Saturday, March 28, 2009
For purposes of this informal survey, the restaurants can be eat-in or take out joints, and can serve either beef or pork ribs of any style, and the restaurants should not include large national chains greater than, say, 20 locations (although I like Famous Dave's, I am looking for local or regional answers).
I happen to be partial to beef ribs, and thought that County Line (#6 on the list linked above) in Austin, Texas was first rate. I've been to the original restaurarant on Bee Cave Rd., but not for 25 years, and in the mid-1990s used to go to the now closed County Line in Lubbock, near the airport.
This a tough issue to address.
Speaking as someone who has traveled (on the road) widely in the USA I can say that nearly every wide spot in the road has a BBQ place. Most of them are pretty good, some of them are fantastic, and some of them are really fantastic. And, like Mexican food, every one of them is different. But that's the fun of it. It's the happiness of pursuit, not the pursuit of happiness...
The County Line in Lubbock was a temple of intercostal wonderment. And the brisket...my first time there was September 1982...I can still recall the buzzing cicada's up in the cottonwoods and the cold beer oudoors in the late summer evening. County Line meat was part of a life enhancing shift that took an English boy and shook the cobwebs out of him and taught him how British and American culture had diverged in a way no college education ever could have. The reason why there is nothing for 300 hundred miles in any direction from Lubbock is that nothing else was ever needed...it was all right there...and still is. Lubbock gave me so much, including a real appreciation of carnivory and many of life's other similarly intense experiences.
Dry Ribs, I will have to second the Rendezvous in Memphis
Now as to wet tibs, where I come from in Western Kentucky Barbeque is in the Yellow Pages under Barbeque
and the best places are little run down looking dinners out in the country with stacks of hickory corded up beside smokehouses and you would never have heard of them if you weren't a local, they don't bother advertising ;-)