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Chowhounding tips redux - BARBEQUE

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Chowhounding tips redux - BARBEQUE

Stanley Stephan | Jul 25, 2002 01:09 AM

Distrust any place that advertises. A good place can survive on word of mouth from locals. (Carter)

Distrust any place that is open on Sundays-- especially in the Deep South. Sundays are days for loving your family (and the Lawd) and most people do not want to be lovin' the barbecue pit beginning at 4 in the morning. (Carter)

As most Southern states put county names on their license plates, check out the cars in the parking lots. If people have traveled more than 2 counties to get there, you can bet it is a good place. Double points for out-of-state plates. (Carter)

A Texas addendum is to count the number of trucks in the parking lot. A good ratio is more than 50%. Note, SUVs don't count. In fact, SUVs are probably a bad sign anywhere. Of course, I drive one. :) (Carter)

I would add that on my Texas road trips, the establishments that are on the outskirts of town on the cheap real estate, deserve investigation. But, beware of the ones that are just a front for money-laundering and don't really care about food (chuck)

Distrust any place that sells T-shirts. There are a couple exceptions to this rule, but for the most part shirt-selling places have "sold out" and don't care about making truly memorable food anymore. In a similar vein, generally distrust anyplace that "airmails" barbecue. (Carter)

If the sausage isn't homemade, it's probably not going to be that interesting. (Carter)

For barbeque, ask if they have plates. If the answer is a sort of odd look, avoid the place. If the person has to think about the question, it may be good (adopted from Calvin Trillin). (Peter)

Never visit a 'cue place except during normal meal hours. Since the meat usually takes between 3 and 12 hours to smoke, the places plan on having there stuff ready at noon and 7. If you visit a place at 3pm, then count on getting dry, tough meat.(Carter)

One good rule at 'cue joints in KC is, If the chairs in the dining room don't match, you're in for some good stuff. (Mike in KC)

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