Now we are touchin’ some nerves and ruffling’ feathers!!!
This year I have been to College BBQ in Salisbury, NC, Charlie’s Piggin n’ Grinnin’ in Benton Harbor, MI and the Salt Lick in Driftwood, TX. This Saturday I am going to Nat Hayden’s Real Pit BBQ in Windsor, CT. Stay tuned to hear which one is the best!
Well I guess I lied! We never made to Nat Hayden’s last Saturday night. Hayden’s doesn’t have any TV’s and we wanted to watch college football. Alas…why not the Buffalo Wild Wings right next to the hotel? TV’s were everywhere and the wings were tasty, as were the ribs. The ribs were a bit sweet and lacking a smoked flavor, but were tender and moist nevertheless.
Back to the other three joints…The Salt Lick is a place with a definite Hill Country of Texas flair and ambiance located in Driftwood–it is exactly what a BBQ place in Texas should be. While the sides were only so, so, the ribs were absolutely to die for, and certainly among the best I have tasted. The brisket is outstanding as well. When in Austin, make the trip to Driftwood, and remember to BYOB!
College BBQ has been in Salisbury, NC for a number of years. It is favorite of the locals, including one of the original owners of Food Lion, a large grocery store chain. My first visit there was for breakfast with my Dad and his wife Nettie. Wow was the country ham excellent, especially when accompanied by two eggs over easy and grits! And how can you beat the aroma of pork shoulder cooking slowly over hickory wood?
During my last trip to Salisbury, my Dad picked up a bunch of pulled pork, pepper slaw, and hush puppies. BBQ manna from heaven? I didn’t roam the desert with Moses or Charlton Heston for 40 years so I can’t say for sure, but this stuff is awesome and rivals the pulled pork from Lexington BBQ. That is quite a testimonial!
Charlie of Benton Harbor is a member of the Kansas City BBQ Society, which is the biggest organization of its type with some 13,000 members, including me. He has won a number of KC BBQ Society contests and has the trophies in his restaurant to prove it. I had a great time getting to know Charlie, and enjoying his pulled pork sandwiches. His pulled pork is right there with College BBQ’s!
In a society which believes “everyone deserves a trophy” picking a sole winner is tough. Plus, the guys from the prog rock band Rush said, “if you choose not to decide, you still have made choice.” Now, to decide how to prepare the beef tenderloin which just came out of the garage freezer…