South Pasadena is a unique place. As a wholly independent city, it’s often thought of as a more hoity toity part of the area. Yet, it retains a charm that is distinctly “main street.” The part of Fair Oaks that runs through town features a pharmacy straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting, but more importantly it has Gus’s Bar-B-Q, which has been around since 1946.
When it comes to Chinese food, I typically seek out Szechwan (or Sichuan or Szechuan), Shanghainese or Cantonese, so when I heard about a great newish place called Szechuan Impression in Alhambra I knew I had to get there – and fast! Thus I found myself at the place just before 6:00 pm on a Saturday. The earlybird risk paid off and we were seated nearly immediately.
While essentially a part of The South, Washington, DC has always seemed much more like a northern city to me. Nonetheless, its southern roots can sometimes be found in a number of places. Rocklands Barbeque in Glover Park is one of those places, because obviously The South is chock-full of great BBQ.
There are few places that invite unvegans in with open arms simply based on their names. Meat District Co. in Pasadena is clearly one of those places. With a menu consisting of meat products like bone marrow (which, shit, they were out of), burgers, ribs and steaks (plus something called the Meat Hook), I knew the hardest part of the meal would be deciding what delicious-looking thing to eat.
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.