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Sep 7, 2005 08:23 PM

Joe's Real BBQ, Gilbert AZ

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A really late lunch has just ended and I thoroughly enjoyed the offerings at Joe's Real BBQ in Gilbert, AZ. Located south of Guadalupe on Gilbert Rd, this old store serves pecan-wood smoked meats and I found the pulled pork to be meltingly tender. Parking in the back of Joe's gives you the best introduction because the smoker is located there and you're greeted by an enticing smell of something wonderful. A self-serve food line gives you several choices and I had the BBQ pulled pork sandwich with a side of potato salad. Homemade root beer is featured at Joe's and it was a treat. The "regular" soda lineup is available as are several varieties of hard-to-find selections stashed in an ice-filled cattle feed trough. More self-serve stands have a selection of chopped onion, pickles, jalapenos as well as a choice of two BBQ sauces, "regular" and "we dare you hot". Joe's is for the "Do It Yourself" fan as there is no table service.

Picked up a couple of bottles of Joe's BBQ sauce for use at home. Definately plan to return and I'm not alone. Joe's Real BBQ regularly makes "The Best of Phoenix" lists and now I know why.

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  1. My family and I discovered this gem over five years ago and have been frequenting it ever since. We live in Scottsdale but make the 45 minute drive over there on special occasions since the food is fantastic. We have yet to find better barbeque in the greater Phoenix area. My family is from Texas and knows a thing or two about good bbq, and they love Joe's. I always enjoy their chopped beef sandwiches with their HUGE baked potatoes. There's also a selection of nostalgic candy, if you can even stomach the idea of eating more once you've cleared your plate (and trust me, it's that WILL lick your plate clean!). Go and enjoy!! :)

    2 Replies
    1. re: Jessica

      I live in Gilbert and eat at Joe's once at week - or at least, once every other week.

      Love the place. It's darn good barbeque, by any standard. I agree with Jessica: I too have yet to find better barbeque in the Phoenix valley. Puts all others that I'm aware of to shame.

      1. re: vagabundo94

        Joe's is wonderful. Below is my Joe's BBQ review:

        Rating: ★★★★★

        Joe’s Real BBQ is what historic downtown Gilbert is all about. When you step in the door of their 80-year old, red brick building, you’re greeted by a vintage John Deere tractor and classic country music–-no, not Willie Nelson, I’m talking Hank Williams here. There’s a large agrarian mural on the lengthy main wall that beckons back the days of corn fields, dirt roads, and four-way stops.

        But let’s not forget the food! Joe’s Texas-inspired, pecan-smoked meats are quite possibly the most tender and tasty that Phoenix has to offer. The pulled pork and chopped beef brisket are the most popular meats, and truly Joe’s specialty. At under $10, I highly recommend either of these for first-timers. If you’re not big on beef or pork, the bbq bone-in chicken is very moist and tender and won’t disappoint. Unfortunately, the pork ribs aren’t going to knock your socks off. I rather expected Joe’s to have amazing ribs, but instead they are just decent. My personal favorite is the Stuffed Baker, filled with generous portions of butter, sour cream, fresh chives, and shredded cheddar cheese topped off with your choice of meat (they’re a little stingier with the meat).

        The only thing that rivals Joe’s meats is their homemade bbq sauce. It’s a thinner sauce than most, and quite sweet, but packed with a delightful, unique flavor. If you like to light your mouth on fire, they also have a kicked-up, spicy version which has habanero pepper in it.

        Most of Joe’s side dishes are rather good. They can be a bit bland, but I find that they serve as good complements to the rich bbq sauce. The cheesy potatoes, mac and cheese, cole slaw, and bbq beans all have that homemade look and taste; this place is anything but corporate. The dessert selection is pretty basic, but they have solid offerings such as homemade cakes (lemon, root beer, apple) and chocoloate chip cookies.

        It’s worth noting that Joe’s has 25 cent coffee with free refills. They also have homemade root beer, which is a favorite of many patrons.

        Joe’s Real BBQ has quickly become a landmark in Gilbert. It is a rare find–full of character, friendly service, and most of all, exceptional eats!

        Cool fact: Joe’s offers a free meal on your birthday, and also offers free lunch/dinner for everyone, yes everyone, once a year in May.

        301 N. Gilbert Rd.
        Gilbert, AZ 85234
        phone: (480) 503-3805
        fax: (480) 503-0837
        hours: 11am - 9pm every day (closed Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas)

        More reviews can be found at:

    2. Joe's is my favorite BBQ haunt here in the Valley. I've extolled it's virtues many times on here. :) I love the sauce. I always forget just how good it is. And the beans. Yummm... We live at the north end of the 51 and don't hesitate to head down there if we feel the BBQ urge. :)

      1. Love the beans.
        Love the lemon cake.

        It's one of the only things I miss about living in Gilbert. Ok, the only thing. ;)

        2 Replies
        1. re: mamamia

          I would have to agree - if there's anything to miss, it's Joe's BBQ.
          They catered my ASU graduation and everyone loved it.
          Love, love, love the beans.

          1. re: azhotdish

            We're not huge BBQ eaters...but...the BEANS! love the beans at Joe's. That's the whole reason I go there!

        2. I went there for the first time this past thursday. The best I've ever had. The ribs were fall off the bone tender and had a wonderful smoked taste. This is going to be a go to place when I'm stumped for a place to grab a bite.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ricomon

            Hey Ricomon, Joe's is the best bbq I've ever had too. You should try either the pulled pork or chopped brisket next time you go. I find them to be even better than the ribs.

            1. re: jasonaz

              I've found the chopped brisket dry (odd for something soaked in bbq sauce), but the sliced brisket is excellent.

          2. Listen up Joe's fans!!! Free Food on Wednesday...