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Sep 11, 2000 11:55 AM


  • b

So far, I've found Bo's BBQ Barn (huge slow smoker, minimal use of sauce) and the fabulous Joe Grates, south carolina style with lots of molasses and black pepper (try the wings for black pepper madness) done by Peg and Joe in their homes.
Does anyone know of any other serious bbq around new haven? particularly the tentative schedules of the various informal outdoor bbq places up and down Dixwell Ave? (chowhound heaven if you like sweet potato pie, as well)

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  1. s
    Susan Thomsen

    Thanks for the info on CT barbecue. I found an address for Bo's Bar-B-Q Barn (181 College Street, New Haven, 203/789-0805) on, but couldn't find one for Joe Gates. Do you have an address and city?

    I thought typical South Carolina BBQ was cooked with mustard-based sauce. Or is that only Maurice's Piggy Park?


    6 Replies
    1. re: Susan Thomsen
      Susan Thomsen

      Oops. After correcting my own misspelling (alas), I found Joe Grate's: 1559 Dixwell Avenue, Hamden, 203/230-1408. I'll have to check out these places. Thanks.

      1. re: Susan Thomsen

        As a Southern ex-pat I do try to find BBQ in my current home of CT!

        The BBQ formerly known as Busters, noted elsewhere on Chowhound, in Stamford, is perfectly good. Just exit at the WWF building (which seems quite bbq-appropriate!) off I-95 - it's just down the hill.

        Little Mark's, which is off I-84 around 20 miles east of Hartford, in Vernon, is unquestionably the best BBQ in the Nutmeg State. Great sauces, including both SC and eastern NC style. While the description "the best bbq in CT" may seem backhanded, Little Mark's is more than worthy, and wouldn't seem out of place in suburban Hotlanta.

        Unfortunately, A Taste of Texas (nee Stick to Your Ribs) on Honeyspot Road just east of Bridgeport seems to have closed. While it had a slightly scary location, they always treated you nice and served pretty good 'que. Cleanliness wasn't always a priority, and (last week) it had that look that straddled the line between "we're on vacation" and "Mad Max dined here." A hole in the window and a dead pidgeon on the floor gave away the sad truth of total abandonment.

        More suggestions of top-flight CT BBQ would be much appreciated. The bible of BBQ restaurants, Real Barbecue, is just getting too far out of date!

        The death of an authentic BBQ always throws me into a state of displacement-driven existential angst! Forsaking Thanksgiving leftovers while visiting family in SC, I've Q'd at the wonderful Brushy Creek Barbecue in Powdersville, S.C. and, tonight, I'm hitting Charlie's, in Greer.

        1. re: Chris G

          I'm originally from Atlanta, GA, so I know great barbecue! I moved to CT about twelve years ago, and never thought I'd find great barbecue here. However, much to my surprise, there's a b'bcue place a few miles from my house that's simply the best! If you like great barbecue, you have to try Little Mark's Barbecue in Vernon, CT. The ribs are very tender & flavorful, the pulled pork is awesome.

          1. re: ctflowers

            thanks for the tip. can't believe have been driving by the place for years driving between boston & nyc.

            1. re: ctflowers

              I have to try them, too!
              Googling them, it shows that they had a location in Avon, but it has closed recently.
              Little Mark's Big BBQ
              226 Talcottville Road
              Vernon, CT 06066
              (860) 872-1410
              Looks like an easy-off and easy-on to I-84! Perfect for that trip to Bean Town.

              1. re: Scargod

                I was just logging on to search for a good stop on the way to boston from NYC...this looks perfect!

      2. Down in Litchfield County the king of CT BBQ still stands.....The Cookhouse in New Milford.Way better at dinner than lunch though.

        5 Replies
        1. re: FAB

          if you are in new milford you are only about 10 miles from bigw bbq in wingdale ny...the best

          1. re: corky

            Joe Grates closed quite a while ago. There is an Uncler Willie's on Whalley Ave in New Haven which is pretty good

            1. re: mmalmad

              Yea, Joe Grates had a fire several years ago and didn't re-open.

              Uncle Willy's or "The Pig", as I call it, is passable (I've only eaten on Whalley but I understand the Waterbury location is very good. I found the Q to be dry but with good flavor. I am speaking as a Texan who is used to Hill Country Q. On Whalley, I usually had a long wait to get my Q, so don't go starvin'! I would pass on most sides and desserts. Just get some Q to go....

              The Cookhouse in New Milford, CT on 7 is pretty good. The bikers love it. They flock there on the weekend cruises. I've eaten there a number of times but that was five years ago. The owners are supposed to be from Louiisiana, and it shows. Pretty good grub, in general, but can be spotty, especially with service. Again-five years ago!

              1. re: Scargod

                I went to Uncle Willy's in Waterbury once and really enjoyed the brisket and sweet tea. The banana pudding was reasonably good too.

            2. re: corky

              Love both Big W and the Cookhouse, but for different things. Think Cookhouse's pulled pork is better, while Big W's brisket is better. Don't know anyone who makes a decent North Carolina - Piedmont style spicy vinegar based sauce. Anyone knows where to find some?

          2. try Bobby Ques in ive found so far and if you ever get into NYC the absolut best in the north east is Brother Jimmys..... in my opinon brother jimmies is the best there is......they have a stand in grand central but it is not the same as their locations.. upper west side location is great + its very inexpensive look for the web site + you gota luv white trash wednesday & southern apprecaition nite

            1. I can't speak for the entire state, but the fare in Fairfield County is pretty weak. Bobby Q's in Westport tastes and feels like a chain restaurant. Smokey Joe's in Stamford doesn't have a smoker as far as I know (and they boil their ribs), say no more. The Cookhouse in Darien is decent, a little hit or miss. The best of the bunch is probably Wilson's in Fairfield. Good ribs and pulled pork. The brisket can be good, but is often dry. The sides are non-descript at best. In a pinch I'll grab some meats at Wilson's, and make my own sides.

              4 Replies
              1. re: schmonsequences

                I can't speak for the quality of Smoky Joe's ribs (though their pulled pork and brisket are not bad--acceptable at least). But they most definitely have a smoker. Pull into the parking lot, and the back half of the building is dominated by a woodpile, and a caged in smoker, puffing away. Definitely a pit there.

                1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

                  I've got to say I have no idea what you guys are talking about, Smokey Joe's definetly has a huge authentic smoker in the back bu the mountain of a wood pile and I have found that it is right up there with their ribs brisket and pulled pork. I travel often and on the road much of my time and these guys have it down. CHEERS TO SMOKEY'S IN STAMFORD, GREAT JOB ;)

                2. re: schmonsequences

                  Had Wilsons the other night (be careful only open Thursday-Sat). Felt the same way you did, schmon, meat was tasty but the sides were disappointing.

                  1. re: schmonsequences

                    Went to both Bobby Qs and Wilson's this week (not my vist visit to either). This was my 4th and last trip to Wilsons - it's just too spotty. The pulled pork was good, but the pulled chicken was inedible. Collards were a watery mess. Mac & cheese was just meh. Bobby Qs was very good though. They have great pulled pork (Ribs are not as good as Ash Creek Saloon), but the surprise winner was the baked beans which were awesome.

                    Ash Creek Saloon
                    2895 Fairfield Ave, Bridgeport, CT 06605

                  2. It's not CT, but Q's in Port Chester (not too far from the new movie complex) is out of this world! All they have are ribs with your choice of usual sides (cole slaw, baked beans, pot salad, etc.)