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.
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
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.
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.
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
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...
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.
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.