OooWee BBQ (food truck) – Charlotte, NC (RE-REVIEW)

Name: OooWee BBQ
Date: 6/15/18
Address: N/A
Order: Chopped BBQ plate with slaw and mac and cheese (link to menu)
Price: $11

Monk: I’ll admit it, the last time we reviewed OooWee BBQ was not under the most favorable conditions and I was probably a bit harsh. It was a a chilly October Saturday at a somewhat sparsely attended music festival in Charlotte. But still – what they served was dry, nearly inedible chopped pork and I reviewed them accordingly. Though I did state in that review that I’d be interested in trying them again under better circumstances.

In the past five years, OooWee BBQ has gone on to open a brick and mortar sore in Pineville but they are still kicking around the food truck circuit in Charlotte. They are regulars at events at my neighborhood pool and they stopped by on a Saturday in June for a day of music at the pool (“music festival” would be a bit overstating it).

In a bit of serendipity, I made the exact same order that I did last time around which allowed me to provide a direct comparison between then and now. The pork came pre-sauced with a tangy red sauce and was much better than what I had tried from them before. Not the smokiest, but at least moist and more flavorful. The mayo-based slaw and mac and cheese were also better than before, although I will say that I ended up mixing the three together, creating a makeshift barbecue sundae on my plate.

IMG_0569Speaking of the barbecue sundae, Mrs. Monk ordered one and in case it wasn’t obvious, it includes all of what I ordered plus baked beans mixed together to make a 4-layer “sundae” into a single cup . And I’m a big fan, though I think it’s kind of hard to mess it up. If every component is as it should be then no problem. But if the pork is dry, then the other sides can help cover it up. Regardless, I think this is the best dish that I’ve had from them and will likely be my order next time.

So OooWee BBQ were much better this time than last while still not reaching the upper tier of Charlotte barbecue. If you do encounter their bright yellow truck around town, I would recommend going for the barbecue sundae.

Atmosphere/Ambiance – N/A
Pork – 2.5 Hogs
Sides – 2.5 Hogs
Overall – 2.5 Hogs

Woodlands Barbecue and Pickin’ Parlor – Blowing Rock, NC

Name: Woodlands Barbecue and Pickin’ Parlor
Date: 9/15/17
Address: 8304 Valley Blvd, Blowing Rock, NC 28605
Order: “The Hog” (pork, beef, ribs, and wings) with red slaw and collards (link to menu)
Price: $19.99

Monk: Let me state for the record that visiting Woodlands Barbecue and Pickin’ Parlor (quite a mouthful, that name) in Blowing Rock was neither the choice of Speedy nor me on our annual guys trip. But of course, when our Yelp Elite friend Dan chose it based on friend’s recommendation, we happily obliged. Though, just how would a combination barbecue and mexican restaurant located in the mountains of NC actually turn out? Turns out: not bad but not great.

Speedy: I had passed Woodlands on my drive in, so was definitely intrigued. And seeing a cheap combo platter on the menu made me very happy. Not as happy as when the waitress asked us what college we went to, but happy nonetheless…

Monk: …doing work at 35, son!

Speedy: For our order, we went with “The Hog” – the smaller of the two combo plates, as we were told the bigger combo (“Pig Out”) was the same plus three more sides. Well, we were there for the meat, so that didn’t seem worth while to us. The hog came with pork, brisket (both chopped), ribs, and wings, so it was basically perfect. We added on red slaw and collards.

Monk: Seriously, what two people need six sides? This was the second time in three weeks that I’ve seen chopped or pulled beef on a menu as opposed to sliced brisket. The common denominator? Western NC mountain barbecue joints. A quick search doesn’t yield much information about this style of barbecue but anecdotally I recall hearing in my travels that this was a popular barbecue meat in the mountains of NC. As for this version of pulled beef…it was actually not bad! The pulled strands of beef were smoky and had a good texture. I’m curious as to what cut of beef this was pulled from, but it was in the running with the pork for the best meat of the meal.

