St. Paul’s Revival is the best BBQ in Minnesota

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St. Paul's Revival is the best BBQ in Minnesota

Food & Wine Magazine, according to their latest “The Best BBQ in Every State,” thinks the St. Paul location of Revival is the best place to get barbecue in Minnesota.

F&W’s foodists took the time to visit every state, eat an incomprehensible amount of slow-smoked meats, sauces, and sides, and then come to their, imaginably quite contentious, decision on where to go all across the USA.

Revival takes the cake (or something)

We can’t really disagree with their choice – it’s pretty hard to dispute Nick Rancone and Thomas Boemer’s passion for food on the back end, and the lick-your-lips-delicious result on the front. Needless to say, we like Revival quite a bit, and it was always about more than just Fried Chicken for us.

St. Paul's Revival is the best BBQ in Minnesota

And, admittedly with a bit of salt, we can’t really disagree with the second-tier ranking that Food & Wine placed us when breaking down the must-visit factor for good barbecue in every state –  we were placed in the “Rising Stars” section – as Minnesota is awfully far north, and, try as we might, we just can’t seem to get the respect for BBQ that comes so natural to the South.

But that’s okay. We’ll keep trying.

Food & Wine acknowledges this in the article, noting the nationwide BBQ phenomenon with mixed results, saying,

“Things are different now, of course. Barbecue has gone wide. Way wide, in fact, to the point where, on a good day, you can get a decent piece of brisket, or a memorable pork sandwich, in pretty much every single one of the 50 states. Texas or Carolina good? Sometimes. The rest—well, they’re working on it.”

St. Paul's Revival is the best BBQ in Minnesota

Where else do we go in Minnesota? We’ve liked things from Handsome Hog, and the now-shuttered StormKing (RIP). Really, though, it’s all about Big Daddy’s and Rooster’s, both in St. Paul, if we’re really craving juicy, old-school, no-need-for-cocktails-or-frills-style barbecue goodness. We will maintain that, if Food & Wine had gone for a few of the more obscure places around the Twin Cities, the ones that maybe don’t get the Yelp attention or constant high-profile praise from publications around town, they might’ve bumped us a little higher than “Rising Star.”

We’ll get there someday, maybe. And if not, that’s okay too. We’ll just move on to something else. That’s kind of how we do in the Twin Cities.

Here’s the Food & Wine write-up for Revival in full:

“When Revival opened in Minneapolis a couple of years back, their fried chicken was a lines-around-the-block hit; when they expanded to a second location in St. Paul, they switched things up, firing up a smoker, turfing out what quickly became recognized not only as some of the best barbecue in the Twin Cities, but also just really good barbecue, period. Two words: Butter ribs. Served at dinner only, chef-turned-pitmaster Thomas Boemer’s signature is these smoky, nicely-rubbed ribs, dipped in butter and spice mix for a final, over-the-top flourish. If we’re not being clear: Get the ribs. And if it’s Monday, the pastrami, too. (If it’s not Monday, wait patiently for the following Monday, when there will typically be pastrami again.)”

For more Twin Cities food news, read this article next: 10 best restaurants on the Green Line