This past year was an exciting one for me as the blog started to take off. I've been able to put a little more time into it, and thanks to interest from friends and linking with sites like Urbanspoon, I've seen readership increase over 400%. A big thank you everyone who takes the time to read my posts and especially those who have told me they enjoy reading them. Many people ask "So what's your favorite place?" and honestly, that's a hard question to answer. I have not done a "best of the year" list before, but this seemed like a fun time to try it, so let me know what you think. As with all my reviews, I'm just sharing my experiences and opinions with this list, based on the places I've been in the last year. Feel free to leave a comment if you had a different experience, or if you want to suggest somewhere for me to try. I love to hear them. So here it is- please enjoy-
Best Barbecue Experience
The best meal I had last year was at Heirloom Market BBQ in Atlanta. Great atmosphere and all around awesome food earned them my first 5 star review ever. Runner up was Southern Soul BBQ in St. Simons Island, GA.
Best New Restaurant
know good bbq is often found in unlikely places, but even I didn't have
much hope for a bright blue painted concrete block shack in the
restaurant wasteland of Union County, FL. I was pleasantly surprised by Memphis Blues BBQ in Lake Butler,FL.
Best Pulled Pork
This was also found at Memphis Blues. Big, moist chunks of competition-worthy smoky seasoned pork.
Best Chopped Pork
Next door to a trailer park in Baldwin,FL I found perfection of the chopped variety at Fat Jack's Smokestack BBQ.
One of the highlights at Heirloom Market in Atlanta was the thick-crusted ribs. Their texture and taste were above and beyond any others I have had to date.
Again a close contest with Southern Soul, but Heirloom Market wins in this category as well.
Best Baked Beans
No competition here. Smokin' D's BBQ in St. Augustine, FL gets my vote for best beans ever.
Best Side Dishes
Yet another win for Heirloom Market, as they gave traditional side dishes just a little something extra.