Speedy: The ribs, on the other hand, were a bit of a miss. They were big slabs of spare ribs, and could have been trimmed to the St. Louis cut for a much better presentation. When we ordered, the waitress asked us if we wanted spicy or sweet, telling us spicy meant vinegar. Of course, that’s what we chose, thinking it was in context of the pork. Instead, our ribs had the vinegar sauce on it and it just didn’t work that well. The cook and the tenderness of the ribs were OK, but overall, (start Randy Jackson voice) they just didn’t do it for me, dawg.

Monk: These full wings were weird and required makeshift butcher work on our part to separate the drumette from the flat from the tip. The aforementioned spicy vinegar sauce didn’t work as a wing sauce but the other option was more of a KC Masterpiece-type thick sauce so really there were no good options. I simply did not care for them and would not recommend them as an order. None of the sides rose above standard and are worth mentioning.

Speedy: I actually do want to mention the sides, Monk, because the collards were terrible. Throw some pork or bacon in there, people! Overall, however, it was a mostly pleasant dining experience, despite the fact that we had to deal with an obnoxious Yelper while we were eating (Hi, Dan! Also, thanks for the photos!). Would I recommend as worthy of going out of your way to try? No way, but I’d consider stopping in at Woodlands Barbecue and Pickin’ again should I return back to Blowing Rock.

For more reviews:
Yelp God Daniel B

Atmosphere – 3 hogs
Pork – 2.5 hogs
Beef – 2.5 hogs
Ribs – 2 hogs
Wings – 2 hogs
Sides – 2 hogs
Overall – 2.5 hogs
Woodlands Barbeque Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que – Gatlinburg, TN

: Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que
Date: 9/3/17
Address: 714 River Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Order: Bar-B-Que Combo (chopped pork, brisket, and sausage) with jalapeno mac and cheese and coleslaw (link to menu)
Price: $14.99

Monk: While our last barbecue stop on the Monk family vacation to Gatlinburg, Tennessee was a bit of a bust for reasons other than barbecue we got another opportunity a couple days later while we were playing tourist in downtown Gatlinburg. Across the street from the aerial tram Ober Gatlinburg (our main plans for the day), just happened to be Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que and made the decision easy for us.

I know from the review of the Pigeon Forge store from Marie, Let’s Eat! that I was to expect fine-but-not-exceptional barbecue and guess what? Grant was right. The pork was perfectly acceptable but Bennett’s seemed to be very proud of their four sauces found on the table. None of them made a huge difference in the again, perfectly acceptable pork.

The brisket was dry and below average while the best of the three meats that day was the sliced sausage. A little of the table mustard sauce accentuated it nicely. This was the favorite meat of both myself and Mrs. Monk.

Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que is part of the locally-owned Johnson Family chain of restaurants that includes pizza, southern, and ice cream with locations in nearby Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. To their credit, they could serve below-average barbecue to tourists simply because they know that they’ll continue to make money regardless but thankfully that’s not the case. While they are a tourist destination that happens to serve halfway decent barbecue, it won’t blow your mind.

For more reviews, check out:
Marie, Let’s Eat

Atmosphere – 2 hogs
Pork – 2.5 hogs
Beef – 2 hogs
Sausage – 3.5 hogs
Sides – 2.5 hogs
Overall – 2.5 hogs
Bennett's Pit Bar-B-Que Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Old Hickory Bar-B-Q – Owensboro, KY

Name: Old Hickory Bar-B-Q
Date: 7/1/17
Address: 338 Washington Avenue, Owensboro, KY 42301
Order: Combination plate – mutton, mutton ribs, pork (fries and onion rings) (link to menu)
Price: $14.50

Speedy: After my recent relocation to Nashville, I found myself to be in close proximity to the state of Kentucky, which really only has two things I care about – horse racing and bourbon. On a Saturday afternoon starting a long weekend, I found myself with nothing to do, so I decided to make the drive up to see if I could add ‘cue to my “reasons to go to Kentucky” list. I chose Owensboro, as the that seems to be the most famous place for Kentucky’s meat of choice – mutton.

