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Bbq brisket recommendation

Can anyone suggest a good place to get some bbq brisket?

I had great brisket from the Buffalo House near Duluth a couple of weeks ago.

My old favorite place for bbq was O'Briens Decoy Restaurant on East Hennepin Ave in NE Mpls. Sadly they sold to Alley Katz which promptly closed. Their babyback ribs were heavenly!

I know there are a few new fast food style bbq restaurants in town (Dickie's BBQ) but the reviews I've read & heard haven't been very positive.

Looking for ideas...

Thank you!!

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  1. Not sure if they smoke brisket or another cut but the smoked beef at Brasa is good (http://brasa.us/). Famous Dave's is a semi-national chain with ok brisket, though some of their sauces are too sweet for my tastes. Market BBQ, Rudolph's are a few others to check out.

    12 Replies
    1. re: bkmnus

      Brisket is an occasional special at Brasa.

      1. re: KTFoley

        Brasa isn't BBQ

        In all honesty, you are better off learning how to do this at home as most of the BBQ brisket in this town is GOD awful. I'd suggest either Q-Fanatic or Bayport BBQ if you are really hankering to eat out on it.

        1. re: Db Cooper

          Big Daddy's doesn't rate with you? (Sorry, Big Daddy's doesn't have brisket. Ignore if you're not up for a discussion of Big Daddy's.)

          Have you ever heard of Willinghams? I see that it's available (including brisket) through Coborns delivers and am curious what a person who has high BBQ standards thinks.. http://www.whambbq.com/order_now/Meats/


          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            I didn't suggest BD's because it doesn't have brisket. And because it's not a restaurant. It's a take-out joint.

            And finally, because it isn't all that great. I've been three times and have found it uneven at best. If you time it right, it can be pretty good. But if you miss, you will be disappointed in dry, flavorless ribs.

            I rarely go out for BBQ because I built myself a modified barrel smoker for my backyard and can do it at home. I make my own rubs and sauces too.

            1. re: Db Cooper

              I agree if you have the patience and a little skill, DIY BBQ and Smoking is the way to go.

              1. re: Db Cooper

                Any thoughts about Willinghams? (Neither a restaurant nor a take-out joint). I see that it's available (including brisket) through Coborns delivers. http://www.whambbq.com/order_now/Meats/


                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  Never bought it, never will. I can do it myself and pretty much guarantee it will be better.

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    I tried their pulled chicken. It was pretty nasty.

                    1. re: Jordan

                      Well, that's pretty much all I need to know. Thank you for saving me from having a similar unfortunate experience!


                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        Even the best places struggle with chicken and turkey. Poultry is quite delicate and thus you need to use woods that give off the same smoke like apple, cherry, maple, etc. Most BBQ joints use oak or hickory which can easily overpower the birds.

                1. re: Db Cooper

                  What do you mean Brasa isn't BBQ? I talked with the Chef and the BBQ guy at the Minneapolis location and they showed me a pretty nice commercial slow smoker device at the Minneapolis location. The cooker uses hardwood for smoke and propane for heat.

                  I'm not sure which of their offerings come from this smoker, perhaps the brisket doesn't?

            2. Everywhere I go, it is hit and miss. Q Fanatic and Bayport BBQ have served me great brisket, and they've also served dry brisket. Unfortunately, I can't think of a place that consistently nails it.

              3 Replies
              1. re: BigE

                That's why they call brisket the King of BBQ. If you can master it, you can do anything. It's by far the toughest of meats to get right and even harder to get it right consistently. I'll be honest, I rarely order it unless I'm at one of the country's temples to BBQ because they are the only ones I trust to get it right.

                1. re: BigE

                  At Bayport BBq, ask for your brisket "wet." They will slice it off the fatty side of the brisket, and it almost melts in your mouth. I've had dry poultry from there, but never dry brisket.

                  1. re: rp1760

                    If you cook brisket properly, none of it should be dry. I can make a flat at home and keep it moist by being smart and preparing it properly before cooking (beef stock injections).

                    I stand by my original post. If you want great brisket, head south 6 hours until you reach Brooklyn Avenue in KC. That's frankly the closest place.

