Kevin's BBQ Joints

Kevin's BBQ Joints Blog

Bludso’s BBQ is Opening a 2nd Location

If you’re a BBQ fan and live in Los Angeles, there’s no doubt know of Bludso’s BBQ in Compton. It’s either one of your top spots on your “best of” list or on your ‘must visit’ list. I’ve been (it doesn’t disappoint) and owner Kevin Bludso couldn’t be a nicer guy.


Photo of Kevin Bludso via Yelp

Well it looks like he’s joined forces with the guys from the upscale burger and beer joint The Golden State (on Fairfax) Jason Bernstein and James Starr to put a BBQ Joint in the location where Mark Peel’s Tar Pit once resided (see map below).

From an article in the LA Times (link below), “The menu “in its soul will be the same menu as Bludso’s,” says Starr. That means Bludso’s brisket, ribs, chicken and hot links. “And a few more items.” They are also trying “to focus all our attention on trying to create a beer list and a cocktail list that go well with barbecue,” Bernstein says. “We’re really trying to examine what that would be. The goal is to have everything really curated and not have a kitchen sink cocktail list of 30 things. Just a handful of really simple, well done cocktails.”


Photo of Bludso’s BBQ via Yahoo! Local

You really can’t beat the combo of great BBQ and craft beer. We definitely wish them good luck and can’t wait to visit when it opens.You can see the piece on the LA Times blog HERE. Updates will be coming as I get more information.

Here’s a link to the new spot:

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10 Great BBQ Joint Pictures

For this week’s selection of BBQ Joint pics I decided to double the usual amount. As the summer moves on I’m going to try and do this once a week to inspire people to get out to your local (or local when you’re traveling) BBQ joint for a great meal.


Salt Lick Bar-B-Que – Round Rock, TX


Photo of Lockhart Smokehouse, Dallas, TX


Photo of Flaggstead Smoke House – Farmington, CT via Roadfood.com


Photo of Katy Trail Ice House – Dallas, TX via Full Custom Gospel BBQ


Photo of Sweet Cheeks Q – Boston, MA courtesy of Pigtrip.net


Photo of Smoke City Market – Sherman Oaks, CA


Photo of Jim N’ Nicks BBQ – Jasper, AL via Man Up Texas BBQ


Photo of Daisy Mays BBQ – New York, NY courtesy of Pigtrip.net


Photo of Black’s Barbecue – Lockhart, TX


Photo of Smoque BBQ – Chicago, IL via Full Custom Gospel BBQ

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J. C. Reid – My Favorite BBQ Joints – Volume 24

Chris (J. C.) Reid is just a cool guy. Plain and simple. If you don’t believe me, read some of his work (or read his tweets). I’ve known him for a couple of years now and have always respected not only his opinion, but his writing style and the angle he takes on a specific story. I especially love the fact that he incorporates killer photos of food (and locations) into his pieces. So it’s with great pleasure to have him participate in this weeks “My Favorite BBQ Joints”.


Photo by Paul Sedillo

Here are Chris’s favorite BBQ joint in his own words:

Patillo’s Bar-B-Q – Beaumont TX

“Growing up in Beaumont, Patillo’s is the first BBQ joint I ever went to. It celebrates its 100th year in continuous business this year. I went to high school just down the street on 11th St, and came here a lot in high school. Even brought a couple of dates here. The 11th St. location closed last year after the owners sold the property to Jack in the Box. It reopened in a previous location on Washington Blvd that had been around since the 1950s but closed after a hurricane a few years ago. It’s been remodeled and brought up to code. There’s a certain time-capsule quality about the barbecue here – this is by all accounts the same barbecue that’s been cooked by this family at least for the last few decades, if not the last century. And that’s a good thing in my opinion. The barbecue is unique and personal in a way. Brisket is sliced thin soaked in a throwback sauce that is neither tomato, vinegar or mustard-based. It has a watery consistency, with a base that’s vaguely of beef stock, with plenty of fat floating throughout, and spiked with black pepper, chile powder and possibly some cumin.

It’s a fascinating recipe, certainly different, but it works. For me the quintessential dish here is the East TX juicy link, which is made up of left over beef bits and traditionally seasoned with chile and paprika and big chunks of garlic. These are the most authentic juicy links I’ve ever found, thanks to the fat content. A lot of barbecue joints in East TX have cut back on the fat content of their links for health reasons. Not Patillo’s. It literally explodes with liquid fat that’s the color, consistency and flavor of the fat you scrape off the top of a pot of Texas red chili. This is the way they used to make juicy links in East TX.