Monk: As always, I appreciate the dedication in driving long distances to try new joints. And seeing as how I don’t see Rudy or me making it to Western Kentucky anytime soon, thanks for biting the bullet and checking out the mutton. I couldn’t have been more curious as to how you would find it once I saw you were checking it out.

Speedy: After the considerable drive (which may have included stops at a couple of distilleries)…

Monk: …ah, there it is…

Speedy: …I pulled into Old Hickory Bar-B-Que to see a traditional looking ‘cue joint with a sign claiming “five generations of quality bar-b-q”.

Monk: So far so good, although can we talk about how Owensboro fancies itself to be the “Barbecue Capital of the World”? Were you aware of this during your trip and if so, how did you feel betraying Lexington, NC like that?

Speedy: No, I wasn’t aware, but I’m not surprised. There are a lot of false idols in this world, Monk, and you can’t avoid them all.

I walked in and was seated at a booth, where I quickly ordered a combination plate with three meats – I chose two kinds of mutton (traditional and ribs) and pork (you can take the boy out of North Carolina…). The food came out quickly and I dug in.

The portions were more than generous. I started with the pork, which was chopped super fine – even finer than Lexington style. In fact, it almost looked like a sloppy Joe. But the flavor was good – it was pre-sauced with a vinegary sauce. It was pretty decent and didn’t require any more sauce, but I felt it did lose a bit of the pork flavor. I also would have loved to have a little bark in with the pork, but it was just fine.

Monk: From the photos, I do believe that pork looks to have the consistency of refried beans just a little bit. At least it was still somewhat tasty, according to you.

Speedy: As for the mutton, I’ll have to describe both cuts of meat at the same time, because I honestly couldn’t tell the difference. There were big chunks of mutton meat that were tender and easy to pull. The tenderness was the best part of the meat. The flavor was somewhat bland and gamey. Adding either sauce (a vinegar base and a sweet heat sauce) helped, but overall, I didn’t find the mutton to be that enjoyable.

Monk: I could really try to shoehorn a “Seinfeld” quote in here, but I think I’ll refrain…

Speedy: The sides were fine (I stuck to the fried variety), but overall, I didn’t think the meal was that great. I don’t feel great writing this review, as I don’t think Old Hickory Bar-B-Q did anything wrong – I just think mutton is not a great meat, which is why no one else cooks it.  

For more reviews of Old Hickory Bar-B-Q, check out:
Marie, Let’s Eat!

Atmosphere/Ambiance – 3.5 hogs
Pork – 3 hogs
Mutton – 2 hogs
Sides – 3 hogs
Overall – 2.5 hogs
Old Hickory Bar-B-Q Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Old Brick Pit Barbeque – Chamblee, GA

: Old Brick Pit Barbeque
Date: 2/15/2017
Address: 4805 Peachtree Rd, Chamblee, GA 30341
Order: Combination platter (pork, ribs) with brunswick stew, slaw (link to menu)
Price: $13

Speedy: Old Brick Pit Barbeque is an old school joint that is just a couple miles north of where I moved in Atlanta. Despite driving by it many times, I never stopped until a recent February evening. Walking in, Old Brick Pit looks like it would fit right in Lexington, so I definitely felt at home. But would the food stack up?

Monk: I know that Marie, Let’s Eat! is a big defender of this place as a good representation of the definitely-not-a-catchall-term “Georgia barbecue”. As I passed by this place leaving Speedy’s place last August, I realized just how close it was. I’ve been really curious how he’d receive it.

Speedy: Of course I ordered a combination platter so I could taste both the ribs and pork and as a bonus, it came with Brunswick stew. The platter was ready shortly after ordering.

