Photo by David B. Moore
Most barbecue fans don’t wait for a special holiday to eat their favorite smoked meats. Nevertheless, May 16 is National Barbecue Day. And if you miss going out on May 16, no need to fret because May is National Barbecue Month. To help you celebrate, we’ve rounded up five of our favorite Valley barbecue spots. Make sure you ask for extra napkins.
Bryan’s Black Mountain Barbecue
If you live anywhere near Cave Creek, make a beeline for Bryan’s Black Mountain Barbecue, where you can score pit master Bryan Dooley’s barbecued chicken, pork ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket and pulled chicken. Order a sandwich, a plate with sides or meats by the pound. If you go on a Friday, you can get a dozen frog legs for $17.95. Voted best ribs in Arizona by the Food Network.
6130 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, 480-575-7155, bryansbarbecue.com
Frasher’s calls itself a “confluence of traditional BBQ styles and techniques with a southwestern twist.” The staff, led by owner George Frasher, makes heavenly Memphis style and Kansas City style barbecue from chicken to baby back ribs. Frasher uses Arizona pecan wood to smoke his meats and makes all sauces in house. Look for daily specials that include Texas brisket, St. Louis-style pork steaks and beef ribs.
3222 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, 602) 314-5599, frasherssmokehouse.com
Photo by Brian Goddard
Little Miss BBQ
Volumes have been written about how good the award-winning barbecue is at Little Miss BBQ. They offer meats by the pound, including sliced brisket, turkey, pulled pork and pork spare ribs. Also available: family packs, meat plates with sides, burritos and some serious mac and cheese. And if you’re so inclined, pick up some sweet and smoky pecan pie. You can preorder or eat in at the Tempe location. At Sunnyslope, you can preorder, eat in or order takeout. People wait in long lines to snag this Central Texas style barbecue. Worth it.
Two Valley locations, littlemissbbq.com
Pit master Oren Hartman rubs, smokes and serves his barbecue “naked,” without sauce. The pecan and oak smoked meats can definitely stand alone, but Hartman serves up regional sauces such as spicy vinegar-spiked North Carolina sauce and South Carolina mustard sauce. Look for sandwiches, platters and sides with meats by the pound, from St. Louis ribs and jalapeno hot links to chopped or sliced brisket and hand-pulled pork. Scottsdale and Phoenix locations.
Two Valley locations, nakedq.com
Photo courtesy Trapp Haus BBQ
Trapp Haus BBQ
Champion pit master “Phil the Grill” Johnson puts out stellar low-and-slow barbecue from his Roosevelt Row restaurant in downtown Phoenix. In addition to the typical barbecue items such as brisket, pork and chicken, Johnson has sides galore, including black-eyed peas, fried corn on the cob and collard greens. Highlights include smoked pulled pork, brisket and hot links along with the chef’s award-winning smoked and fried “Philly crack wings.”
511 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, 602-466-5462, trapphausbbq.com