Photo of East TX juicy link

Lenox Barbecue – Houston TX

When you open the door to Lenox, you walk into a kitchen. You’re not sure if you’re supposed to be there. Employees, some who look like they’ve been there for decades, wave you in. You walk past them as they make sides and trim briskets. You place your order in the back, next to wood-paneled offices that look like they haven’t changed since the 1970s. This is technically a takeout joint, so you stand around in a narrow hallway waiting for your order.

You’ll probably be standing next to construction workers or policemen. Lenox has been around for more than 60 years. In 2009, the property was condemned to allow a light-rail line to run though here. Lenox had a big closing party to mourn the tearing down of the building. But owner Erik Mrok got a great idea. He just tore down the front half of the building which was the dining room. The kitchen and smokers were in the back half of the building, so he kept that, and now the front door is what used to be the kitchen door. The smokers here are more than 40 years old and are the original prototypes of the all-wood rotisserie smokers made famous by the Oyler Co. The smoke room here is like nothing else I’ve seen in Texas – big, steel, hot, loud, sooty smokers in a tiny room. My friend Fulmer says it’s like being in the engine room of a World War II German U-boat. Mrok considered disassembling and moving his smokers elsewhere, but when the Oyler people came to look at them they said if they tried to take them apart and move them, they’d just fall apart. So the kitchen and smokers stayed. The barbecue here can be hit-or-miss, but mostly hit in my experience. Only open for lunch, 11-2 weekdays.

Snow’s BBQ – Lexington TX

A lot has changed in the world of Texas barbecue since Snow’s BBQ was the surprise #1 pick in the Texas Monthly Barbecue issue of June 2008. Bobby Mueller of Louie Mueller Barbecue would pass away unexpectedly a few months later. Lance Kirkpatrick, longtime LM employee, now has his own worthy joint in Austin – Stiles Switch. Son John Mueller, once the presumptive heir to the LM dynasty, has opened his own place in Austin. Older son Wayne has taken over the reins at LM and has made it better than ever. Aaron Franklin came out of nowhere to be the new king of Texas barbecue. National media is spreading the gospel of Texas barbecue far and wide. Food personalities like Anthony Bourdain and Guy Fieri make their pilgrimages, trailed by entourages and camera crews and hordes of dedicated viewers, leaving in their wake some quiet grumbling by the Texas barbecue faithful.

And through it all, Snow’s BBQ has remained the same. Showing up at 10am on a Saturday, there’s rarely a long line anymore (they’re all at Franklin’s I guess) and if there is, regulars and locals know to go around to the pits where Tootsie or Kerry will ring you up with a pound of this or that – no waiting. Wanna show cousin Marty from up north the pits? Hershel Tomanetz, Tootsie’s son, is always eager to give you a tour. The best experience in Texas barbecue is still getting up early on a crisp, cool, sunny Saturday morning in October, driving the 2 hours to Lexington, ordering a steaming pile of fatty brisket and eating a barbecue breakfast at Snow’s.”

Here’s a little bit about Chris I’ve lifted from his “about” section on his website. “I inevitably find that the most interesting people I meet are lovers of good food and drink. The friends I’ve accumulated over the years — that is to say those friends I have chosen to keep in touch with even though our lives have diverged — are usually linked to a shared experience of food or eating. Whether it’s cooking improvised dinners in a tiny New York apartment or traveling hundreds of miles in a single day to sample the best barbecue in Texas, food and drink becomes a vehicle for creating friendships, memories and, yes, stories.

It’s not like I’m reinventing the wheel here. People in every corner of the world have been getting together to eat, drink, laugh and tell stories since the beginning of civilization. In that way, I’m just like everyone else. But I like to think I bring my own quirks, eccentricities and insights to the (dinner) table, and hopefully that comes through in my writing.”

Read more about Chris HERE
Check out the Houston Barbecue Project HERE
Follow Chris on Twitter HERE

Southern Living – The South’s Best 20 Barbecue Joints

Hanna Raskin put together a list of 20 Southern BBQ Joints for Southern Living. While of course this list (and any list for that matter) leaves off a lot of great BBQ spots, but in all honesty, it’s a rather strong one.


