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Vast BBQ wasteland / Denver?

Having been gone for several years, we're having a hard time finding GOOD barbeque in the Denver metro.
When we left, some of our favorites were County Line BBQ, Bennet's(sp?) on Arapahoe Rd and Winston Hill's take out joint. We have tried a couple of spots like Brickyard and Dickie's but are looking for Texas style ( around Austin) and for meaty, tender ribs, pork, beef, any style.

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  1. Not Denver, but two in Boulder get raves: West End Tavern is smoking its own meats; ditto for The Rib House in Boulder and Longmont. I'm not much for BBQed meats, so this is second-hand info fr people I trust.

    The West End Tavern
    926 Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80302

    1. chimay5, there is a lot of mediocre BBQ in Austin, unfortunately. But I have looked far and wide and haven't found a smoked brisket in Colorado that comes close to that of Black's in Lockhart. Last BBQ party I had, I just had Black's FedEx me one of theirs. Awesome.

      For my money, the best brisket in the Denver metro area is from KT's, and the best ribs are from Brothers. But even the best here is only the 50th percentile from Lockhart. You just gotta get used to that.

      All around, The Rib House that Claire mentioned is pretty darn good, but their style is wet.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ToddBradley

        For whatever it is worth, I lived in Austin for almost 5 years and had mixed BBQ experiences there just like I have had in Denver (as Todd seems to have discovered too). I just had the Rib House in Longmont yesterday for a work lunch and really enjoyed it. I was insanely thirsty the rest of the day, however, but also had no need for dinner after the small pork rib basket with sides of red skin mashed potatoes and coleslaw. Most of the other places I've tried (Bono's, Bennett's, KT's, Brothers, Big Hoss) have disappointed me in some way, although the pulled pork at Big Papa's on Evans was really good as well as the hot links at Caldonia's (have not been to either in a long time though) and I've had good experiences at Wild Mountain in Ned just like monopod. Oh, and Waterloo in Louisville can be pretty good--a couple who owned Waterloo Records in Austin opened it. Not sure anything comes close to places in Lockhart though.

      2. I can really recommend Shortys Pit Bar-B-Que in Longmont, CO. The meat is great, a couple of different sauces. The have some great sliders (really good for breakfast the next day) but what blew my socks of was the french fires COOKED IN DUCK FAT. I repeat: DUCK FAT. Wow. I don't think I'll be able to go back to regular fries until the sense memory wears off. Truly amazing.

        Shortys Pit Bar-B-Que
        1114 Francis St, Longmont, CO 80501

        1. I think you're likely out of luck looking for Austin-style BBQ here; for some reason, everywhere in Colorado seems to gravitate towards KC style BBQ. The Rib House is indeed a good bet for KC style, and I like Wild Mountain Smokehouse in Nederland as well (especially on a trip to or from the mountains). But I can't recall finding anywhere around here that specifically goes for Texas-style, maybe because Coloradans tend to be a little touchy about their brethren from the Lone Star State taking over the ski slopes here...

          2 Replies
          1. re: monopod

            What about Wolfe's. Is it still outstanding.

            Wolfe's BBQ @ 333 East Colfax Avenue, Denver, CO 303 - 831 - 1500.

            1. re: monopod

              I think folks West of the "Divide" have accepted the fact that Texans will visit both in the summer and winter. BBQ is easy to cook, if it wasn't Texans couldn't do it. But most of us here have been around enough places to have sampled the different BBQ approaches; North Carolina, Memphis, KC and Texas. I would much rather have great slow cooked pork than the over cooked Texas brisket. The "meat and three" to me defines the experience of down home cooking and that's probably not ever going to be found in Colorado.

            2. Not Denver, but if you're ever up toward Loveland, you probably should check out Serious Texas Bar-B-Q. I haven't been to that location, but based on my experiences at Serious Texas Bar-B-Q in Durango, I'd say it's worth a try.

              It's not Lockhart or Luling quality, but it beats the heck out of any other barbecue I've had in Colorado and most places in Texas. They even have Elgin sausage--not imitation Elgin sausage; they have the real thing shipped up from Elgin.


              1 Reply
              1. re: Chimayo Joe

                Oooh, I didn't know they had an outpost up north; thought they were just in Durango. I could live on their Texas tacos; not exactly traditional BBQ, but damn fine.

