Kevin's BBQ Joints

Kevin's BBQ Joints Blog

Bigmista’s Barbecue Catering – 1st Visit – Review

I finally got the chance to meet up with Neil Strawder from Bigmista’s Barbecue Catering and try his BBQ. I have been friends with him for a while now(via twitter, facebook, and emails) but having moved up to Ventura it was difficult to coordinate.

I got to the farmer’s market early so I could have a chance to talk with Neil and meet his crew (today it was Blondie his other bbq partner in crime and ‘rib whisperer).

Prior to sitting down together he plated me up what he called ‘the big ass meat plate’ (brisket, pulled pork, ribs, red hots, and turkey). There was also some Pig Candy which I’ll get into later. From the first few minutes it was apparent that Neil took BBQ very seriously and was excited about competing this year around California and at some events outside of the state. He seemed really happy with his profession and we joked about BBQ excursions he had been on as well as BBQ people that we both knew (I did less talking as I was stuffing myself with great BBQ).


BBQ Joint of the Week – Haywards Pit Bar-B-Que

The original Haywards Pit Bar-B-Que in Overland Park, Kansas was opened by Hayward and Hattie Spears on August 19, 1972. In 1981, foreseeing the coming develop-ment boom in southern Overland Park, Hayward bought some land in the undeveloped outskirts of the city (at 110th and Antioch) that could accommodate any size gathering (it can seat up to 221 customers at one time).

“Among my first regulars was a couple who always said ‘we’re telling everyone we know how good your barbecue is.’ Then one night when we were packed and customers were lined up outside in the parking lot, he stuck his head inside and said ‘we’re going to stop telling people about this place.”

Haywards serves the usual Kansas City BBQ favorites (brisket, burnt ends, sausage, and ribs) along with a number of specialties that aren’t on many menus in these parts (more so at the S. Antioch location). I haven’t had a chance to visit either location, but I know that many of you have. I’d love to get your reaction as there’s always a strong BBQ line in the sand when it comes to favorite BBQ joints in Kansas City.

Here are their two locations:



BBQ Joint of the Week – Blue Ribbon Barbecue – Austin, Texas

There’s something to be said about tradition. It’s what holds us true to our past and keeps us grounded in the present. There’s also something special about having a business that runs in the family. Bobby Cavo, grandson of the famous BBQ patriarch of Taylor, TX, Rudy Mikeska and son to Robert and Mopsie, owners of the top notch catering company in Taylor ‘Catering by Mopsie’, is doing just that with his newly opened (fairly new) BBQ joint in Austin, TX called Blue Ribbon Barbecue.

Reading the steady stream of great reviews online, I can say that this is a welcome addition to the Austin BBQ scene. The menu is heavy on Texas (like it should be) with Brisket, Sausage, Turkey, Pork Ribs, Pulled Pork, Chopped Beef, and chicken which is available as a plate, as a sandwich, or by the pound (save for the chicken). Also, they are serving breakfast from 7 AM to 10:30 AM where they offer ‘breakfast tacos’. You get a choice of Brisket, Sausage, Turkey, Chicken, Pulled Pork, or Chopped Beef (Additional items you can add are: Egg, Bean, Potato ,Bacon, Cheese, Sour Cream, Jalapenos, Ranch). If I worked in Austin I can imagine I’d be having breakfast here 3-4 times a week.

If you live in Austin or are traveling there in the near future, let us know if you get a chance to stop in. Send us your reviews and photos and we’ll post them. I’ll be heading out soon so I’ll be sure to do an updated review after visiting.

You can find Blue Ribbon here:

To learn more about the Mikeska family follow this link

Follow them on twitter here

BBQ Joint of the Week – Carter Brothers Bar-B-Que – North Carolina

I’ve mentioned that I have to travel to North Carolina twice a year for business and because of this, I’ve grown to appreciate more and more North Carolina BBQ. On my last visit I came across Carter Brothers Bar-B-Que in High Point, North Carolina (they have two High Point locations, but I’ve only been to the Main Street one).

Photo courtesy of Kat Kinsman from Slashfood

On the two times I visited during my four days in North Carolina, I had the large chopped BBQ Pork Plate with hush puppies and cole slaw. You can tell the pork was cooked low and slow and when you added their vinegar based BBQ sauce you pretty much had a North Carolina match made in heaven. The hush puppies on both occasions were cooked just right (not overly fried or mushy in the middle) and the slaw was crunchy and had the vinegar base that I prefer (not a huge fan of mayonnaise based cole slaws). I also washed it down with really good iced tea (not sweet tea, but I do love getting asked if I want sweet tea for some reason).

Here’s link to their menu. I’ve heard almost everything they serve is good, especially their breakfast.

Their North Main Location:

Phone: 336-869-9948

Their Wendover Landing Location

Phone: 336-841-2241

I would recommend them to anyone wanting to try out some real North Carolina style BBQ (there are other really great, even better, joints, but Carter Brothers does it right). Here are some additional reviews:


BBQ Joint of the Week – Rocklands BBQ – DC, MD, VA

OK. Some people might be turned off by the fact that Rocklands has 3 locations. As if having more than one joint makes you a chain or a sell out, but from what I’ve heard over the past six months from people in the DC and surrounding area, Rocklands is really doing a great job bringing authentic BBQ to the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. However, you can see a review below from Beltway BBQ that runs contrary to the emails we’ve received, so I suppose you should check out all the reviews before heading over.