Photo of Allen & Son BBQ via Chapel Hill Journal

Here’s the list (with clickable links to the locations):
A&R Bar-B-Que – Memphis, Tennessee
Allen & Son BBQ – Chapel Hill, North Carolina
The Bar-B-Q Shop – Memphis, Tennessee
BBQ Barn – North Augusta, South Carolina
Bozo’s Hot Pit Bar-B-Q – Mason, Tennessee
The Brick Pit – Mobile, Alabama
Bunn’s Barbecue – Windsor, North Carolina
Georgia Pig Bar-B-Que – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q – Multiple locations across the South
Jimmy’s BBQ – Lexington, North Carolina
Leigh’s Barbecue – Kevil, Kentucky
Lexington Barbecue – Lexington, North Carolina
Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint – Nolensville, Tennessee
Neely’s – Marshall, Texas
Papa Kayjoe’s – Centerville, Tennessee
Payne’s Bar-B-Q – Memphis, Tennessee
Pecan Lodge – Dallas, Texas
Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge – Shelby, North Carolina
Saucy’s Walk-up Bar.B.Q. – Petersburg, Virginia
Sims Bar-B-Que – Little Rock, Arkansas

You can see the entire article HERE

What do you think of the list? Any you would take off the list or that you see is glaringly missing?

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Wayne Monk and Lexington Barbecue – BBQ Joint Review

With the nights long and the earth warming up around us it’s apparent that it’s finally (and officially) grilling and barbecue season across the nation (and world). I have another great BBQ joint below, but if you’re looking to purchase a grill in the near future (and really who isn’t), you should

check out the range of BBQ’s. Now on to the review of one of my all time favorite BBQ joints:

If Arthur Bryant’s BBQ was the first place I learned what real BBQ could be, then Lexington Barbecue was where I was indoctrinated into the cult of BBQ. I was changed forever.

Wonderfully, we have an incredible guest review of Lexington Barbecue by Dave Raymond from Sweet Baby Ray’s. He himself has two BBQ Joints in Wood Dale and Elk Grove Village, Illinois. It’s a bit longer than most of our reviews, but once you’ve read it, you’ll realize not only the passion Dave has for BBQ, but also what a great establishment Wayne Monk has created.


Photo courtesy of Mukur H. – Yelp

We went to meet Wayne Monk and of course eat his Lexington Barbecue. The group was Duce, my nephew and business/competition barbecue partner, Ron Nunes, our friend and competition barbecue partner, and my brother Larry, who is the chef who created Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce (and Duces’s father).


Photo Courtesy of John B. – Yelp

I had read in Mike and Amy Mills’ book Peace, Love, And Barbecue as well as John T. Edge’s Southern Belly: The Ultimate Food Lover’s Companion to the South how great Lexington Barbecue was as well as seeing Wayne, his family, and his operation on the Food Network. We sell regional barbecue at our place and I am always interested in learning more about bbq, meeting bbq folks, and of course eating barbecue with my friends.


Photo courtesy of Buffetbuster via Roadfood.com
(more…)

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Beef Aficionado – Texas BBQ Trip III – BBQ Video

If it’s not already quite evident, I am a huge fan of beef, more specifically BBQ. Because of this, I feel a kinship for any other souls who are on a quest for great meat across the country (and beyond).

The guys at Beef Aficionado lead by Nick Solares (an NYC based photographer and food writer) went on their 3rd Texas BBQ tour recently and documented it below (thanks to a tweet by @BBQSnob for pointing out the video). Beware as it will make you very, very hungry.

Here are the BBQ Joints featured in the order they appear with links to their locations:
Franklin Barbecue – Austin, TX
JMueller BBQ – Austin, TX
Southside Market & Barbeque – Elgin, TX
Meyer’s Elgin Smokehouse – Elgin, TX
Louie Mueller Barbecue – Taylor, TX
The Taylor Cafe – Taylor, TX
Balderas Grocery & BBQ – Waelder, TX
Gonzales Food Market – Gonzales, TX
City Market – Luling, TX
Kreuz Market – Lockhart, TX
Smitty’s Market – Lockhart, TX
Black’s Barbecue – Lockhart, TX
Snow’s BBQ – Lexington, TX
Zimmerhanzel’s Bar-B-Que – Smithville, TX

Great work guys. Check out the carnivore’s heaven of a blog site that is Beef Aficionado HERE

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Dinosaur Bar-B-Que’s – Newark, NJ – Pictures – Gothamist

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que has opened it’s fifth location in Newwark, New Jersey. Gothamist just ran a nice little piece along with a bunch of great photos. Here are a few of them:


Photo courtesy of Anthony Alvarez


Photo courtesy of Anthony Alvarez


Photo courtesy of Anthony Alvarez

You can read the entire piece and see more photos HERE. Have you been yet?

