The sun has been shining and the weather has been summoning many to break out their trusty ol’ grill here in Kansas City. With that comes the strong desire for my favorite Kansas City treat… Barbeque! But my newsfeed on Facebook is still a good stream of friends watching snow fall and making snow men, making it clear that not everyone in the US is getting to enjoy this little “pre-Spring” weather we are soaking up. I decided to help a friend out, by giving you a few BBQ places that you should probably check out at some point this week, no matter the weather in your home state. It’ll help get you ready for warmer weather to come, and it means no dishes to wash for you! HAPPINESS!
1. Old Hickory BBQ in Owensboro, Kentucky.
Old Hickory began back in 1918 when a man known as “Pappy” began barbequing mutton on a pit. Six generations later, and this restaurant is still in the family and still serving up some amazing food! Where did the name come from? The fact that they cook exclusively with hickory wood. Besides their specialties of mutton, pork, beef, chicken, ribs, ham, turkey, burgoo, chili, and meat stew (is your mouth watering, yet?), they serve classic sides, like coleslaw and mashed potatoes and gravy, and good-for-the-soul desserts, like banana pudding and blackberry cobbler.
If you’re anywhere near Kentucky, take a journey to a little city that hosts some big flavors and check out Old Hickory BBQ, and maybe buy some of their specialty sauce to take home with you!
2. Mission BBQ in Gambrills, Maryland.
Mission BBQ chose a name to match its purpose, as the owners strived to create a restaurant that is not only known for its amazing food, but its patriotism and mission to give back to soldiers, firefighters, police officers, and first responders by hiring them! They believe there is “nothing more American than BBQ.” And I believe there is nothing more American than creating an entire business founded on the idea of giving jobs to our veterans and local heroes. Their love for the US can be seen all over the décor on their walls. Mission BBQ’s menu features everything from brisket to pulled pork to salmon and the mouth-watering sides that are classics with BBQ like French fries and “cold slaw”. They are located in a total of eleven states stretching from the Northeast down to Florida and many states in between! Check out this amazing BBQ restaurant that lives up to its name, and feel good about the food you eat and the cause you’ll be supporting!
3. Jack’s BBQ in Seattle, Washington.
Jack’s likes to boast that they are the “Best Central Texas Barbecue in Seattle”. Now, I think that they probably shouldn’t be boasting about accomplishing the Texas BBQ flavor, because, is that really BBQ? I’ll give it a pass this time… only because I am staring at pictures of their food and I can practically smell the smoke and tender, juicy meat cooking on their grills. Not only does this restaurant serve amazing BBQ for lunch and dinner, but they serve some incredible tacos just for breakfast! You can literally have BBQ for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Guys, that means you NEVER HAVE TO LEAVE (Except you might have to hide in the bathroom for the two hours they’re closed between breakfast and lunch. But you didn’t get that idea from me.) Brighten up your dreary, rainy days by chowing down on some succulent meat.
PS: They have a Happy Hour from 3-6 PM every week day. HOLLA!
4. Lonny Boy’s in Cedar City, Utah.
For this next BBQ stop, I’m taking you to a town that is near and dear to my heart, as I grew up just 15 minutes away. Lonny Boy’s was created by a father-son team who took on the impossible task of creating the best BBQ on this side of the Mississippi. I’m so glad they didn’t give up when they realized that nothing beats Kansas City BBQ (Actually, maybe they never realized that, I just hope for their own sake they did). And while they might not have the best BBQ on this side of the Mississippi (insert a little winky face here), they have won the “Best in State” award for the best “Texas Style BBQ” four years in a row! That is an incredible accomplishment! You know what’s even bigger? When their food is so delicious that they get to expand! Lonny Boy’s is in three cities in Southern Utah! Besides the typical BBQ food, they also serve wings, sugar cookies, fried pickle chips, and their famous fried cauliflower! Many people travel through Southern Utah on their way to California and Las Vegas, so you might as well take a pit-stop at one of these incredible places. And if you are in Las Vegas, I promise it will be worth the two-hour drive to check out Lonny Boy’s!
5. Virginia City Jerky Company and Smokehouse in Virginia City, Nevada
Obviously, this restaurant makes jerky, their name would be pretty silly if they didn’t, but they also serve some pretty delicious BBQ. Obviously, or they wouldn’t be on my list! They are only open during lunch and late-lunch hours, so you’ve got to get in sometime between 11 am and 4 pm. Virginia City Jerky has been in business since May of 2003, just four years after Troy began selling his jerky to people all over Nevada. His son and daughter helped create their famous BBQ recipes and have since taken over the business. People rave about their bold and tangy flavors that can be found in their sandwiches, BBQ favorites, and signature sauces. Want some meat for the road? Stock up on their jerky that has been smoked for eight hours and is full of its own strong flavors.
6. Sparky’s Burgers, BBQ, and Espresso in Hatch, New Mexico.
Because nothing pairs more perfectly with BBQ than espresso.
