Kevin's BBQ Joints

Kevin's BBQ Joints Blog

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)

1 Comment »

  1. I don’t know if I can show this post to Alexis. In her mind, he is always dressed up in a tux and top hat like his byline picture in the BBQ National News ;)

    He is a true BBQ Icon!

    Comment by Chris — August 15, 2012 @ 6:19 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment