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Dec 31, 2010 08:27 AM

Best Barbecue in Vancouver?

I know everyone has a different idea of what "authentic" barbecue is, but how about some nominations for a New Mexico girl?

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  1. The best BBQ in Vancouver would be Chinese BBQ....but I'm sure you are looking for the Southern stuff. I don't have enough experience with the real deal to make recommendations...perhaps the Re-Up foodcart?

      1. re: waylman

        I checked it out this past week. They do Carolina-style BBQ -- dry-rub seasoning. The pork ribs and beef brisket were very good, as was the corn bread on the side. I was a little disappointed with the creamed corn (light on flavor) and baked beans (too thin for my taste). Nice, floury biscuits -- similar to what they serve over at Deacon's Corner (same owner). Decent mac & cheese as well.

        My main beef (pun slightly intended) was that the place is pretty small, so when they open their meat smoker (which is right in the restaurant), the entire place is overwhelmed with the smell of smoked meat -- and I really mean overwhelmed.

        1. re: JEheartbreak

          Forgot about Peckinpah ! So they're opened, huh ? Do they have cornbread ? Hush puppies ?

          Is Memphis Blues still on the "good BBQ" radar scope of Vancouver ? Seems the last couple times I been (2009, 2010) their portions got smaller but prices got higher, with no noticeable (to me) changes or innovations to their (now tired) menu. My $0.25 of course.

          1. re: LotusRapper

            I didn't realize Peckinpah was open either. I should check it out. Memphis Blues is just alright, but the BBQ aficionados I know tend to look down upon it....but Iike it once in a while. So YMMV.

          2. re: JEheartbreak

            More like Meh-kinpah.

            The buffalo ribs were so tough I had to send them back- the waitress saw me hewing away with my knife and suggested I give up. She brought beef ribs instead, which were much better but dry in texture as well.
            I get the dry BBQ thing, grew up with it summers in the southern U.S. Have never had such tough meat before... My feeling is that they're still getting the hang of the smoker/process & things will hopefully improve over time. Husband's beef brisket brought raves from him.

            Cornbread is bland, dry and flavourless. Ditto the beans- echo the 'thin' sentiment. Staff was very obliging and the space was pleasant. I'm not too interested in going back though.

            1. re: majordomo

              I actually didn't find the cornbread too dry. In fact, my ex-wife from Alabama would have said it was too moist -- she's a firm believer in cornbread needing to be dry as the desert, which I always thought was weird.

              1. re: majordomo

                I went recently and ordered the beef ribs; they weren't dry at all, and were actually quite juicy, but a bit too fatty. While I did enjoy them initially I found them a bit too rich as the meal when on.

                My sis had the wings which were really dry and sort of awful, my mom had mediocre mac and cheese, and my gf had the brisket sandwich which was definitely the standout dish -- the brisket had just enough fat to make it tender and was really nicely smoked.

                The corn bread and creamed corn were both extremely disappointing, but the fries were great.

                Despite the many shortcomings I would return and only order brisket as I really love the stuff and don't often have the chance to eat it anywhere else. The place is very hip and like many establishments that are hip, the food seems to come second to ambiance and aesthetic.

                On a side note -- I stopped at the Campfire BBQ place in Squamish en route to whistler and found it absolutely revolting. We bought brisket, mac'n'cheese, corn muffins, beans, and coleslaw and we actually threw it all away. Even the soft white rolls which came w/the brisket were awful. I don't know who said that place is good, but my experience was terrible. I am not sure that the brisket was even smoked -- they filled an aluminum dish with shredded grey meat with no pink hue or smoke flavour (or any flavour whatsoever).

                BBQ is soooooo easy to cook well and I just can't understand why people always seem to fudge it up.

                1. re: brokentelephone

                  I now would agree with "Meh-inpah"

                  Went there with a friend for lunch yesterday. Place was empty at 12:15pm. Bad omen. Scanned the menu, I ordered the combo that had brisket, pulled pork and pork ribs, with cornbread, and two sides of collard greens and hush puppies. Friend had just brisket platter with collard greens, potato salad and cornbread.

                  My brisket slices was fairly tender but the ends were dry. Friend's brisket slices were all dry. We looked at it and it looked like sliced lean roast beef than brisket. And the rub ..... no taste. My pulled pork was not bad. But the pork ribs were dry dry dry, again no flavour. Cornbread (like a big cornbread muffin) and the greens were decent enough, perhaps the highlight of my lunch as the hush puppies were, again, lacking in taste and fairly mealy dry.