The pork was interesting – it came topped with a red barbecue sauce (with more on the side). But the pork was tender and tasty, and I think the sauce actually added an interesting flavor. This was, by a country mile, the best part of the meal. In fact, if I go back to Old Brick Pit, I’ll stick to a barbecue sandwich – available for only $3.

Monk: Based on your description, this sounds a bit like the late Old Hickory House here in Charlotte, which was a Georgia style joint of the chain which only has one location left in Tucker. I was never a huge fan of the tangy sauce that topped the barbecue, but could appreciate that it was a different style than I was accustomed to.

Speedy: Good call, Monk. It did sort of remind me of Old Hickory House. And I’ve been to the one in Tucker – it was not very good. I thought the Charlotte one (RIP) was much better.

As you might have guessed, the ribs were just not good. They were way, way, way overcooked and seem like they had been boiled prior to smoking. The meat was almost soggy. It had OK flavor, but not good enough to make up for the overcooking.

Monk: Seems like the ribs were the favorite of Marie, Let’s Eat! And Burgers, Barbecue and Everything Else. Odd that it was not so great for your visit. Next you’re going to say that you weren’t a fan of the brunswick stew…

Speedy: The brunswick stew was OK, but a little lacking in flavor. I didn’t try the slaw since it was mayo based.

Monk: Well ok, then.

Speedy: Overall, I was disappointed in the Old Brick Pit. I might return for a quick sammie sometime, but I won’t be taking any out of town visitors over.

For more reviews of Old Brick Pit Barbeque, check out
Marie, Let’s Eat!
Burgers, Barbecue and Everything Else

Atmosphere – 3.5 hogs
Pork – 3 hogs
Ribs – 1.5 hogs
Sides – 2 hogs
Overall – 2.5 hogs
Old Brick Pit Barbeque Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Old Brick Pit

Bar-B-Que House – Oak Island, NC

Name: Bar-B-Que House
Date: 8/19/16
Address: 5002 East Oak Island Dr., Oak Island, NC 28465
Order: Medium chopped pork tray, red slaw, brunswick stew, hush puppies, and drink (link to menu)
Price: ~$14

Monk: On our recent family vacation, I promised Mrs Monk that we only had to eat at one barbecue restaurant (not that there is a ton of options right at the coast anyways). In Oak Island, there is really only one option and that is Bar-B-Que House, the self-proclaimed “best barbecue on the beach” with additional locations in North Myrtle and Surfside Beach. There was a bit of a wait on the Friday night that we came in, so it’s clearly a pretty popular place with the locals and tourists.

As for my order, the chopped pork had some bark but overall was pretty bland despite the chunks of bark mixed in. Perhaps more rub was needed. As a result, the pork was more or less naked and required the addition of one of the sauces – mustard, Lexington, eastern, “house”, and “spicy house”. I tried both the Lexington and eastern and found the pork passable once they were mixed in.

In keeping with having it both ways, red slaw and white slaw are both an option, and I found the red slaw to be a decent version. Being that it was late August and 90+ degrees out, Brunswick stew probably didn’t make the most sense but I have decided that I need to expand my limited knowledge when it comes to Brunswick stew. This was an inauspicious start – while the stew had good flavor, the veggies used had clearly been frozen. Each plate comes with 4 hush puppies, and I stole more from the Monkette’s plate that she wasn’t going to eat anyways.

So Bar-B-Que House isn’t a bad option per se if you are in the Oak Island/Holden Beach area. However, if you are up the road in Southport I’ve found Southport Smokehouse to be a better barbecue option at the beach.

