The best city for barbecue? That would be Nashville, according to Travel + Leisure magazine, followed by Memphis and then Kansas City.
The publication’s new “America’s Best Cities for Barbecue” ranks the top barbecue cities based on a reader survey.
They range from Kansas City’s burnt ends to mustard-sauced pork in Charleston, S.C. to pork-belly po’boys in New Orleans to short ribs smoked over local kiawe wood (similar to mesquite) in Hawaii.
Kansas City was No. 3 on the list.
“Only within the realm of barbecue can a gas-station location boost your appeal. At least that’s the case with Oklahoma Joe’s.....whose first location was inside a Diamond Shamrock,” the magazine said.
Kansas City also is known for its “delectable burnt ends that come off brisket and taste great with a tomatoes-meet-molasses sauce.”
Along with Oklahoma Joe’s, Travel + Leisure recommends two legendary area barbecues — Arthur Bryant’s and Gates Bar-B-Q.
Nashville, No. 1 on the list, was cited for its collection of different barbecue styles — from the “whole-hog approach of rural Tennessee, the tomatoey sauces of Memphis, and even the mayo-and-vinegar white sauces typical of Alabama. And its barbecue menus also may offer such choices as southern-style catfish, fried okra and banana pudding.
One Nashville restaurant offers Redneck Tacos (filled with brisket or pulled pork), another offers a brisket sandwich topped with house-made pimento cheese, an over-easy egg, red and white sauce, and pickles.
Memphis was ranked second for its “dry-rubbed and smoked over hickory, and often mopped with sauce while cooking” style. Along with staples like ribs and pork sandwiches, Memphis area barbecues also offer pulled-pork nachos, and even a four-ounce barbecued bologna sandwich.
Texas rounded out the top five on the list with Austin as No. 4 and Houston as No. 5.
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