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May 15, 2010 06:08 PM

BBQ in PHX? I'm from Texas

I'm about to start shooting blind trying to find something even close to what I'm used to eating. There's gotta be a back-alley smoke pit that someone worships. So far, all I've seen are places that have other stuff listed with 'q' somewhere on a big yellow sign. Help me start smart.

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  1. Joe's Real BBQ in Gilbert is my favorite in the area. I can't remember how it compares to the places I went to when I lived in Dallas, but it's got some really good meat and their pit beans are amazing.

    Joe's Real Barbecue
    301 N Gilbert Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85234

    1. I recently found Town Talk II.

      Not Texan Q, but very good Creole style barbecue.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ipsedixit

        Ipse, just our of curiosity how does Bludso's in Compton stack up against the offerings in PHX?

        Mr Taster

      2. Texas BBQ is sparse around these parts. Firenza00 is on the right track with Joe's Real BBQ. Nothing I've had around town quite compares for one reason or another. Stacy's Smokehouse on Indian School and the 51 has excellent meat, but call ahead and get it to go since both service and side dishes are spotty at best.

        If you're up for a drive or are already heading to Las Vegas anyway, the very best BBQ in the state is at Eat At Joe's BBQ (no relation to the Joe that runs Joe's Real BBQ in Gilbert) in beautiful downtown Wikieup, a 2.5 hour drive from Phoenix. It's mindblowing good 'cue, and depending on how hard the craving hits just might be worth the drive.

        Stacy's Smokehouse
        1650 E Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ

        8 Replies
        1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

          Be aware, if you're a hardcore 'cue nerd, that Stacy's runs a Southern Pride gas oven. Offered without comment for fear of touching off an online BBQ skirmish.

          1. re: Dmnkly

            I had no idea... thanks for mentioning that.

            1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

              Yeah, kinda like A & J's BBQ on 16th Stree has this plastic-or-glass device in the middle of the room that apparently is not unknown in Chicago but is unique in these parts -- so are the results. Some people like it -- but it's not Texas-style.

              1. re: misohungrychewlow

                It's called an aquarium smoker, and yeah, it's a Chicago thing. I tried A&J's tips and links combo -- also a Chicago thing and, sadly, not good at all. But that might've been due to low turnover in a city that doesn't venerate tips & links. Been meaning to get back to give them one more shot with the ribs, which is what I imagine most people order here.

                An aquarium smoker's a pure smoker, not an oven with a smoke box, and it has the commensurate learning curve. Like anything that requires a real pitmaster, the results can be awful or divine depending on who's running the show.

                1. re: Dmnkly

                  Thats too bad. I used to go to AJ weekly for tips and links and they were awwwwwwesome. I loved going there to eat and watch the Cubs game. But then again that was 12 yrs ago (holy crap! Ive been gone too long hehe). I think I read somewhere, on these forums most likely, that they have different owners now. Used to be a great guy behind the counter, I think his name was Abe..Hence the "A"

                  1. re: Mytah

                    Yup. New owners. Not sure when the switch was made, but it was fairly recent, I think... within the last couple of years. Sweet folks.

                    1. re: Dmnkly

                      Aaaaaaaand, they're out of business. Went by today to try the ribs and they were dismantling the aquarium smoker. Scratch that one off the list.

          2. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

            I agree about TX BBQ, and I do not know why. I have found some decent South Carolina BBQ (western SC), but not TX. BBQ is often all about the region. What works for me (more eastern North Carolina), really fails for others. Texas is different from Memphis, and different from KC. Same for the Carolinas - all different - no judgement attached. It is about what one likes.

            Have not been to Joe's Real, but have heard great things. Now, were these folk in-the-know, regarding TX BBQ? I don't know, but they DID like it.

            Good luck, and enjoy,


          3. stacy's barbecue at 16th and indian school is very good. they serve two excellent texas staples beef brisket and fried okra. the okra is the best i've had anywhere. hot and fresh not frozen and very lightly breaded. for the beef i ask for the sauce on the side as it is a bit sweet for my taste.

            2 Replies
            1. re: biga290

              Haven't had the brisket, but I second the okra. Crunchy, coarse cornmeal crust, fried up fresh.

              1. re: biga290

                I've loved Stacy's in the past, but a recent experience left me almost depressed. The pork ribs were tough and fatty, greens were salty and musty, and the beans were bland. I'm hoping it was an off day.

              2. Better start saving up for placne tix back to Texas...there isn't anything like good Texas bbq here. The best I've found is Dillon's (in Glendale or Peoria?) and there is a really good place in Flagstaff called Satchmo's. Most of the bbq places here drown it with sauce, and don't seem to get the whole 18 hour smoking thing....