Atmosphere – 2.5 hogs
Pork – 2.5 hogs
Sides – 3 hogs
Overall – 2.5 hogs
Bar-B-Que House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Queen City Q – Charlotte, NC (RE-REVIEW)

: Queen City Q
Date: 4/13/16
Address: 225 E 6th St, Charlotte, NC 28202
Order: Super Q platter (pork, brisket, sausage, ribs) with eastern NC bbq slaw and hush puppies (link)
Price: $28

Speedy: So after Monk panned the Concord Queen City Q location last week, we decided we needed to go back to the flagship to see how it stacked up. In the past, we’ve had pretty good experiences, so we needed to find out if Monk just had a one-off bad experience or if quality had started to slip across the board.

Monk: Before Hornets home games, Queen City Q is packed to the gills and the wait time can reach upwards of 45 minutes. Our visit before the final home game of the season was no exception but after waiting in the packed lower bar area, we were able to snag a high top. Regardless of whether the food was still any good or not, it was evident to me that Queen City Q was probably doing just alright in terms of business.

Speedy: The sausage at QCQ has always been my favorite meat. And today was no different. The sausage is served split with a mustard sauce and it just works. The meat is finished on a grill and has very solid flavor. It doesn’t try to be anything it’s not with fancy flavors or fillers – it’s just good. So the first meat is a go.

Monk: While Speedy considers the ribs to be one of the better meats at QCQ, they were overdone and pretty tough on this occasion. Seeing as how they came in individual bones as opposed to a half rack I wonder if perhaps they had been under a heat lamp after they were cut and that ultimately did them in. Whatever the reason they were just average.

Speedy: I was a little disappointed in the ribs as well. They were fine, but not as good as I had remembered. For the brisket, though, I need to find a better word than disappointed. It was flat out bad. It tasted like it had been cooked the previous day and reheated. There was no tenderness to the meat and it took a significant amount of barbecue sauce just to finish. It’s been a long time since I’ve had brisket at QCQ, and it will be a long time before I do so again.

Monk: The pork was at least better than the dry, stringy mess I got in Concord. It was tender and moist to the point where I didn’t reach for a table sauce. This was more along the lines of the quality I remembered.

Speedy: We had red slaw and hush puppies as sides, which were pretty good. I know Monk was a little disappointed in the sides at the Concord location, but these were both acceptable. Nothing to get too excited about, but they won’t affect my decision on whether to go back.

Monk: In my review of the Concord location, I wondered if it was a one-off disappointing experience at a satellite location or an indication of an overall drop in quality for Queen City Q. Unfortunately, with this review I am pretty firmly convinced that it’s the latter.

Atmosphere – 3 hogs
Pork – 2.5 hogs
Brisket – 1 hog
Sausage – 3.5 hogs
Ribs – 2.5 hogs
Sides – 3 hogs
Overall – 2.5 hogs

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Kid Cashew – Charlotte, NC

: Kid Cashew
Date: 2/13/16
Address: 1608 East Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203
Order: ½ lb pork shoulder, slow-cooked pork panini, hummus with grilled rustic bread, mac and 5 cheese, 4 beers (link)
Price: $67 (for two)

As far as non-traditional barbecue restaurants go, Kid Cashew may be stretching it a bit in terms of places we would normally review here. But they’ve been advertised as a “Mediterranean smokehouse” and even utilize a wood-fired grill made by Texas-based J&R Manufacturing (who is a respected barbecue pit manufacturer who also makes the wood-fired rotisserie smoker that Midwood Smokehouse uses) so I figured they were fair game.

Kid Cashew is a Mediterranean farmhouse-influenced spot in the space formerly occupied by, among other things, an old Spanish tapas place called Solé (a favorite of me and my then-roommates when I first moved to Charlotte in 2005). It has been open for a little over a month now and while we were seated right away during my first visit at lunch on a Saturday, we revisited on a different Saturday night for dinner to find a lively crowd and an hour wait. So it seems to be doing well thus far.