Here are their main offerings:
Barbequed Pork
Pulled Smoked Chicken
Barbequed Brisket of Beef
Grilled Top Sirloin of Beef
Grilled Leg of Lamb
Hot Italian Sauage (with grilled onions)

Photo from Beltway BBQ

They seem standard fair for what you’d expect at a quality joint. Not many people doing grilled leg of lamb, but if you are, you’re probably doing it right.

Here are maps to their three locations:

DC Location

VA Location

MD Location

Check out their recipe of the Month on their site. This month it’s ‘Freehand Barbeque Sauce

I’d say the good reviews outweigh the bad ones, but as with anything and especially BBQ, it’s a preference thing. Let us know what you think though if you stop by one of their locations (and send some pics as we’ll post them).

Here are some reviews:
Beltway BBQ

Posted in BBQ Joint of the Week on by kevin - Comments Off

BBQ Joint of the Week – Kloby’s Smokehouse – Laurel, MD

Kloby’s Smokehouse is known for their pulled pork (served in the Carolina style), brisket, ribs, and chicken (along with sides made from scratch, which is important). Just about a half an hour outside of Baltimore, this semi-newbie on the block is starting to get a really strong following.

Photo by Kenneth K. Lam

Pitmaster and owner, Steve Klobosits, provides this as his background. “After many years working as a Paramedic/Firefighter (of course I was the station chef) I attended The Restaurant School in Philadelphia and earned my culinary degree. I then worked for more than 10 years in high volume themed restaurants in the Washington, DC and Baltimore area as I was formulating my plan to open a restaurant that had great comfort food, with a casual environment at an affordable price.

If you want to find it here’s a map:

I’m hitting Baltimore later this year so this will definitely be one of my stops. If you’ve been let us know what you think.

Yahoo! Local

BBQ Joint of the Week – Lester’s Roadside BBQ – Burlington, MA

I had never heard of Lester’s Roadside BBQ in Burlington, MA until I saw this photo on

I’ve since been emailed by a few people who’ve been and there’s been a mixed bag of experiences. As you can see from this review on, it appears they have progressively gotten better with age and
added J & R Smoker.

That mirrors the emails as most said that at first it was just OK, but after recents visits they’ve felt the overall quality has gone up (I even got one ‘amazing’ email). Here’s a link to their menu.

Here are some more reviews:
yahoo! local

Bludso’s BBQ – BBQ Joint Review – Compton, CA

As I work my way around the United States in search of the Best BBQ Joints I have often been told to check out Bludso’s BBQ in Compton, California (most notably from Big Mista from Big Mista’s Barbecue). Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to make a stop (yet), but one of our Los Angeles correspondents, Miguel (aka The Notorious BBQ), had a chance to hit it up on Independence Day. Here’s his piece:

A 4th o’ July BBQ journey to Bludso’s in Compton.

Probably the best Texas style BBQ in L.A., which is worth the trip considering L.A. does not have the greatest BBQ. I had the brisket and the Angus beef rib (weekends only) both of which were brilliant.

Brisket was super tender and cooked perfectly as was the rib with its nice charred outside and tender inside to the bone. I had the “spicy” BBQ sauce, which was perfect and not too spicy.

The sides (potato salad, cornbread, greens, baked beans) were all very good – nothing amazing but again very good and a great compliment.

I tried to order dessert but an hour and a half after opening they were already out. I guess that in itself tells how good they must be.

I know it’s a bit disconcerting when you hear Compton if you’ve never been there, and this was my first visit. However, there was not a moment when I felt unsafe about going there or while I was there. The one con is that there really isn’t a place to eat there. So my girlfriend and I found a park close by (again, felt completely safe) to eat our feast.

Eclectic clientele and friendly service. Even though it’s a trek, I will definitely return.

Here are some reviews:

Bludso's BBQ on Urbanspoon

Posted in BBQ Joint of the Week on by kevin - Comments (1)

BBQ Joint of the Week – The Filling Station Bar-B-Q – Lee’s Summit, MO

Once again, I to turn towards all of the emails I’ve received about this place as I’ve never been here before, but it seems rather overwelming that if you’re visiting Lee’s Summit it is a must to stop at The Filling Station Bar-B-Q (I’ve even had people say that this is the best BBQ they had when visiting the Kansas City area, but I can’t vouch for that).

The menu has pretty much what you’d be looking for, especially in a BBQ sandwich. Choose from beef, pulled pork (their style or Carolina style), turkey, ham, sausage, smoked chicken, and even smoked catfish. You can see the rest here. One thing that really makes me interested about visiting is the fact they have homemade white bread. That bread with some of their brisket and a little of their hot bbq sauce sounds like the beginning of an outstanding meal.

Here are some reviews:
Yahoo! local

BBQ Joint of the Week – Everett and Jones – Northern California

It often seems that discussing BBQ joints bring out the same fervor that one gets when discussing politics or someone’s favorite sports team. Bring up Everett and Jones and you’ll get that reaction for sure. You either love it or find fault in it because it’s not like your ‘other’ favorite joint. For me, I’m a huge fan. I’ve had 3 great meals at their original Oakland location and the vibe with the live music just puts the whole experience over the top (the other locations don’t have live music). I haven’t been to any of the other locations so I can’t speak from experience, but knowing that they’re all a part of the family makes me feel pretty confident they’ll be on par.

Here’s a look at their dinner and lunch menus. They are especially known for their ribs, but I wouldn’t pass up some of their chicken, brisket, or sausage if you have someone to share it with.


Original Oakland Location
126 Broadway

1518 Webster Street

1955 San Pablo Ave.

296 A Street Hayward

2676 Fruitvale Ave, Oakland

You can order their sauce here

Here are some reviews:
Yahoo! local

Older Posts »