On Saturday afternoon I went to Q Fanatic in Champlin. James Norton recently raved about the place in City Pages:
It is counter service, but there is plenty of restaurant seating. I hear that this space had been a pizza/spaghetti place before.
I ordered the daily sandwich special, which was a rib tip sandwich. The meat was tender and tasty, good enough that I would have been happy with this sandwich without any sauce. It is standard procedure at Q Fanatic to serve the sauce on the side. They have a bunch of sauces, including some interesting weird ones (Espresso BBQ, Spicy Pepper Vodka BBQ). I opted for Vinegard BBQ and the friendly and helpful guy at the counter asked me "you know what that is, right?" "Sure, its thin." "Yup, its just flavored vinegar, and a lot of people are surprised by that."
I opted to dip my sandwich in the sauce rather than pour it on, and there were probably beads of sweat on my forehead as i got to the bottom of the little plasic cup where most of the hot pepper bits had sunk to. But I couldn't stop! Soooo good!
The bread was an oblong french or italian type roll, and it was substantial enough to not disintegrate filled with big ol' chunks of meat, yet was not at all tough or chewy. Also, the crust did not flake all over the place like the mini baguettes of a bánh mì. Best of all, it seemed to have been toasted or perhaps placed on the grill, which was delicious.
The sandwich was $4.95, which included chips and coleslaw. They say that they mix it fresh when it is ordered, and the coarse cut cabbage was nice and crisp, and the creamy dressing had a nice vinegar tang to it which I loved. You may gather that I like vinegar! I could really see having a pulled pork sandwich "Memphis style" (with the slaw on top of the meat) here and not even needing any sauce.
You can swap the chips for a side for a dollar extra. There are a whole bunch of interesting looking sides, including more fresh prepared to order items. Norton's review calls the place "unabashedly hard core."
I look forward to trying more of the meats, sauces, and sides!
website (with menu): http://qfanatic.com/
Q fanatic BBQ
180 Miller Rd, Champlin, MN 55316