On the Barbeque Trail
Our search for great tasting barbeque
We like barbeque. It can be beef, chicken or pork. It can even be sausage. We usually judge a barbeque place by the brisket but sometimes the places just don't make it. Our fall back item is pulled pork. The following photos will journal our stops at various barbeque joints we have stopped at in our travels.
I am not sure what year it was but it was after Vince first moved to Texas. He was working at an outdoor education center near Huntsville. we went to visit and he took us to New Zion Missionary Baptist Church Barbeque. This place is sometimes referred to as The Church of the Holy Barbeque. We got brisket, chicken and smoked sausage.That was our first experience with Texas barbeque but it won't be our last.
In 1998 I took an assignment in Lexington, MA. Spending several months there got me out and looking for places to eat. I discoverd Blue Ribbon Barbeque in west Newton and became a regular. My favorite there was the burnt tips. Those are the ends of the brisket, smothered in sauce. OMG were they good.
I also got to visit the Arlington location once with a co-worker. Check out Blue Ribbon here!
In 2000 we finally got to Goode Company Barbeque in Houston. This is probably still our favorite. Here are Barb and I posing in front of thier Hall of Flame, across the street from the restaurant.
Barb, Beth and I enjoy our lunch outdoors in December. We decided that Shiner Bock was the beer of choice this trip. Check out Goode Company here!
In 2001 we headed from Houston to San Anotnio. For some reason we found ourselves in El Campo at lunchtime so we pulled in at Mikeska's BBQ. As to be expected the food was great. Check out Mikeska's BBQ here!
In 2002 when We went to the US Boomerang Association National Championships in Seattle. We had extra time and toured some wineries, In Woodinville, WA we found Armadillo barbeque. It was ok, especially so far from barbeque country. Alas, my last reports are that this place has closed.
Also in 2002, I was working in Rochester, NY which is home of the second location for Dinosaur Barbeque. I went there almost every week and would even buy dinner for Friday night the night before and bring it home with me to share with Barb. The Dinosaur has great stuff and an awesome cookbook. The Rochester location is in the old railroad station. Check out Dinosaur Bar-B-Que BBQ here!
In 2003 we visited Pappas Barbeque. There are several location for Pappas in the Houston area, not sure I remember which one this was. Check out Pappas BBQ here!
In 2004 we decided to photograph the murals on buildings in east Houston. There were plenty to look at and at one point we passed a barbeque joint. we figured that it was another opportunity to check out some good eats so stoped in at Lenox Barbeque. You can visit their website here!
2005 found me working in Syracuse NY. This was great for me as I was only a few blocks from the original Dinosaur Barbeque location. There were many Fridays I would call in an order to take home for supper.
Our annual trip to Houston in 2005 got us to stop at Pookies, near here our son worked. Good sandwiches here.
In 2006 Barb and I volunteered to go with a church group to Ocean Springs, Mississipp to do cleanup and rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. As luck would have it, there was a barbeque place near Camp Victor, our base of operations. Since it helped by feeding some money into the local economy, we did it by eating barbeque at Pleasant BBQ.
In 2007 we decided to go looking for the famous Thelma's Barbeque. Thelma has a reputation in Houston. some people are turned off by her, others love her. We found Thelmas and it doesn't look like much from the outside. Inside wasn't much better. The food was fantastic! Thelma got caught up with customers and visited us at our table. There was a fire at the original Thelma's location but she reopened nearby in 2009. No website.
I think it was also 2007 when we found Old Carolina BBQ in Canton, Ohio. We were visiting a friend and found this place near our hotel. We got great service and fantastic food. Tried almost everything on the menu. Now our friend is a regular customer. Check out Old carolina's website here!
In 2008 we were in the Outer Banks and stopped in at Pigman's Bar-B-Que. I must say thet I am not fond of East Carolina barbeque. The vinegar in it turns me off. However many people like it and we did stop by. It would have been nice to get a clean photo of the place but those big Fork pickups got in the way (including mine) Check out Pigman's website here!
Its time for a musical number about barbeque here!
Late February in 2009 we flew with Mom to Houston, then drove to the Dallas area to visit with Barb's Aunt Marie. Half way there is Woody's Smokehouse and Bar-B-Q in Centerville, TX. Woody's is famouse for their jerky and smoked meats, but they also have a great barbeque joint inside. Never one to pass up barbeque, I suggested we stop. You can visit their website here!
The Houston Rodeo started while we were in town. First up was their worrld's Championship Barbeque Contest. How could we pass up that? Only fitting that I wore my Dinosaur Barbeque t-shirt.
More photos from the contest
In May we headed to the famous 9th Ave International Food Festival in New York City. This was our second visit, having found it one year on a bus trip to see a play. This festival is held in the Hell's Kitchen area of New York City and there is plenty of stuff grilling on the street. Barb called this the meat merry go round.
We are not afraid to try new things so here is Barb chomping down some grilled baby octopus.
What would a food festival be without a pig on a spit. This is eating high on the hog!
In September of 2010 we took Mom to the Outer Banks. On the way down we stopped at Em-ing's Chicken and Ribs in Bishopville, Maryland. We love both the chicken and ribs here and stop every time we drive past.
