July 10, 2018

Smoking In The Back Room!

Smoking in the back room? Well, yeah, because everyone knows that smoking aint allowed in school especially the boys room. So where are they smoking? The back room of a restaurant of course, well to be more specific, a kitchen. And this type of smoking inside of restaurants is legal in the state of Minnesota.

The smoking that I'm referring to is a large structure that houses delicious meats that are cooked for several hours until it decides to fall off the bone. These structures, known scientifically as a smoker are found all over Kansas City, St. Louis, across the south and now right here in Minnesota. I'm positive that Vince, Nikki, Mick and Tommy, yeah that's right, The Crue (Motley Crue people) have even enjoyed some delicious smoked goodies (And I'm referring to food folks!). These boys would even appreciate the outstanding smoked goods found throughout Minnesota.

We're out to find the best smokehouses and BBQ joints the Twin Cities has to offer and below are the places we've been to thus far. Unlike some of our other lists, this list is truly a mix of straightforward BBQ and smokehouses putting a twist on their menu with pit creations.

1. Northbound Smokehouse and Brewpub
A friend of ours told us he just had some amazing wings and porchetta sandwich and he was recently at Northbound. His next comment was, "when you stopping by?" We ended up going that same day we chatted. And, we ordered their 18-hour Porchetta Sandwich and an order of wings. Yeah, it's a must try! Porchetta is bar far one of my all-time favorite meals and anytime I get a chance to have it, I most certainly will. The full description is; The "Iron Range" classic, house-smoked shredded porchetta topped with Swiss cheese and sauteed onions on an egg bun, then served with with their house-made BBQ sauce. We also added a side of their hand-cut fries to our order and I've said this time and time again... We need more places serving hand-cut fries. They're simply better! Is your mouth watering yet? As for those timely smoked wings... An amazing smoked chicken wing with the meat just falling off the bone. 

2. Roosters BBQ
This little hole-in-the-wall is serving up some straight forward BBQ and all of their cuts of meat were absolutely delicious. Fall off the bone ribs, super moist and flavorful chicken, smokey delicious brisket and pork. Rooster's BBQ sauces were also very tasty as well and definitely get both mild and hot to compare the differences in flavor with each type of meat and we encourage ordering more than just one meat option. It's definitely a no non-sense type of place, just the way we like it!

3. Bourbon Butcher
This smokehouse/BBQ/burger joint is one of our favorite places to eat because it's so close to us. We've had tons of things off their menu and have never left the restaurant unsatisfied and our belly's happily full. The BBQ and all their smoked goods are exceptional and if that's not your immediate craving, you'll never go wrong with a solid made burger. I prefer to eat like a dying carnivore, so I would suggest someone gets the Butcher's Plate to try all of their smoked goodness or have the table go for the Butcher's Feast that can serve 2-3 people. I also love the deviled eggs, duck wantons, bacon bourbon burger and their mac n' cheese.

Another straight forward, no frills BBQ joint serving up some of the most delicious BBQ. We got their sampler to try all of their meats, except for the ribs and definitely left happy. Easily the most moist chicken that we've come across and the smoked flavor was all you needed to enjoy this place. They have a few different sauces to choose from, but in my own personal opinion, a tad too heavy on the vinegar side for my liking. But that's fine, The meat is perfect without the added sauce. However, if you get fries, you have to get the house made mustard. Completely different than any mustard you'll ever have and very delicious. A solid place for your BBQ cravings!

5. Rack Shack BBQ
Another great BBQ addition to the Twin Cities area. Straight forward BBQ with some simple and straight forward, great tasting sauces to enjoy as well. Doesn't matter which cut of meat you get, it's all delicious. Plus, they offer some outstanding turkey as well, something other's aren't offering. You really will enjoy the BBQ at Rack Shack.

6. Lone Oak Grill / Junction 70
These two sister restaurants are pretty straight forward sports bars that just happens to be serving up a few pit offerings for patrons to try enjoying. Not our go to places and as we check out some more places that we haven't been to yet, these two will get lower on the list. Certainly not terrible food, just not our favorite places for anything BBQ, Smoked or even some of their standard menu items. You may like either of these place even better than the places above it,  just not the most enjoyable.

7. Old Southern BBQ
A creation by Famous Dave himself, Dave Anderson with 4 locations in the area to choose from. Was never a fan of Famous Dave's Restaurants and this is far off from that. Basically, a Famous Dave's - Take 2. Meat was pretty smokeless tasting and lacking flavor in general. The sauces were much too similar to the original sauces Dave created for his first restaurant.

8. Baldy's BBQ
Our first visit to Baldy's wasn't the best. We thought the meat offerings were a bit on the dry side and the sauces weren't much to brag about either. However, a trusted friend of ours swears by this place and we are certainly willing to go back for seconds to see if just experienced an off night for some reason. Stay tuned for this place to possibly surprise us or stay where they're at on the list.

Other places that we have yet to try, but continue to hear solid things about from those who have checked them out;

- Handsome Hog in St. Paul.
- Big Daddy's BBQ in St. Paul.
- Firebox Deli in Minneapolis.
- Smoke In The Pit in St. Paul.
- Ted Cook's 19th hole BBQ in Minneapolis.
- Q Fanatics BBQ in Minneapolis

If you think there is another BBQ or Smokehouse joint we should be checking out, please let us know and we'll get there as soon as we can.



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