I absolutely love barbecue. I'm addicted to it. I love making it, I love eating it and I love talking about it. For ten years I thought about taking a trip to visit the best barbecue places in the southeast. I read books, magazines and websites and got advice from everyone I could talk to about where the best places were.
In August of 2008 I quit my job in Arizona to try to open a brewery with a friend of mine in Richmond, VA. On my way across country, I decided to fulfill my dream of doing the great American barbecue roadtrip.
For nearly three weeks, I would travel from Texas to Memphis to North Carolina, sampling some of the best barbecue our country has to offer at 19 different places. In Texas it was brisket, sausage, ribs and random blocks of cheddar cheese. In Memphis it was ribs(wet and dry) and pulled pork sandwiches and in North Carolina it was shoulder, slaw and hush puppies.
Along the way, I would meet some of the legends of industry, often getting a personal tour of their pits and a behind the scenes look at where the magic happens. I would talk with the locals to get a sense of the pride and passion they have for their revered locale. Every person had a story and over the years those individual stories had become interwoven to create the legend of each barbecue shrine.
Finding the "best" barbecue place is simply not possible, because barbecue is much more than just the food. It's a combination of flavors, sights, smells, sounds, people and stories. So as I recount my gluttonous journey across the southeast, I do my best to tell the story of each place, offer what my favorite places were, and encourage you to try them all for yourself. Trust me, it’s a hell of a lot of fun.