Improving Philly Barbecue Scene

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phlmaestro
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2018/12/27 21:57:54 (permalink)

Improving Philly Barbecue Scene

It wasn't that long ago that there was no barbecue in Philadelphia that would pass for the real thing among people who have had good barbecue.
 
That's changing. I've posted in the past on Fette Sau, the highly rated Brooklyn barbecue joint that opened a second location in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia about a half-dozen years ago. http://forums.roadfood.co...-Barbecue-m715582.aspx   (the other place I wrote about on this thread has since closed)
 
More recently I've tried two newer places, via lunch delivery to my office, in South Philadelphia and was impressed by both, especially the newer of the two, which I tried today for the first time.
 
Mike's Barbecue is probably about a year or so old. The food critic at the paper where I work loves this place and I was excited to try it a few weeks ago. 



 
The ribs were very good on all counts. The brisket had nice flavor, but as you can see, it had dried out by the time I got to eat it. I know from personal experience that it's virtually impossible to keep brisket moist for very long after slicing it. It would be nice to try their brisket right after it's sliced some time.
 
Today, I ordered lunch from a place that probably hasn't been open for more than two or three months; that being the South Philly Smokehaus.



While the brisket wasn't oozing juice, it wasn't as dry as the brisket from Mike's. And the smoky flavor was outstanding. The pulled pork was also great. As you can see there was a variety of textures. Sauce was provided on the side by both South Philly places. I took these photos before adding a little to the meat. I generally like to try barbecue meat that comes unsauced both with and without sauce. The beans were good. I wouldn't say I loved them, but I'd get them again. 
 
I would rate today's lunch from South Philly Smokehaus as the best barbecue meal I've had in Philadelphia. Having said that, one meal each from Mike's and the South Philly Smokehaus isn't really enough of a sample to make a good judgement. I'll have to give them each more tries.  There is also another new place that specializes in both pork and beef back ribs that belongs to the same delivery service. I'll want to try them as well, in addition to getting back to Fette Sau again (I was there a second time a couple years ago). 
 
I'll have to see if the small circle of people at the office I include in my orders wants to do this once every month or two. It's not cheap. The delivery service adds significant fees. But they also send out coupons, and I used one to get a $10 off our order, which was a pound each of brisket and pulled pork, along with the beans, mac-and-cheese, which I didn't try, and two orders of cole slaw that came with the two meats. They also sent a bag of sliced bread. From Mike's, I believe I ordered a full rack of ribs, a pound of brisket and sides. Both orders were shared by four people. 
 
post edited by phlmaestro - 2018/12/27 22:26:24
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    ScreamingChicken
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    Re: Improving Philly Barbecue Scene 2018/12/28 08:25:53 (permalink)
    Spread the word and I'll bet you can expand that circle to more than 4 people.  Did you eat in a common area or did each person take lunch back to an office or cube?  If I worked there I'd definitely be interested in a once-a-month group order.
     
    Otherwise, if these restaurants aren't too far away there's always the "you fly, I'll buy" approach.
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    phlmaestro
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    Re: Improving Philly Barbecue Scene 2018/12/28 10:57:11 (permalink)
    ScreamingChicken
    Spread the word and I'll bet you can expand that circle to more than 4 people.  Did you eat in a common area or did each person take lunch back to an office or cube?  If I worked there I'd definitely be interested in a once-a-month group order.
     
    Otherwise, if these restaurants aren't too far away there's always the "you fly, I'll buy" approach.




    The problem is that I have to charge the order online and I don't want to put a massive charge on my card. I can handle four people. Another thing I like about my little group is that when I put it to them that they can either order whatever they like off the menu or they could trust me to order meat and sides for everyone, they were happy to let me do the ordering. A rack of ribs and pound of brisket at the first South Philly place and a pound each of brisket and pulled pork at the other one turned out to be the perfect amount for four people.
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    MetroplexJim
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    Re: Improving Philly Barbecue Scene 2018/12/28 11:45:00 (permalink)
    BBQ is the "new" pizza in that excellent renditions of it are now spreading everywhere.
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    phlmaestro
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    Re: Improving Philly Barbecue Scene 2018/12/28 12:01:55 (permalink)
    MetroplexJim
    BBQ is the "new" pizza in that excellent renditions of it are now spreading everywhere.


    Couldn't agree more. We're starting to get some movement on fried chicken too, although I wasn't in love with the two places that a lot of locals rave about (probably locals who have never had good fried chicken down South .... I never cared about fried chicken until I took a trip to the Mid-South).
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    leethebard
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    Re: Improving Philly Barbecue Scene 2018/12/28 15:23:44 (permalink)
    phlmaestro
    MetroplexJim
    BBQ is the "new" pizza in that excellent renditions of it are now spreading everywhere.


    Couldn't agree more. We're starting to get some movement on fried chicken too, although I wasn't in love with the two places that a lot of locals rave about (probably locals who have never had good fried chicken down South .... I never cared about fried chicken until I took a trip to the Mid-South).


    Also agree. Great Barbecue can be had most metropolitan areas if you look!
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    phlmaestro
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    Re: Improving Philly Barbecue Scene 2019/01/17 10:29:35 (permalink)
    This, which is about the growing local barbecue scene, just came out today:
     
    http://www.philly.com/food/craig-laban/best-bbq-barbecue-philadelphia-20190117.html
     
     
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