Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rating the 'cue ...the 'Real' way

When I started this blog, I figured I'd do a few things with it. I'd use it to chronicle my journeys and post pics from bbq joints and festivals; post random thoughts, news articles and books on bbq, and post my thoughts/reviews on bbq ...and invite others to join in the conversation with thier pics, comments,etc.
So let me start with a basis for my bbq ratings ....which starts with a bit of a book review

I've got alot of books on barbecue. One of my favourites is "Real Barbecue: The Classic Barbecue Guide to the Best Joints Across the USA" by Vince Staten & Greg Johnson. It's an older book (published in 1988), but it's kind of the template for a lot of bbq books that have come out recently.

It covers the subject of bbq in America pretty thouroughly. Part road map with a cross country tour of 'cue joints, part cookbook of recipes, part history book with pics and 'porklore' added. It's a pretty cool book but one of the best things I liked about it was it's rating system.They don't use stars. they don't use a 1-10 rating scale, they don't use grades. Instead the use a 'conversation' scale as though you heard it from someone recommending it to you.

For example, a bbq joint that is:
- fair to middling would be rated "Pretty good"
- one step up doing a respectable job would be rated "Good"
- above that, a special place worth the drive & wait is "Real Good"
- the pinnacle of greatness is "As Good As I've Ever Had"

So, as I post my bbq reviews of joints I've tried, I'll stay true to this 'word of mouth' type rating systen as my bottom line review.

North Carolina 'cue

Nicole G used to work with me & knew how much I loved bbq, so when she went on a North Carolina road-trip & checked out a few bar-b-q joints...sent me a few pics to tease me.
Here are some pics from Pig-N-Out Barbecue in Winston-Salem, N.C

Here are some other pics she took at Hill's Lexington Barbecue in Winston-Salem, N.C

She said the pulled pork at Hill's was great, but the hushpuppies were AMAZING !!!

Van-CUE-ver, BC

In 2008, Danielle D took a visit to Memphis Blues Barbecue House in Vancouver, B.C
Below are a few cell phone pics she sent me:

I have a copy of the "Memphis Blues - Bringing Southern BBQ Home' cookbook and it's quite good.

Unfortunately,I've never had a chance to check out the restaurant yet, but hear rave reviews and it's definately on the radar.

After posting the previous story about cue in Vancouver, I pulled out some pics I was sent by Tanya V in 2009 after her visit to DIX BBQ & Brewery in Vancouver, B.C. Foodwise reviews for DIX had been up and down, most folks saying it was a better place for a beer than a meal....which is why it closed it's doors earlier this year to become a brewpub. Ah well, here are some of the pics she sent me back in 2009.