ – Homewood, AL
Bob Syke’s Bar-B-Q – Birmingham, AL
Golden Rule BBQ – Irondale, AL
Whole Hog Café – Little Rock, AR
Jones BBQ – Marianna, AR
Bigmista’s Barbecue – Los Angeles CA
17th Street Bar and Grill – Murphysboro, IL
Bogart’s – St. Louis, MO
Swinging Door Bar-B-Q – Richmond, TX
Dinosaur – Syracuse, NY
Holy Hog – Tampa FL
Scott’s Bar-B-Q – Hemingway SC
Smoque – Chicago IL
Sweatman’s Bar-B-Que – Holly Hill SC
Curtis’ 9th Wonder of the World – Putney VT

What do you think of his list? Have you been to any (or perhaps all) of his picks? What BBQ joints on are your ‘must visit’ list?

Here’s some additional info on Mr. Davis:
Ardie A. Davis, aka Remus Powers PhB, was teethed on rib bones in Oklahoma City. His dad, Art Davis, taught him how to barbecue in a hand-built homemade brick pit in the backyard. After leaving Oklahoma for college and a varied career as a teacher, community organizer, & YMCA executive in eastern Iowa, Freeport NY and New York City, respectively, his barbecue career was reignited when he moved to Kansas City, his home for the past 35+ years. In 1984 he launched a national barbecue sauce contest in his backyard patio. Three years later the Diddy-Wa-Diddy National Barbecue Sauce Contest merged with the American Royal Barbecue, where it was renamed the American Royal International Barbecue Sauce, Baste & Rub Contest. He became a charter member of the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) in 1987 and served three terms on the board of directors. He is a board member emeritus and was inducted into the KCBS Hall of Flame in 1992. Davis proposed a Certified Barbecue Judge (CBJ) program and curriculum while on the board. After the board adopted the proposal, Davis and Ed Roith developed the CBJ curriculum and conducted the first series of classes. He penned the Official KCBS Judges Oath, adapted from the original 1984 barbecue sauce contest oath. In keeping with a longstanding tradition, Davis as Remus Powers PhB administers the judges’ oath at the Great Lenexa BBQ Battle, the American Royal Barbecue, and the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue. When invited and his schedule permits, he administers the oath at several other contests in any given year.

Davis’ most recent books are: 25 Essentials- Techniques for Grilling (The Harvard Common Press, 2009); 25 Essentials- Techniques for Smoking (The Harvard Common Press, 2009); America’s Best BBQ, with Paul Kirk (Andrews McMeel, 2009); 25th Anniversary Kansas City Barbeque Society Cookbook, with Paul Kirk & Carolyn Wells (Andrews McMeel, 2010); America’s Best Ribs, with Paul Kirk (Andrews McMeel, 2010).

Posted in My Favorite BBQ Joints on by kevin - Comments (1)