My family and I are traveling the US of the next 12 months and I plan to hit as many Que/Smoke Houses as my arteries and family with tolerate. I've got another thread going if you want to make a recommendation. Here I will post the venue/location and my humble/not so experienced opinion of the place and a drool rating.
Bill Millers BBQ - San Antonio - Texas
A local chain establishment. ( I wanted to start off with low expectations)
I had 4 meats - Brisket, 1/4 Dark Chicken, Sausage, Baby Backs, Beans and slaw.
The service was fast and friendly even though it was a Sunday night and both the drive through and inside were lined up 10 deep. The Chicken and Sausage were good, the brisket was a little Dry ad the ribs were very Dry.
No beer or wine
$$ - Reasonably priced
Brown-B-Que - Bracken(San Antonio) - Texas
I believe this used to be called "The Bucket Brigade", although I could be wrong. It is out near the Natural Arch Caverns off I10 just North of San Antonio.
I had 3 meats - Brisket, 1/4 Dark Chicken and Sausage, Tater Salad and Borracho Beans.
This is how I picture smoke houses. Small building on the side off the road with an old outdoor smoke house.
The owner and his wife were the to greet you and chat and were very friendly. The food was excellent. My brisket was a tad dry( but that's being pretty picky). We'd never had Borracho beans before and they were awesome. Everything smoked in house, home made tortilla's and sides. Overall great experience. Highly recommended
No Beer or Wine
$$ Great Value
Augie's Barbed Wire BBQ - Downtown San Antonio - Texas
This one came highly recommended from one of the Alamo bus tours we took. Apparently famous.
I had 3 meats - Brisket, 1/4 dark chicken, Jalapeno Sausage, Tater salad and Beans.
The only waitress/cashier was unfriendly ( mainly due to the fact she was pregnant and looked minutes away from giving birth). Otherwise the cutters were helpful and friendly. The food was good...until our table collapsed and spread it everywhere. The unfriendly waitress just looked and walked away, leaving me in search of someone who did care, which took a little while. Anyway, finally they cleaned it up and replaced our food. All's well that ends well.
The food was pretty good. I wouldn't say "famous" good and a bit pricey. They did have beer and wine, which is always nice.
Beer & Wine
$$$$ Over Priced
Julian's BBQ - Chorpus Christie - Texas
We swung into this one at the last minute of the interstate on our way to Padre Island. Which might explain how I tore down his parking area string flags with my RV Antenna . They were very good about it and I tipped them well as a result.
Onto the food...this is the first place I've tried that does true Pit Q. It was interesting as you had to enter a separate room to order which was explain when the owner took me for a tour of the pits...it is a fan forced reticulated pit system...so the separate room keeps the air pressure higher and the air moving through the pits. Pretty cool. Julian Jr took it over from Julian Sr and it seems to have a strong following. I ordered the usual 3 meats and sides;
The brisket was excellent (they make 20-30 a day so are always fresh). The sausage was locally made and pretty tasty. The chicken was a little over cooked. The prices were affordable. The owner and staff were very friendly and happy to take me for a tour of the pits etc. I'd go again.
No Beer or Wine
Goldie's Trail BBQ - Vicksburg - Mississippi
This joint had a good write up with the locals on Yelp so we gave it ago. I had high hopes upon reading the Menu showing that it was a second generation family operation learned in Arkansas with no changes to technique ..blaa blaa blaa. The ambiance was definitely about simple southern hospitality and smelt awesome.
I ordered the usual 3 meat and sides;
It all arrived completely drowned in the house sauce that was heavy on vinegar. The brisket came sliced thin like roast beef and was chewy. Literally like it was roast beef drenched in BBQ sauce. The sausage tasted like a hot dog drowned in BBQ sauce and chicken was dry. My wife had some ribs, which were also drowned in sauce and were also very dry and fell off the bone if you bumped the table. The sides were average...beans from a can with some added bacon and guess what.more house sauce. The tater salad looked like the stuff you buy from Wally world. All in all i came away feeling like I had drunk two beers and about a gallon of BBQ Sauce. Not going again.
Over Priced $$$$
Marlowe's Ribs & Restaurant - Memphis TN
After the Goldie's debacle..i had to wash the taste out of my mouth...literally. I dont normally go for big famous joints but broke the rule for this one as they came and picked us up in a pink limo. We ordered the 4 meat platter for the whole family and it was plenty. (ended up taking some chicken and pulled pork home) Brisket, Ribs, Pulled Pork and Chicken. Sides were beans, mushrooms, green beans and corn fritters. The portions were large enough to feed the four of us. Everything was cooked perfectly, except the chicken was dry. I liked the brisket best. I'm not sure what it was was with the others, but I think I just dont like there "famous" house rub. But that's personal...it was good Q. The staff were friendly and a full bar always keeps me and missus happy. The individual prices were high, but as noted the 4 meat platter for $43 feed us all...so not to bad. Still...i'd rather keep searching for a back woods side of the road joint than come back here...
$$$ Pricey but worth the experience.
Edited by Dingo007 - 1/18/16 at 6:02pm