                  At 1/2 their stated prices perhaps some of these flaws would be more forgivable, but my combo being $22, I have no immediate plans of returning.

          3. I'm from the south, born and raised in Oklahoma. Lived in Texas and New Orleans, Louisiana and had barbecue all over and I must say, Memphis Blues is a big disappointment. I ate at the one on Commercial and the staff were rude, the food was mediocre at best, the portions small, the prices outrageous and the restaurant was not clean. If you want barbecue, do not go there.

            That said, I'm still looking for good barbecue in Vancouver.

            5 Replies
            1. re: pjq

              If i'm hungry, then MB is okay ... but I concur (with the Broadway location) assessment that the menu is tired, the location is small and uncomfortable and the whole serve yourself thing only works because the place was packed when I was there last.

              I mean, it works for the restaurant and servers, felt kind of strange to me but i got used to it.

              I had some good BBQ out in Langley, of all places, at a place called Ozarks Famous BBQ


              I had their 5 dollar lunch special which was a pulled pork sandwich, slaw, beans and fries. Water was fine for me.

              It was very good and for 5 bucks it was good value. I'll go back, probably for their all you can eat ribs special to check it out.

              I know it's not Vancouver ... but it's "only" 40-45 mins away.

              1. re: bill_n_opus

                Thanks for the Langley tip. Considering that I would travel a couple of thousand miles for real Texas BBQ, Langley is no big deal. Vancouver is very weak for southern BBQ, and unless there is some great place hiding away, right now Memphis Blues is the best we've got. I've not had any bad experiences, but I also haven't been there in about a year. Has it really gone downhill? That would be a shame. My only wish is that they would put fried okra on the menu. Miss that big time.

                1. re: bill_n_opus

                  Frankly unless MB undergoes some radical change (menu, prices, proprietors), I'm in no big hurry to go back. Not trying to sound jaded, but like many once-successful restaurants (and other types of businesses) in Vancouver, they start out serious, then after a few years just end up on autopilot. Quality wanes, prices go up, and menu begins to stale, and stale.

                  Thanks for the tip on Ozark's, Bill n' Opus. Langley is not all that far, certainly closer than the real Ozark Mtns ;-)

                  Migz I've heard good things about even though I've never been. Their predecessor was a place called Fatzo's (same owner ?) which had ok BBQ but service was inconsistent and the owner a bit quirky.

                  Peckinpah could (and hopefully) begin some kind of southern/BBQ renaissance in Vancouver if they are (and stay) as good as initial reports. Like good Mexican/Latin American cuisine, Vancouver is just starting on that journey, so I'm really hoping good southern cooking is next.

                  There was an earlier thread where I asked about that southern place in Marpole which closed many years ago (still forget their name). Rumor has it the cook is now doing P/T work at that Jamaican place on E. 15th/Fraser, just west of Les Faux Bourgeois. His cooking wasn't 5 star but it had heart !

                  1. re: LotusRapper

                    I think you are thinging of Big Al. He used to have a place downtown but now just does catering and maybe works at the Lion Restaurant. Used to love his fried chicken but never had his ribs.

              2. You might also phone to see if Boonie's in Langley is still open - I'm getting mixed info there. It runs out of the Quality Inn near 64th Ave & 200 in Langley. I also could've sworn I saw a place as I zipped down the Millenium Line. Can't recall where though..bah

                2 Replies
                1. re: deworde

                  Boonie's, evidently, was very good back in the day at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds ... brother-in-law thought it was really good. They've moved in the last couple of years iirc and i've heard mixed things ... but that's hearsay so I shouldn't talk more without actually trying it out for myself.

                  Oh yeah, word to those trying out Ozarks ... it's got a restaurantish-pub like feel. Perhaps not as much as a southern-style joint. I wouldn't know for sure since i've never been to a US bbq joint ... only judging what i've seen on the Food Network!

                  1. re: deworde

                    Boonie's restaurant is no more. As with what occurs sometimes, greedy bastards at the Quality Inn basically took Boonie and his wife and drove them out of their business. When Boonie cooked up soul food, he literally put his soul into the food he prepared. He has a huge following from his days in Cloverdale and they followed him to the Quality Inn. His closing had nothing to do with lack of support but rather what happens when someone literally kills the goose that's laying the golden eggs.

                  2. Re up BBQ is also very good, best pulled pork in Canada says my boyfriends father. It is very good though I have never had their ribs. They have a couple street carts around the city.

                    Apparently they are trying out bacon and did smoked turkeys for delivery at Christmas.