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Nov 12, 2011 02:51 PM

Best BBQ within 30 minutes of Tempe?

I'm going to be in Tempe for a week towads the end of thenyear and wondering what the best BBQ is within a half hour of Tempe? Thanks all

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  1. Hands down, Joe's Real BBQ in Gilbert. Outstanding meats, sides that threaten to upstage the main course, and they make their own root beer. When I go I have to get the turkey breast (it's so tender you can almost spread it like butter), and the BBQ beans are mandatory. I've been tempted to make a meal of just the beans before.

    1. Scottsdale BBQ Co

      Its on way back in the strip mall at Granite Reef and McDonald

      Great Ribs and pulled pork - they have two types of sauce, go with the Spicy for sure

      Sides: The Baked Beans and Green Beans are both excellent - the rice is pretty good as well

      Scottsdale BBQ Co
      8471 E McDonald Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85250

      1. Big Earls BBQ in old town Scottsdale is another option. If I had a choice, I'd go to Joe's though. It's awesome.

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

        Big Earl's BBQ
        7213 E 1st Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

        1 Reply
        1. re: Lunchbox76

          Thanks all, I got a few other recommendations for Joe's from extended family, seems like that's the spot.

        2. It's been a while since I've been there (because I live in Chicago now), but when I worked in Tempe, I really enjoyed Hap's BBQ. It's at 48th St. & Washington. I really liked the pulled pork and beef brisket. I always got mashed potatoes for a side. Athough, I didn't care for the coleslaw.

          6 Replies
          1. re: iphonechica

            I was also going to mention Hap's. The brisket is insane- I would just get a pound of that and chow down.

            1. re: cactuschowdah

              I liked the few meats that I've tried at Haps, but, I don't like much else about the place, and I probably won't be back, soon.

              I may be the resident wet blanket when it comes to BBQ in Phoenix. OP, if you're thinking Phoenix might have some great BBQ, it hasn't been my experience.

              Perhaps my favorite smoked pork in Phoenix is the carne adovada at one of the (Richardson's) restaurants. It is drowning in spicy red chile (just fair warning).

              You're not going to get much more than sauced, roasted pork at many BBQ joints. In my opinion, you'd be better served by trying the cochinita pibil at Barrio Cafe or Gallo Blanco. It's a question of whether you'd prefer to get some mediocre barbeque or sample something you may not be able to get elsewhere.

              I do like Joe's Real Barbecue. But, I'm not going to use any extreme adjectives to describe it.

              Barrio Cafe
              2814 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85006

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

              Dick's Hideaway
              6008 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85016

              Gallo Blanco Cafe
              401 W Clarendon Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85013

              1. re: johnseberg

                "I may be the resident wet blanket when it comes to BBQ in Phoenix. OP, if you're thinking Phoenix might have some great BBQ, it hasn't been my experience."

                FWIW, you're not alone.

                  1. re: cactuschowdah

                    I tried Big Earl's on Sunday. I had the "Pit Master's Pick ­ Beef Brisket and St. Louis Pork Ribs". The meat was nicely smoked and served without sauce. There were squirt bottles of sauce on the table. I tried a little of each sauce, but, decided I'd rather enjoy the meat without it.

                    My Dad thought it was okay, but, he would prefer something more moist, meaty, and sauced.

                    I will certainly be back.

                    1. re: cactuschowdah

                      I was disappointed by their menu change that dropped their 5-cheese mac & cheese, among other things.

            2. I"m always reluctant to make BBQ recommendations because taste preferences are highly individualized and often based more on one's geographic origins than objective criteria. With that in mind, I'm going to refrain from calling anything "best" and just add my thoughts about a few places.

              First, I like Joe's. It is approximately 15 miles east of Tempe, but the drive would be under 30 minutes -- except maybe during the evening rush hour. My only frustration with the restaurant is the lack of a liquor license since I think nothing goes better with BBQ than cold beer.

              A long-time Phoenix BBQ institution is Honey Bear's. There is a location in southern Tempe, but I find the experience is just not the same in the modern strip mall environment there. The food tastes better to me at the Honey Bear's original location on Van Buren, located within Phoenix city limits but a short distance from downtown Tempe.

              Hap's has been okay for me. It's also near Tempe. It's mostly oriented toward lunch and closes early at 7 PM. Keep that in mind if visiting for dinner.

              10 miles west of Tempe in Downtown Phoenix, there's a BBQ newcomer in the form of the recently reopened Tom's Tavern. This restaurant has been around forever but was known more as a gathering place for powerbrokers than as a place for good food. After a brief closure due to the prior owner's death, it has reopened with a new chef and a smoker. I've tried the brisket and chicken that have come out of it and have been quite impressed.