I once swore I would never return to Dallas. That’s because I went for a weekend and it snowed and the whole city shut down. Plus I was coming from Michigan and hoping for, like, good weather. Alas, I was unable to keep that promise and recently returned, swearing I would eat some good BBQ before leaving. Thus, I found myself at Bone Daddy’s House of Smoke, which would never top any lists of the best spots in Dallas, but was close by and traffic in Dallas is stupid.
When you name a restaurant Grassroots, you have to assume that meat lovers will be fearful. Aside from awesome 60s music, the name evokes a hippy dippy vegan spot. Yet, it is anything but. Sure, this Scottsdale spot caters to the veggie-loving crowd, but it caters to unvegans no less so. Plus, let’s not forget that it does harken to the 60s music crowd.
Korean BBQ, in all its meaty glory, is never a bad decision. Nonetheless, some is clearly better than other at certain things. For example, Ham Ji Park (surprisingly in Koreatown) specializes in pork. This should be obvious considering the word “ham” is in the name, but sometimes things are just too obvious, ya know?
On my rapid journey across the country once again, my buddy suggested stopping at Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue in the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City. Having traversed this path before, I was eager to get back to Gates, but he said this would be worth it and I deserved it because it was my birthday. Since he hails from Kansas City and knows good food I took his word.
Clarkston is not a part of Michigan I ever found myself in while spending the first 22 years of my life in the state. Yet, Union Woodshop wasn’t there for any of those 22 years either. It’s there now though, a modern BBQ spot fully endorsed by hometown hero Kid Rock (although not owned by him in any way despite popular contrary opinion), and thus I finally made my way there as well. And it should probably be noted that while I don’t really listen to Kid Rock’s music, he does seem like he would like the same food as me.
Pittsburgh’s Homewood neighborhood is not exactly the part of town you want to find yourself in when the sun goes down. So naturally, when I was told of a BBQ place there called Showcase, I assumed it had to be good. It’s not exactly easy to find, unless you’re looking for a sign that says, “Don’t Shoot, We Love You” on the corner of what is otherwise a residential area. But once you’ve found it, the big smokers out on the sidewalk tell you that you’ve come to the right place.
Pittsburgh has its fair share of sketchy neighborhoods and Homewood is unquestionably one of them. But, according to a friend the neighborhood also has the best BBQ spot in town. So, with potential bodily harm awaiting us, we headed to The Dream BBQ, which can easily be spotted from a distance because they do their smoking right on the street in converted 8 gallon drums.
After a summer spent in beautiful Western New York, it eventually came time to return to Pittsburgh to finish out my MBA. Per usual, the first thing I wanted was meat, and lots of it. Without Korean BBQ or Fogo de Chao (that I know of), I turned to Texas de Brazil for my all-you-can-meat fix. Having never been to one of these, I expected much the same as any churrascaria. What I found was, well, yeah…that.
There’s are few things more American than good BBQ, and when I came back from a night in Canada to figuratively kiss the ground of the land of the free, the first thing I did was head to Smoke on the Water in Tonawanda. Situated on Ellicott Creek by the Erie Canal, the place looks more like a bar than BBQ, but the menu tells a different story. Filled with things you would expect from a BBQ joint, plus some things you wouldn’t.
In my continuing quest for Buffalo’s best BBQ, I made my way to Fat Bob’s Smokehouse with a few guys. Unlike Dinosaur, Fat Bob’s is a Buffalo native with only one location in Buffalo. Like some other BBQ places, Fat Bob’s doesn’t seem to have an actual specialty, unless you count their mac and cheese. Fortunately, this one has combo platters to ensure an unvegan like me can sample around.