              2. I have not tried it yet, but my Texan friend recommends Rudy's :country store" Bar-B-Cue in Colorado Springs.

                315 South 31st Street
                Colorado Springs, CO 80904
                Phone: (719) 471-4120
                Fax: (719) 471-4121
                Hours: Sun-Thu 7am-10pm
                Fri-Sat 7am-10:30pm

                Part of chain based in Texas.


                1 Reply
                1. re: Biroldo

                  Oh my god, I had no idea! Rudy's is one of the best BBQ joints in Austin. Not as good as Black's in Lockhart, but if the Colorado Springs Rudy's is as good as the Austin Rudy's, it's better than every BBQ joint in Colorado that I've tried (and that's saying a lot). Now if I could just overcome my aversion to the Springs long enough to slip in and get a meal and slip back out again...

                2. I lived 8 years each in Texas and Colorado and I love Q. There is no brisket in Denver that can compete with Ironworks or Elgin, but Caldonias does a decent job with pork ribs and chicken. County Line on Arapahoe near Centennial and on 2222 in Austin and on Bee Cave Road in Westlake Hills is of course the same chain.
                  Edit: Not to do with food, but Caldonias has always been a generous sponsor with both $ and personnel of ski programs for the handicapped in Winter Park.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Veggo

                    Veggo, Do you have an address for County Line BBQ?

                    1. re: chimay5

                      The Arapahoe County CO location is 8351 Southpark Ln. in Littleton, 303-797-3727

                      1. re: Veggo

                        I was under the impression that restaurant closed. That's what Yelp says:


                        And it's missing from County Line's corporate website:


                        You think it's still open?

                  2. We tried Bono's west of I-25 on Dry Creek Sunday. Ok but didn't knock our socks off.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: chimay5

                      And I tried Yazoo Barbecue downtown on Sunday. Bleh. I gave it 2 out of 5 stars on Yelp. The need to drive to CS for Rudy's is growing.

                      1. re: ToddBradley

                        I drove to Rudy's in Colorado Springs two days ago. I tried their beef brisket, sausage, and potato salad. It was not worth the drive. :-(

                    2. One of my favorite TX memories is bringing back brisket, sausage and ribs from Kruez, Smittys and Blacks to Austin for a 'Pepsi Challenge' party. Oh, the joys of Meat Sweats! Blacks took gold in ribs, Kruez dominated the brisket and sausage category, and Smittys was a close second on brisket. They definitely got first in atmosphere for having a pit you could literally walk into if you had a few too many Lonestars. Colorado is a snooze fest for BBQ (or Mexican food for that matter). Drive to Rudy's. I found it to be of the same quality as it's Texan partners, although I've heard it's inconsistent. Don't think they've found a pit master worthy of the title in terms of consistency. In town, Whole Foods Market is the best. The Belmar and Tamarac stores both have smoke houses and they blow away anything else in town. I know that sounds strange, but the quality of meat is obviously going to be top-notch and it is a Texan company. Simple rub, beautiful bark (meat candy), and if you're lucky, a meat cutter that knows their biz and will offer you 'lean' or 'wet'. Ask for a sample and you'll never go to Brothers BBQ (Westword 'Best BBQ' how many years now?) again.

                      Whole Foods Market
                      1748 Redstone Center Dr, Park City, UT 84098

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: beard

                        Beard, you'll appreciate this BBQ story, I think. My wife and I decided to spend Thanksgiving week on South Padre Island. The journey home had us flying from Harlingen to Austin, and then from Austin to Denver. There was a 2-hour layover in Austin. Given the quick lines through security, I decided we should make a run for it.

                        We rushed out of the Austin airport, and got the first taxi cab in line. Our instructions: Drive us to Black's BBQ in Lockhart, wait for us while we enjoy the best brisket on earth, and then drive us back to the airport. When he told us what that would cost, I had a brief moment of indecision, but decided that it was worth; I can't find brisket in Colorado that good. So I think we spent $140 on the taxi and $19 on the meal. And it was worth it!

                      2. The Denver BBQ land is about to become "wastier" when Wolfe's Barbecue shutters on Christmas after pleasing legions of Denverites for a quarter of a century -- whether or not Louis Wolfe's
                        recipes are exactly like those made elsewhere. The Westword report is at http://blogs.westword.com/cafesociety...

                        1. Try Big Jims in Parker, on the corner of Parker Road and Long's Way (I think) just across the street from Twisters on the right heading southbound.

                          Also try Red Hot and Blue in COS. It's a chain we used to love when we lived back east.