Looking for the best BBQ all over the south
Hi all, I am traveling Sales Guy who has the south as his region......over the last couple of months I have decided to make it my goal to find the very best of Southern BBQ and really understand what makes every state and town's specific BBQ dialect so special......so I would appreciate a shove in the right direction, and please only locally owned institutions no chains.......If you could enlighten me as to the best BBQ joints in the following towns or in a town with in a 30 min drive I would appreciate it.......Valdosta, GA.......Huntsville, AL..........Chattanooga, TN.........Lake City, FL.......Charleston, WV.........Huntington, WV........Roanoke, VA.......Wilmington, NC........Jacksonville, NC.........Columbia, SC.......and Hamilton, VA.........Miami, FL.......and if any one of you want to give me the best slow food, fresh from farm, city staples....or localy owned high end cuisine I would greatly appreciate it, and for all of it I promise to try it and write a good or bad review shortly after I have eaten there......Thanks and Safe Travels
Huntsville, Al. I will go ahead and break one of your rules and suggest Dreamland. They make my favourite ribs. Not smoked but slow cooked over an open fire right in the dining room. It's a small chain though.
I'd make the drive over to Decatur at least once to go to Big Bob Gibson's. They're an institution in the south and the home of Alabama White Sauce. A white BBQ sauce that they finish their chickens in. It's outstanding.
In town Little Paul's is quite good too although their ribs are back ribs and not as good as side.
If you're running on 81 south Roanoke and need to make a stop near Wytheville, give Skeeters a try. Really cool place with some great hot dogs. I blogged about them.
Thanks for the posts I will be down to try everything you say with the exception of Dreamland, been to the original in Tuscaloosa and the one in Huntsivlle, it has gone waaaaaayyy down hill since the O-G, owners sold out and it chained up........I am excited about all the others, but here is a tip for you try Thomas's on 71 best smoke on ribs I have had yet
Did that and was disappointed. You can read about it here. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/575379
Dreamland has been almost all a hit but I've never been to the original and it was already chained by the time I got there. So I have nothing to compare it to. I also live in Canada but my in laws are in HSV so I'm still somewhat of a Neophyte.
Also, if you're down near the square, you need to check out Wild Rose Cafe. It's a breakfast/lunch thing and she usually runs out of food. Really good.
I am afraid your post may be a little too "aardvark to zymurgy". I may be wrong, but I don't think you will get many replies. If you are new to Chowhound, you may not know that bbq may be the single most discussed food item, particularly on the South board. Spend a few entertaining and informative hours using the above search field with a narrowed scope - EX: bbq Columbia. It will be fun and you will be amazed by the passion bbq arouses.
I travel the South also, Va. to Florida and am always on the lookout for smoke and a woodpile!
Another suggestion: look at hollyeats.com's bbq section.
Re Hamilton, VA: Northern Virginia is not a great place for cue. The nearest place of acceptable BBQ quality would be 20 miles east at Willard's in Chantilly, not far from DC's Dulles Airport. Willards is often mentioned as the best in Northern Virginia, but that's a back-handed compliment. Their best, IMHO, is their ribs. They do not have the necessary atmosphere: no sawdust on a concrete floor, no tin roof (they're in a small strip mall), the building has not yet been condemned, and the neighborhood isn't enshrouded in smoke. But it's not uppity, either. Some of the tables and chairs have seen better days so you can imagine it'll eventually wear down to acceptable. The walls are enshrined with the names of great barbecues joints around the country. Nevertheless, when I'm craving cue, it's where I go (about 10 miles away), and I'm not disappointed because my expectations are not for great cue.
re: Potomac Bob
The best Q in Va IMHO is "Pigs R Us" in Martinsville. (They compete and cater as "The Checkered Pig") Mind you they are only a couple miles as the "pig flies" from NC.
Down US 29, the only Chowish Q I have found is Silver Pig in Madison Hts (just north of L'burg on Bus 29). Owner is a NC transplant.
I agree "best in NO VA" is a backhanded complement, but the above two are up to anything you will find in NC.
There is another Q joint in Nellysford, Nelson Co,, but I have not been by when they are open. I have heard really good things tho.