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Barbeque in Canton, Oh

madgreek Jul 21, 2008 04:05 AM

In my city, we do a ribs burnoff that coencides with the Pro Football Hall of Fame festivities at the end of July and beginning of August(http://www.profootballhoffestival.com...). At the burnoff, many local restaurants compete to see who has the best ribs, and let me tell you, almost all of the offerings are pretty good. I remember one year a chain restaurant called Bennigan's won, and their ribs definitely warranted the win. The meat was sticky, smoky and moist with a sweet and tangy sauce, and was fall-off-the-bone tender. Another year it was a local Greek restaurant called Flaming Pit. Last year, Armadillo's BBQ Company won. I didn't get a chance to have theirs, but did sample Tony Roma's (runner up), which was good. But what about the rest of the year? Unfortunately, I think the rules that govern the burnoff dictate that the competing restaurants all use the same meat, which is usually of higher quality than what they actually use in the restaurants. Also, I have a feeling that special BBQ teams are often assembled just for the competition, complete with BBQ specialists and smokers, which aren't always used in the restaurants. Don't get me wrong. If a restaurant wins, their ribs are usually good for a while, but often don't stay that way. It looks like they use the notoriety of the win to get people in the door. Big surprise, right? I was recently asked about a local place called Hog Heaven (http://www.hogheaven-bbq.com/). I don't remember them ever competing in the burnoff, but they have a restaurant which is popular with bikers, that serves barbeque all year long. I have eaten their food, but was not impressed. I used to work at a place that had them cater food from time to time, and it wasn't very good. Since they only brought in bbq wings, pulled pork, bbq chicken, and slaw, I decided that I should give them the benefit of the doubt and pick up their ribs sometime. I tried them twice. Both times, they were tough and had an odd flavor. It's been a few years, but I think I tasted a lot of ginger...maybe. Also, I think they used spare ribs, and they didn't taste smoked at all. They just slathered them in sauce. I think the sauce was the only thing I liked. Anyway, I stopped eating their food. John's Bar right across the street is a much better place to get food, even if it isn't BBQ. As far as barbeque, Old Carolina Barbeque Company (http://www.oldcarolina.com/) is much better. The meat actually tastes smoked (because it is), and even though I usually like a tomato-based sauce more than a vinegar-based, I love their sauces. Here is an interesting thread on roadfood, which I definitely agree with: http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic....

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