I eagerly devoured Dara Moskowitz's article in MM on BBQ in MN. I really enjoy her writing and have found many of her recommendations to be right on the mark.
Based on that, I tried Q Fanatic. She's right to talk up the vodka-based (or infused) BBQ sauce. It was both good and different from anything I've tasted on BBQ. However, I was not thrilled with the brisket sandwich, pulled pork sandwich or spare ribs. The beans, mashed potatos, fries and slaw on the side were also nothing particularly good. In my view, Q Fanatic's meal last night was only marginally better than Famous Dave's. In other words, not bad, but nothing I'd drive to 30 minutes to Champlin for a 2nd time.
Since she raved about this and John Hardy's, another place I don't think is all that great, and I'm hearing from friends in and around Stillwater that Smalley's isn't worth the drive, I question the rest of the recommendations.
What do you think?