This East Coast favorite is opening a 6th Dino restaurant in Stamford, Connecticut in late 2012 and a 7th in Brooklyn, New York in early 2013.

You can find the Newark, NJ location here:

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Southern Hospitality BBQ – 3rd Location – Denver, CO

I had heard for a while now that Southern Hospitality BBQ wanted to expand past their NYC and Hell’s Kitchen locations, but didn’t realize that Denver, Colorado would be the next stop. Per this story in the Denver Post, the new location with be in the historic St. Elmo hotel in Lower Downtown (LODO) and they are looking an October opening.

From the article, “The original restaurant , which opened in 2007 on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, as well as its 2011 Hell’s Kitchen successor are both models for the 30-store franchise roll-out agenda.” Interesting to see where the next locations will be. Have you been to a Southern Hospitality BBQ before? What are your thoughts?

Here is where the LODO location will be:

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Randolph’s Smoke House – Los Angeles, CA – New (sort of) BBQ Joint

I kind of pride myself on knowing about a new BBQ Joint before anyone else (or at least among my immediate friends), but this one slipped through the cracks big time for me. Randolph’s Smoke House, nestled east of Inglewood and north of Compton is a already a gem (only over a year old) and a joint that I am dying to head out and try one of these weekends.


Photo courtesy of Yelp

Per LA Weekly, you may recognize owner Stephen Randolph from his recent job as owner of Chambers Shine Parlor and Shoe Repair. Seems he just followed his passion for BBQ and turned the kitchen next door to his business a BBQ Joint.


Photo courtesy of LA Weekly

From the LA Weekly article, “Once those heady fumes of smoke and meat have bombarded your senses, ordering anything less than a half-rack is nearly impossible. Randolph’s spareribs might be the most intense in town — sinewy bows of pig covered in a peppery black bark, gnarled by smoke until the layers of tender flesh have been cured as pink as an Ozark ham. Randolph swears against salt in his barbecue — it’s the salt, he proselytizes, that keeps the smoke from reaching total saturation. A week later you are elated to find that the sweatshirt you wore that day is still imbued with the sharp tang of hickory.”


Photo courtesy of Yelp

The article continues, ” There are smoked half chickens, thinly sliced tri-tip sandwiches, a rather decent beef link, and whole smoked tilapia on weekends, but to order any of them might be missing the point. You want those pork ribs: rubbed with spices, bathed in smoke and sauce, served in lean meaty strips or chopped up into thumb-sized rib tips, hunks of hog that spend an extra hour or two in the smoker until their stratum of gristle and fat collapses into edible bliss.”


Photo courtesy of LA Weekly

Really nice to hear of another quality BBQ Joint in Los Angeles. I’ll let you know my thoughts (and take tons of pics) after I visit. Please let me know if you’ve been and what your thoughts were.

Check it out yourself here:

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Bitterroot BBQ – Seattle, WA – New BBQ Joint

Just was forwarded this article by Tan Vinh of the Seattle Times on a new BBQ Joint in Seattle, Washington called Bitterroot BBQ.


Photo courtesy of Daily Candy

Tan Vinh writes, “What to write home about: The buttery strips of beef brisket, with the fat glistening, were juicy and tender. Don’t you dare cut off that slab of fat. Two sides that stand out: the sweet and spongy apple-pretzel stuffing and the salty fries. The pork belly ($14), cured and smoked, is one of your cheaper meat options. Some cornbread with honey butter goes well with that.”


Photo courtesy of Dan I – Yelp

Vinh continues, “Summing up: An order of mac ‘n’ cheese, a pulled-pork sandwich and two entrees of briskets and pork belly with four sides, enough to feed three people, totaled $49. The bill is higher than at other barbecue joints in the city. Food, though, is more polished, the quality of the meat better.”


Photo courtesy of Justin – Urbanspoon

I’m seeing more and more ‘high-end’ BBQ joints cropping up in major cities across the United States. I’m a little hesitant to drop a good amount of money on a dinner (BBQ or otherwise) since I’ve been burned so often by expensive meals that left me completely unsatisfied and worse yet, hungry. It appears Bitterroot BBQ has their act together and the price tag is worth it. Would love to know if you’ve been there yet and what your thoughts are.

Follow them on twitter HERE
Check them out on facebook HERE

Read the entire piece HERE

See Bitterroot BBQ yourself here:

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