Friday Five: Barbecue

DSC_0264The Better Half and I love barbecue. The Better Half, being from Alabama, might have barbecue sauce in his veins– and he’s quite particular. Here are, in sort of a particular order, our five favorite barbecue joints in Cincinnati (that we’ve tried).

1. SmoQ (Fairfield)– look for a review next week, but the preview is that Kansas City-style rib pictured on the left. Hands down, best we’ve had in the city. Really.
2. Walt’s (Mt. Healthy) for their ribs alone, and their sweet potato casserole
3. Pit to Plate (Mt. Healthy) for their pulled pork, ribs, variety of sauces and sentimental value (we got engaged there. Really.)

4. Landen Smokehouse (Mason), which is the least written about barbecue joint in Cincinnati that deserves more press.  Huge smoker out back, great pulled pork.  They could work on their sides–  but the pork is great.  Closed! That’s what I get for being out of town for a couple of months.  I think I would substitute Goodie’s (College Hill) for Landen.  They have excellent rib tips and fried okra; it’s a little different than what you’d get at the other places I’ve mentioned.

5. Jim Dandy’s (Sharonville), for their focus on the meat that is so moist and flavorful it barely needs a sauce.

A little later today, look for a barbecue review on a little-known Westside barbecue joint.  It didn’t quite make the top five, but it’s a good choice if you’re driving down U.S. 50.

So what’s on your barbecue list?  Sadly, you can’t convince me that BBQ Revue is the best (trust me, Shannan has tried!) but what are some others I might be missing?



25 thoughts on “Friday Five: Barbecue”

  • BIg Art’s in Colerain, little place with great bbq and sides. Go early; when they run out they are closed. Big smoker on the side of the place with great homemade food and deserts. Well worth the trip.

    • +1 for Big Art’s. As if running out of ribs isn’t enough of a reason to go early, they have very limited seating. But the wait is well worth it. Get the Cajun Fries.

  • Another wonderful review. I was re-reading the earlier barbeque review and the disparaging remarks the locals make when they don’t agree and it’s just so typical of this town. The masses are trained by marketing and local tradition to swear allegiance to a chain (see Zip Zombies, LaRosa Legions, etc.), then they go around swearing it’s the absolute bestest ever without ever having tried anthing else. Then they have to insult any expert who dares offer an educated rebuttal of their brainwashing.

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I see all the local and national chains listed by the locals in the “Best of” lists in Cincinnati Magazine.

    Thanks for more wonderful suggestions of places we’ve yet to try!

  • @winemedineme Yay! Glad you enjoyed yourself when you were at smoQ! The real spelling is smoQ with a small s, though.

  • ugh… i gotta say, i’ve been underwhelmed by the three places on that list i’ve visted — walt’s (ribs just didn’t have any flavor, were overcooked), pit to plate (my pulled pork was sitting in a huge pile of grease) and jim dandy’s (was fine… boring, but fine) — but will still give smoQ a try. kinda excited about it for some reason. i’ve still yet to find a decent rib in this town

  • I love the comment conversation of your blogs as much as the blog post. It’s great how everyone chimes in!
    My family orders Walt’s sweet potato casserole for holiday dinners. I mean who could make any better than Walt right?
    I’m looking through your archives for some suggestions for where to dine downtown close to the Aronoff in the evening (5ish) before a lecture series. Could you point me in the right direction?

    • The comments are always great. I love the commenters! As far as dinner near the Aronoff– what are you into, cusine-wise? And how far are you willing to walk?

      • Well I go with a group of 12 ladies so we take it all in! We park in an outside lot up the street from the Aronoff so we can walk a few blocks to eat and then go to the lecture without having to drive back and forth and so we can partake in beverages of course 🙂 We’ve eaten at Arnold’s Bar, Bella’s, Benihana’s, Cadillac Ranch, Hamburger Mary’s, Havana Martini Club, Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant, McFadden’s, Nicholson’s Pub, Red Fish, Rock Bottom Micro Brewery, (my personal fav) Shanghai Mama’s, Trattora Roma, and Za’s. We’ve been going for oh about 12 years now. I’m struggling to come up with new places.

  • Am I alone in missing Walt’s Hitching Post? They had great ribs, and the best BBQ sauce ever. Although the food went somewhat downhill after Bill Meltner died and his daughters took over, I would still buy their sauce two quarts at a time and cooked with it on our grill at home. I’m going to miss that sauce. If anyone has a recipe, please post it!

  • Landen BBQ was my favorite, if somewhat shady, but there is a new place in Lebanon called Porky Capone’s that is almost as good meat with far better sides.

  • Walt’s is my favorite! Yeah, I’m with you on BBQ Revue! Every time I’ve had it’s been too fatty and their saucy is too vinegary for me! But they’re mac n cheese is pretty awesome!

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