                2. Bayport BBQ's brisket is awesome. Slices of deliciousness that go great with their house sauce. I make the detour every time I venture into WI. Bring cash.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: NugarifiK

                    I moved about a month ago, now I'm 3 miles from Bayport, and I haven't been there yet. Shameful.

                    1. re: BigE

                      I think theirs might be the best brisket I've had at a BBQ place.

                      Based on your proximity, it's on you to make it through their not insignificant selection of sides and report back. You can skip the beans :)

                      1. re: splatgirl

                        +1 on the brisket - very juicy although I have seen the comments about it being dry. Glad I caught them on a good day. I thought the links were meh(too finely ground for me) as well as the ribs. Big Daddy's ribs are better imho. I did not try the chicken. Agree with the beans. The au gratin taters were awesome the day I was there.

                  2. does anybody cook deckle?

                    1. Many people don't know how to order brisket. Learn what you like and ask for it. Burnt ends, dry, wet, lean, moist, fatty, flat, point,, etc. One man's perfect cut is awful to another.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: cjohnson22463

                        That's all fine and good, but 99.5% of the people working at our local BBQ places would stare at you like you just broke out of Area 52 if you used the terms burnt ends, flat, point, etc. when you ordered. Only one place in MSP knows what KC-style burnt ends are, yet they do a horrendously bad job with their offering (I'm pointing at you Rack Shack).

                        I was sort of laying off this thread because the easy answer to me is that there isn't a place that I can recommend for brisket (one of my favorite foods). The places like Q Fanatic and Bayport that have a clue, are wildly inconsistent. I've had great brisket at both and dry, boring brisket at both (even with statement of preference which, for me is fatty/marbled with some of the burnt crisp). I'm not going to drive clear up to Champlin/Blaine or over to Bayport not knowing what I'm going to get. I'm even less in a hurry to get back to Bayport BBQ since they launched an overt "screw you, customer" social media campaign back in June. It's their labor of love, but there's something to be said for not openly being an a-hole to your customers and posting your email piss-fests online. One other note: Not that it's really important as the meat should stand on its own, but I decided I don't care for Bayport's sauce either, which is an unfortunate necessity if you hit it on a dry brisket day. If I'm in the area, I'll eat at Bayport BBQ or Q Fanatic, but I'm not going to send you across the metro area for their brisket.

                        1. re: cjohnson22463

                          Here's a message for people who run BBQ spots in the Twin Cities area:

                          Successful business owners know their customer, right? So you all must be well aware that the differences is brisket options are cryptic mysteries in the Upper Midwest. Rather than pointing at your clients for not knowing what they don't know, how about finding a way to help them figure it out at the point of sale?

                          1. re: KTFoley

                            I agree with this. My point was also that the owners/staff THEMSELVES don't know the terms and options.

                            I go to Dickey's (Burnsville) periodically, mainly because their "Kids Eat Free" on Sundays is highway robbery. There are no limitations....I bring all three kids in there, and they ALL eat for free. The first two times, I even pointed out that the sign says "one free kids' meal per adult" and the manager shot me down. So any Sunday I want, I get four adult-sized meals...main, side, drink and ice-cream (including one that's a full rack of ribs) for a grand total of about $16. It's insane.

                            I digress...I watch the 18 year-old counter guys pull the brisket out and slice it to order. It's an outright shame that they slice off some of the BEST PARTS and shuffle them off into the garbage can under the counter. The crispy bits. The fatty goodness. Trim, trim, trim. Not that there's any magic in Dickey's brisket, but they have no idea what potential they are discarding. When I order brisket there (be it for me or the kids) and I can catch him, I quickly say "HEY I WANT THAT!" and, inevitably, I get the combined frightened look and the look of "OMG disgusting" before they hastily plop it onto the plate, grimacing as if the few forkfuls of sizzling meat bark they just gave me is like them dooming me to an instant coronary the second it hits my tongue. Man, if they could only SEE some of the meals I've had from LC's on road trips through Kansas City.

                            Anyway...bottom line is brisket = foreign concept in Minnesota. Best of luck satisfying that urge.

                            1. re: KTFoley

                              +100. Graciousness is part of successful business. Make this into win-win selling point rather than a "people are idiots", everyone loses point.

                          2. My vote for brisket that's always good is Famous Dave's. Use the Texas Pit sauce, and you've got about the best your gonna get in these parts.