They have a limited menu of small plates, salads, sandwiches, and items “from the farmer” (think brussel sprouts or smashed fingerling potatoes) and those “from the butcher.” Those meats include “local chicken” (half or full), leg of lamb, NC mountain trout, and Scottish salmon. I opted for the pork shoulder at $12.50 per half pound and shared a side of mac and five cheese gratin with Mrs. Monk. The small portion came out in two tender chunks as opposed to shredded or pulled. It did have a wood smell to it with a distinct Mediterranean rub. Again, not really traditional barbecue but a pretty tasty half pound of meat nonetheless. On the side was a spicy cilantro yogurt sauce (tzatziki and harissa also available), and it wasn’t essential to enjoying the meat.

The mac and five-cheese gratin came in a small cast iron skillet and was still piping hot when it was brought out to us. It was a good mac and cheese, albeit a little pricey for the portion size. We had some hummus before our meal came out, and it was made from black chickpeas and was an interesting contrast to the usual smooth pasty texture of hummus found at most restaurants or the grocery store. I guess this makes it more authentic? In any case,  it was good.

I’m not going to recommend you go to Kid Cashew for barbecue (mainly because what they serve really can’t be classified as barbecue) but if you’re looking for a Mediterranean-influenced farm to table restaurant with craft cocktails its not a bad spot in Charlotte.


Atmosphere – 3.5 hogs
Pork – 2.5 hogs
Sides – 2.5 hogs
Overall – 2.5 hogs
Kid Cashew Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Treehouse Whiskey and Fork – Charlotte, NC

Name: Treehouse Whiskey and Fork
Date: 12/22/15
Address: 4423 Sharon Rd, Charlotte, NC 28211
Order: Large plate (pork, brisket, ribs, sausage) with coleslaw, tater tots, and jalapeno cheddar biscuit; smoked backyard wings, skillet cornbread, and buffalo shrimp; 5 beers (link)
Price: $72 (for 3)

Monk: Happy Birthday, Speedy!

Speedy: Thanks, bro.

Monk: So on the night of his actual birthday, Speedy chose Treehouse Whiskey & Fork, a Charlotte restaurant in SouthPark of which I was unaware of just how much a barbecue joint it actually was – it describes itself on its website as “a new take on BBQ and New American Style cooking”.

Speedy: I had been a couple times before, but hadn’t really had the barbecue, so thought this was a good time to bring Monk (and friend of the blog Susong) in for reinforcements. Little did I know, we’d have an additional soldier on our squad, but more on that later. Anyway, the atmosphere at Treehouse is really great – even down to the tree literally in the middle of the restaurant. A large bar, good beer and whiskey selection, and large outdoor patio make this a great place for grabbing drinks with friends. But is it a good place for ‘cue?

Monk: Somehow, I missed the tree in the middle of the restaurant. As for the food, the pork was not bad, with smokey pieces of bark mixed in with mostly moist pork. Not bad, but maybe a little on the bland side. The brisket, on the other hand, didn’t have the fat properly rendered and was poorly smoked. Just bad.

Speedy: The ribs were definitely baby backs, and a little on the small side. They were slathered in sauce and a little overcooked, making it hard to get a good bite. They did have a decent flavor, but not the best ribs in my opinion. The sausage had good flavor, but not enough snap to the casing. The flavor made up for that, though, and I’d order the sausage again. The wings were pretty good. In Charlotte, it’s pretty rare to find smoked wings instead of fried, so I really appreciate them when I can get them. These weren’t the best smoked wings, but worth re-ordering. While not barbecue, the buffalo shrimp were awesome.

Monk: The large plate came with a jalapeno cheddar biscuit but we ordered some skillet cornbread in order to get that fix. The tots and the slaw that came with the meal were standard, and of course Speedy stayed away from the mayo slaw.