Barb made sure we had plenty of sauce to go with our food. She got sweet, hot and regular. we took the food with us and ate it for supper. You can visit their website here!
Just north of our office location on route 309 is Tex's Smokin' Bar-B-Q. It's just a trailer and smoking rig but Tex serves up some really mean ribs. He is open Friday thru sunday except in the winter. You can visit their website here!
Update: due to problems wih neighbors and the township, Tex closed shop. We will miss him.
Christmas 2010 had us in Houston again with a trip to Austin. On the way to Austin we stopped at Junior's Smokehouse on Highway 290 to buy sausage and jerky. You can visit their website here.
Continuing on Highway 290 We found Lost Pines Bar-B-Que in the town of Giddings. It was lunchtime and what better place to stop. The food was great and a worthwhile stop for sure. You can visit their website here.
I think I could live along Highway 290. A little farther up the road in the town of Elgin we spotted Meyer's Elgin Smokehouse. I had already passed it but the car knows how to do u-turns so we went back. Having already eaten, there wasn't much more we could do but buy some take out to test later. They have some mighty fine smoked sausages. You can visit their website here.
After finally making it to Austin, we decided to eat Mexican that night. However the next day we went to an Austin landmark, Stubb's Bar-B-Q. Many of you have seen their sauces in the store, or online. At Stubb's there is live entertainment every night. We stopped at lunch so it was much quieter then. You can visit their website here.
We decded to return to Houston via Highway 71 and again the car makes a u-turn. We spotted the La Grange Smokehouse on the left side and had to go back to check it out. Not a barbeque joint but a place with some mighty fine smoked sausages, beef sticks and jerky. They do have barbeque on the weekends. You can visit their website here.
Two days after Christmas in 2011 we found ourselves back at Good Company in Houston. For a change we got to sit inside. here's my sandwich of brisket on jalapeno cheddar bread. Sorry, I took a bite before thinking to take a photo. Maybe I am not too sorry though.
Barb guards her brisket sandwich with her life. I wouldn't want to try and take it from her.
We took a week and visited Charleston SC. On our way there we stopped at a Smithfields Chicken 'N Bar-B-Q . After tasting Eastern North Carolina style barbeque again, I am pretty sure it is not my cup of tea. Everyone has their own taste and this style doesn't match mine.
So after some searching I came up with more photos. As promised, here are ones from Grumpy's in Allentown. We really like this place and go pretty often. The plate of food includes brisket, ribs and chicken.
On another trip to Houston, Vince suggested a day trip to Austin, to visit an olive grove. When we got in the area we went to Salt Lick and had a great time. Their horseshoe shapped pit is really neat. The staff allowed me to get some fantastic shots. As you can tell from the plate of food (sausage, ribs and brisket, no one went hungry!
We decided to spend a week at Chincoteague VA and stopped at Woody's Beach BBQ. It was funny as that day I was wearing a Grumpy's BBQ t-shirt.
On a 2013 trip to Baltimore, we left a museum in search of Ft McHenry and lunch. Turning down one street we found HarborQue. The food was good and plentiful.
We now have a few Dickey's BBQ joints in the area. We occasionally eat at the Behlehem location. The food is OK and they have free ice cream.
Also in 2013 we went to the Allentown Blues, Brews and Barbeque festival. It is an annual event but we don't always get there. Here are a few photos from the event.
In 2014 we went to the New Yory City for the 12th Annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party which brings pitmasters from across the nation to Madison Square Park. We had a blast and tasted a lot of different styles. We fell in love with the beef ribs from Hometown Barbeque in Brooklyn. Here are a few photos.
In 2015 we went to the Manassas, VA to visit the battlefield. While there we found the Blue Dog Barbeque stand at the farmer's market. It was early morning but I broke down for a brisket sandwich.
Also in 2015 I had to work in Talahassee FL. I am always up for some barbeque and found Sonny's not far from my hotel. I think this is a chain place and found the food to be rather ordinary. Photos were from my phone and match the quality of the food.
Since I was in Talahassee several weeks, I continued my quest. I scored big time when I found 4 Rivers Smokehouse. I usually judge a place by their brisket and 4R's did not disappoint. I went back another time and tried the beef ribs, which were also excellent. The cheese stuffed bacon wropped jalapenos were yummy as well.
In 2016 we were in Houston again and decided to try a new place. The place we originally planned was closed so we ended up at Gatlin's. Yummy brisket and smoked sausage.
In May of 2016 we took a bus tour of some National Parks out west. One day after an early morning float trip on the Colorado River we needed lunch. We were in Page, AZ and had seen Big John's Texas Barbeque from the bus. It was about 2 blocks away so we hoofed it over there. Good eats! Very good briket and the cowboy beans were awesome. I got to meet (or is that meat?) the owner and got to check out the pits. Yes, I had to buy a t-shirt that says "If you smoke it, they will come".
There are other stops I know I missed, or don't have photos to include them. I had some really bad bbq in Easton Pa at Fat Daddy's and want to forget that place. I think they we trying to do the East Carolina thing with a ton of vinegar. I couldn't eat the stuff. Now if I could only remember the name of the place we stopped in Hattiesburg, MS on our way home from Houston one year.... good eats!
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