Does the image of a slab of meat bathed in smoke make your mouth water? Just because we live in the Twin Cities, doesn’t mean you can’t get your hands on some serious BBQ—day or night. Having been married to a man who has built a custom smoker out of an old Frigidaire in our garage, I have come to appreciate the qualities of that perfect pink smoke ring.
Set your sites on these restaurants doing it right.
8019 Glen Lane, Eden Prairie
This is the reason to head south and arrive in Texas BBQ country. Counter service for an effortless pick up on your way home, or sit a spell and enjoy Smoke Buffalo Wings, Beer Can Chicken, Brisket, and more. The Dilled Potato Salad is my fave side — perfect by the bite or order by the gallon (really!). And, let’s not overlook their little piggy logo with the classic cowboy lettering.
Mr. BBQ Express
1600 West Broadway, Minneapolis
Sir, you have my attention. We first experienced this little speck of St. Louis BBQ at their previous location on Central Ave. in Columbia Heights. Ribs, rib tips, applewood smoked chicken with staples of mac and cheese, greens, red beans and rice, and corn on the cob. If you want to get your fry on, check out the okra or pickles.
Q-Fanatic BBQ and Grill
180 Miller Road, Champlin
Q the music… Too much? Well let me clue you in on this north metro bbq restaurant with Kansas City style sauces for pork spare and back ribs, brisket, and chicken or pulled pork or maple haMmmmmm. They sport another location at 6009 Nicollet and also offer gluten-free sauces and most sides.
1825 Glenwood Avenue, Minneapolis
This Harrison Neighborhood Minneapolis BBQ and soul food is only available Monday through Friday and Chef Eddie Hutchins serves it up with a big smile. Smoked brisket, barbecue pork or beef sandwiches with a scoop of coleslaw on top, ribs, and from-scratch-RU-kidding-me BBQ MEAT PIE. Put that in your pit and smoke it!
Butcher & The Boar
1121 Hennepin Avenue, Downtown Minneapolis
If we’re going to talk about smokey goodness, then we cannot leave out B&TB. Double smoked or double cut — choose from their prime eye of ribeye or Berkshire pork chop or the mega smoked beef long rib. On the side are smoked new potatoes, fried green tomatoes, mac and cheese, skillet cornbread, Texas toast or the best fries a girl could ever have — the local brewery Fulton beer-battered delights.
203 East 6th Street, St. Paul
Feast your eyes on this beauty overlooking Mears Park in Lowertown. This is no pig pen and features some handsome flavor pairings like pickled watermelon rind with their brisket sandwich for lunch and get-it-while-you-can smoked beef brisket for dinner. Not dinner on a dime but damn good nonetheless with hushpuppies as they can only do them.
Big Daddy’s BBQ
609 University Avenue West, St. Paul
In the mood for a dinghy of rib tips? Or more like a boatload or shipload? Big Daddy has got you covered and must have done some cartoon watching as a youngster, as another popular item is the Flintstone Ribs which may be a drive-up item only.
647 University Avenue West, St. Paul
Another great stop on University is the double H who is known for their chicken wings and the ribs and not so spicy sauce. Plenty of sides to choose from including the hojo potatoes, fried okra, cornbread and hamhock greens.
Tai Hoa BBQ
854 University Ave West, Saint Paul
If you are tired of the norm, then check out BBQ Vietnamese style. You can literally go whole hog if you want to have a porky party but don’t forget to bring cash as no credit cards are allowed.
Pastor Hamilton’s BBQ
1150 7th Street East, St. Paul
Arkansas style with limited hours of operation slathered with homemade sauce. This humble storefront on 7th serves a delicious and dedicated purpose.