Speedy: OK – enough ‘cue talk. Now we need to tell you about the Mont-dawg. The Mont-dawg was a super drunk golfer who was there with some friends after a round of golf earlier that day. He took a liking to our group, buying us a round of Fireball shots. However, he REALLY took a liking to a group of 16-year old girls sitting near us. While he didn’t buy them shots, he did ask them if they’d be willing to babysit his three kids. Mont-dawg also successfully guessed Monk’s real name, got left by his friends, ran off a waitress, refused us buying him a shot (because “y’all – I make a ton of money.”) I wish I could remember all the rest of the Mont-dawg quotes, but alas, there was too much. But big shout out to the Mont-dawg, wherever you are. This one’s for you…

Atmosphere – 4 hogs (specifically because of Mont-dawg; your mileage may vary)
Pork – 3 hogs
Brisket – 1.5 hogs
Ribs – 2 hogs
Sausage – 3 hogs
Wings – 3 hogs
Sides – 3.5 hogs
Overall – 2.5 hogs
Treehouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Southside Market & Barbeque – Elgin, TX

: Southside Market & Barbeque
Date: 10/24/15
Address: 1212 Hwy 290 E, Elgin, TX 78621
Order: Southside Combo Plate (Brisket & Sausage with Slaw and Mac & Cheese), 1 Slammer, Drink (link to menu)
Price: $17.00

The calendar said it was October and the car seat in the back said I was a dad, so I was required to take the obligatory trip to a pumpkin patch. Mrs. Rudy said buying a pumpkin at the grocery store was completely out of the question and that we must drive out to the country to get one. However she sold me with the idea of being able to go to Southside Market & Barbeque in Elgin, which is right outside of Austin.  

Southside markets themselves as the oldest barbecue joint in Texas. It has a tremendous amount of history and has a great reputation. They ship sausages and other meats all over the country, so I was excited to try their barbecue. In my opinion, the reputation far exceeded what I actually experienced.

When you walk in, it feels very much like they are trying to get as many people through as possible. While that may mean more profit and more people eat their food, it also probably means that they do not have a huge focus on quality. There are two lines for barbecue and two enormous dining rooms for eating.  Southside also feels very commercialized, with lots of options to buy their shirts, hats, sauces, rubs, and really anything you want with “Southside Market & Barbeque” printed on it. The two positives for their atmosphere, and why I rated it highly, was because of pallets of wood outside (showing that they are cooking over wood) and they have a very nice meat market/butcher there where you can go and get your own meat to cook at home. If I were wanting to cook my own brisket, ribs, or sausage, this is absolutely the place that I would go.

I ordered the Southside Combo Plate, which came with brisket and sausage, plus 2 sides. The brisket had almost no seasoning, there was a little bit of a smoke ring, but no bark and no flavor. The fat was not well rendered, which led me to believe it had been cooked much earlier and had just been sitting there staying warm for a while. Very disappointing. The sausage was better, but not by much. I believe they make their sausage in house, so there are some points for that. It had flavor from the meat, but was nothing great.  

As far as sides, I got the slaw (non-mayo based for Speedy) and mac and cheese. They were probably the best part of the meal, but it was an easy hurdle to cover. I thought the mac and cheese was the best, but it’s hard to mess that up.  

The last thing I tried was a special that they were advertising on the menu called “the Slammer”. It was a sausage, stuffed with cheese and a jalapeno, wrapped in bacon and smoked. They clearly had my attention. When it came, it was much like the brisket – room temperature and uninspiring. The cheese was hard and not melted while the bacon was not crisp at all, as if it had been cooked many hours earlier and left to sit. I am shocked that someone could mess up something that’s only ingredients are bacon, sausage, cheese, and jalapeno, but Southside Market managed to do just that.  

I was completely looking forward to getting out to Elgin and trying Southside Market & Barbeque, however when you eat barbecue and the pumpkin patch is the highlight of the day, that’s not a good sign for the barbecue joint. Overall I’m glad I tried it and can mark it off the list, but I’m more happy that I didn’t make a special trip out just for it.


Atmosphere – 3.5 hogs
Brisket – 2 hogs
Sausage – 3 hogs
Slammer – 2 hogs
Sides – 3 hogs
Overall – 2.5 hogs
Southside Market & Barbeque Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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