Best of 2008...Beat the Rush...Ranking Meats

Category: , By Christian
During my first year as a blogger, I finished the year off with a series of "Best Of" rankings. Best books, best movies, best sports moments. You know. The usual.

Then last year I started reading more blogs, and I realized that everyone and their mother was doing "Best Of" lists at the end of the year. It was like the blogosphere vomited a bunch of music countdowns where people were falling all over themselves in order to talk about how great Radiohead's last album was. I literally stopped reading blogs during the last couple weeks of 2007 since they had become congested with high levels of redundancy. I resolved to give up "Best Of" lists.

But then I had a bright idea a couple of weeks ago while we were shopping for a new frying pan at Macy's. As I saw the workers setting up Christmas stuff a good month before Halloween and a whopping 3 months before Christmas, I lamented the need for retailers to be the first to put up Christmas stuff. Then I ripped off their idea and vowed to do my "Best Of" list the second week in October. Gotta beat the holiday rush.

Here's my promise to you: no run of the mill lists this week. All original lists that you will not find anywhere else. Not now. Not in 3 moths when lists are the in thing. I won't promise that each list will have 10 items. Sometimes there just aren't' 10 best things. I also can't promise that all of these listed items were actually experienced in 2008. These are more timeless lists that exist in my heart. And I also promise not to mention Radiohead. You don't need me to tell you how good the album was. You already heard it from a bazillion other cats. Plus, I didn't listen to the album.

Kicking off our best of favorite barbecue meats. For reasons of integrity, I'm not including anything I've actually made. Though, now that I think of it, none of my stuff would make the list. I'm waaaaay to hard on myself.

6. Gates Beef on Bread- Very classic taste. Gates flavor has a nice bite to it, and the ambiance of the joint makes up for the fact that the beef can get a bit on the dry side if you show up on an off day. That's the risk of hitting up a chain bbq joint. But it's nothing a heavy slathering of sauce can't overcome.

5. Jones BBQ Beef Sandwich - Superior meat quality to Gates. More celery seed in the rub, which might not strike every one's fancy. At first I didn't like it, but they have toned it down over the last couple of years and found a way better balance. The key to this sandwich is to get a side of baked beans. Jones has amazing beans that are sweet, juicy and have huge chunks of meat in them. I like to go sauseless, and then dip the sandwich in the bean juice.

4. Oklahoma Joes Hogamaniac (aka Hog Dinner) - Three ribs, pulled pork, sausage, pickles, texas toast and two sides. Dang. It's enough food for two people. This is my favorite meal when I have a high-stress day. I stop by a coffe shop and pick up a hazelnut latte, which is a great compliment to good meat. Plus, I think the dinner is only like $11.

3. The Shack Sampler Platter - I've only had this once. The shack is in Ocean Springs, MS. Sweet and sticky sauce. Best ambiance of any joint I've been to. Nice souther style BBQ.

2. Roy's Three Meat Sandwich - My first love. We made a lot of pilgrimages to Hutchinson, KS when I was in college just to hit up Roy's. It's the first place I ever experienced the zen of meat sweats. You can't leave that place without a saturation of smoke into your hair, clothing and skin.

1. Oklahoma Joes Pulled Pork Z Man on Texas Toast with a topping of Spicy Slaw slapped on the sandwich. The only sandwich that makes me shudder when I think of it. Meat, provolone and an onion ring. All on toast and Carolina'd up with that spicy slaw. It doesn't look like much, but you had better go gameface if you expect to finish it. And don't get it to go. It has to be eaten in the gas station, and in one sitting. Unlike any other bbq dish, it doesn't warm up well.

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