PHOTOS BY SARAH JANE SANDERS
No matter how you spell barbecue (barbeque, BBQ, or Bar-B-Que), the result is an American classic, with as many styles as there are regions of the country. We chose five local joints that will help you close out the summer with a smile and sticky fingers.
Our list runs from your typical BBQ dive to a converted hotel diner to a music venue, all worth hauling your taste buds to. For this list, we included only brick-and-mortar eateries. BBQ food trucks such as Lyle’s BBQ and J. Render’s BBQ are excellent and worth seeking out, but we’ll leave the food trucks for another Top Five list.
So without delay and in no particular order …
Blue Door Smokehouse226 Walton Ave. Bluedoorsmokehouse.com
The newest place on our list is in the newly hot Walton/National Avenue district. Although located in the former Mary Lou’s BBQ spot, you’ll find this is wholly different “Q.” Chef/owners John and Jeff have created a first-rate Austin-style spot serving excellent smoked meats and great sides. Of particular note are the ribs; they are hard to beat. In addition, they make a mean brisket and smoked sausage. The sides are fairly typical for a BBQ place, but pay special attention to the collard greens and potato salad.
This group is friendly and accommodating. The smoke level is ideal and not overpowering.
• Come early, as they can sell out.
• Keep an eye out for occasional specials like tacos and rib tips.