But seriously, this vibrant and goofy restaurant attracts all kinds of travelers and roadside attention as it creatively incorporates the dreams of one couple: design and coffee, and wood-fired BBQ and green chile cheeseburgers. I don’t think a couple was ever more meant to be, as their wacky combination has actually resulted in a restaurant that has been in business for over 20 years! I could talk about their incredible coffee menu for dayssss... they feature drink called a “Wired Cow” and “Space Cow Cappuccino” … but this blog isn’t about coffee, or the amazing shakes Sparky's serve (I’m sorry, could a shake get any more BBQ than a Green Chile Shake? I don’t think so). Instead, I’ll get you drooling over their pulled pork, sliced tender brisket, and their smoked sausage that you can order with a side of pineapple coleslaw, sweet corn with green chile and onion, or seasoned pinto beans. Seriously people. This is the restaurant for all people. Mama gets her coffee, daddy gets his world-famous Hatch Green Chile Cheeseburger and the kids get peanut butter and jelly, because, for some reason, kids still order peanut butter and jelly even when they’re at a restaurant like this!
7. Killy’s Smokehouse Deli in Sheridan, Wyoming.
There’s a pretty top-notch review on Killy’s Facebook page that pretty much covers anything I could say about them: “Having been to some of the self-professed ‘Best Barbecue’ in the country in places like Texas, Lousiana, and others, Killy’s can stand toe-to-toe with any of them.” I mean, seriously. That is a pretty intense compliment. They offer a wide variety of meats, all smoked until that absolute perfect moment, and serve those meats with homemade sides and salads. They also boast about their “Almost Catering…without the Cost”, clearly delivering a delicious meal for the masses, at a fraction of the cost of what one would normally pay. While I don’t know many people who just “drive through” Sheridan, many people like to snowboard and ski pretty close to this cozy little town, so next time you plan a ski trip to Wyoming, mark out a day to go get some incredible BBQ at Killy’s!
8. Saw’s BBQ in Homewood, Alabama.
In a little suburb of Birmingham, lies a BBQ restaurant that has made quite the name for itself. There are now three different “Saw's” locations in the Birmingham area, but in 2009, the very first restaurant in Homewood was opened. Saw’s Soul Kitchen and Saw’s Juke Joint also feature some incredible BBQ, and each have a special vibe of their own. Saw’s BBQ is a small little dive that prides itself on focusing on two things: flavor and the customer. They serve smoked chicken with white BBQ Sauce sandwiches and tender, juicy pulled pork created by their incredible chef and co-owner, Brandon Cain. The atmosphere and décor is casual while their food is anything BUT casual flavors. BANG. BOOM. YUM. Also, deviled eggs. They serve deviled eggs. “Excuse me, I’ll take the deviled egg please. Yes, um, six. No, not six eggs, six orders. Thank you.”
9. FireBox Deli in North Minneapolis, Minnesota.
This restaurant is literally everything a BBQ restaurant is supposed to be. For instance, their pulled pork? It is smoked for about 12 hours… that’s right, TWELVE HOURS, until it literally falls apart. That is melt-in-your-mouth, tender pulled pork. Most of their meats are rubbed in FireBox’s custom rub to maximize flavor. Their sides include all of the typical… you know, French fries, mac ‘n cheese, and potato salad, but they also offer soft and scrumptious sweet potatoes and Asian-styled sticky rice. Don’t ask me why. I’ve literally never heard of a BBQ place serving sticky rice, but I can’t help but be a fan! Even in Minnesota, you can find some delectable BBQ. Thanks to me, and FireBox Deli, I suppose.
10. Beale Street BBQ in Bath, Maine.
Let me tell you something, I love BBQ. Like I love it a lot. But there’s something I love a little more… seafood (and coffee, and chocolate, and pizza. They’re pretty much all tied, though). Can a restaurant in Maine really only serve BBQ? Probably not. At least Beale Street can’t, because on top of an entire BBQ menu, they also have a seafood menu! Salmon cakes, shrimp quesadillas, and shrimp creole, are just a few of their fresh seafood options. They also serve jambalaya, an angus beef burger, Vermont cheddar quesadilla, and bayou pilaf. But let’s get back to why we’re really here, their BBQ. From pulled pork to barbeque chicken and even St. Louis pork ribs, their menu is anything but boring. I’m doing a little jig on my sofa as I read through their menu. Coming up next week (March 6 – March 9), experience the BBQ World Tour by sampling smoked and grilled meats with choices of over 20 BBQ sauces! BBQ can even be found in Maine!
And there you have it. Ten delicious BBQ restaurants all over the country to get you in the mood for summer, and to help get you out of your cabin-fever funk if you’ve been sitting inside for just a little too long. Don’t forget to check in and post a picture on Ziyak when you visit one of these special places!
At Ziyak, we are excited to help connect people to cities all over the country. From finding the best places to eat, to exploring the best events in town, for the old in spirit and young at heart, Ziyak is for everyone.
Kendra is an Executive Assistant at Ziyak. She loves to share her humor and share her passions with anyone who will take the time to read what she writes.