So, this past weekend, I had to make the trip down to Hartford. I'd heard about a couple of worthwhile BBQ places in the area, so I thought I'd make the journey.
I went to Little Mark's Big Barbeque in Rockville
and Uncle Willie's BBQ in Waterbury.
Both were solid.
I thought I'd throw out a couple of recommendations if people were interested.
1. Little Mark's Big Barbeque
Ribs here were excellent.
Smoky, flavored with a solid rub and tender meat that falls off the bones. Good stuff.
(I had the St Louis style, but the beef ribs at the table next to me looked real good too)
I had the mac & cheese side, which was nice on a miserable day, not one of greatest.
Particularly worth noting is the Hot and Sweet sauces they offer up. Not overly spicy and not too tomatoey, a good distinctive balance. (I'm not a fan of Mustard sauces or vinegar sauces, so I can't make any comments there)
I'll have to go back for the pulled pork and brisket.
2. Uncle Willie's BBQ
Good barbeque, real down home southern feel that wasn't there at Little Mark's. That was nice, but it just didn't love the ribs as much as Little Mark's. (Although other stuff on the menu made it completely worthwhile...see below)
I went with my brother which meant we could get the $29.95 family meal that includes a little of everything. (Ribs, pulled pork or brisket, BBQ chicken, fried chicken, sides and cornbread). It's supposed to be for 4 people, but we took care of most it by ourselves.
The ribs (St Louis style) were incredibly smokey, but not particularly tender. More of a tear from the bone than a fall of the bone kind of thing. It might be more of a personal preference thing than anything else though. If that's your thing, you may love it.
The pulled pork likewise was good, but not fantastic. Tender and a good mix of big chunks and fine slivers, but not an incredibly distinctive taste. I had sweet sauce on it, maybe the hot would have kicked it up a little more (I liked the sweet sauce though). Likewise the BBQ chicken wasn't incredibly memorable.(although I have to admit, I am biased against BBQ chicken. I love fried chicken and any other method of preparation seems sub-optimal to me...see below)
Both my brother and I agreed though that the two best things on the menu were the Fried Chicken and the Carolina Baked beans. The fried chicken was something to write home about. Wonderfully crispy outside and one of the juicier, more flavorful breast pieces I have EVER had. And you have to understand, I've had ALOT of fried chicken. The Carolina Baked Beans were good too. Sweet and bacony, just some good down home cookin.
Overall, both places are definitely worth a visit if you're in the area. Both are just off I-84 around Hartford. Good BBQ in Hartford area, whodathunkit?
Also, I hear Uncle Willie's has a buffet on Sundays and Wednesdays. I would love to get at that sometime...
Anyone else have thoughts on either establishment?