Arizona BBQ?

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TU Pablo
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2007/05/22 11:38:02 (permalink)

Arizona BBQ?

My principal home is in Tulsa, OK hence I can get great BBQ, i.e., Big Daddy's, Albert G's, Wilsons, Rib Crib etc. I also visit KC every once in awhile and hit Gates and Arthur Bryants. Four years ago however, my wife and I built a second home in Maricopa, AZ (30 miles south of the Phoenix airport). I have found that Arizona and BBQ don't go together.

When I brought up this subject on the Maricopa bulletin board many of the locals told me to visit Honey Bears in Tempe (more on this place below). Several others stated that Famous Daves (the chain) was the best BBQ in town. There is an El Paso BBQ (small chain owned by Furrs Cafeteria) in Ahwatukee (suburb of Phoenix) that is ok. I also intend to try Joes BBQ in Gilbert next week when I am in Arizona. I saw the thread about Joes and the pictures. I have also heard about Happes (sp) BBQ.

My wife and I tried Honey Bears and were disappointed. The dinners consist of Ribs or Chicken or Ribs and Chicken. I believe that you could buy chopped brisket or ham as a sandwich but not as a meal. I didn't see any smoked sausage or bologna. The meat did not taste like it was smoked and it was served wet with a lot of BBQ sauce slathered on top. Is this Arizona BBQ or is it just Honey Bears style?

Does anyone else have any recommendations for good BBQ in the East Valley?

On a final note, I recently met Big Daddy of Tulsa and Jenks, OK BBQ fame. I talked with him about the Arizona BBQ. He said he knew the owner of Honey Bears and that they were from Tulsa!!!
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    Raine
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    RE: Arizona BBQ? 2007/05/22 19:34:23 (permalink)
    Have you tried Thee Pits Again?

    Thee Pits Again
    (23.8 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport)
    5558 W. Bell Road
    Glendale, AZ
    (602)996-7488
    #2
    TU Pablo
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    RE: Arizona BBQ? 2007/05/23 01:50:29 (permalink)
    Thanks for the tip. I will put it on my list. Glendale is a little bit out of my area (Maricopa, Chandler, Gilbert, etc.). I also only make about seven trips a year to my second home in Maricopa and searching for decent BBQ in Arizona is sometimes about fourth or fifth on the list. I will try Thee Pits Again soon and report what I think.

    So far, I have only tried Honey Bears in Tempe. My grade a D. Honey Bears does not appear to smoke the meat, they only offer ribs or chicken dinners and the meat is served "wet".
    #3
    desertdog
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    RE: Arizona BBQ? 2007/05/23 02:19:09 (permalink)
    TU,

    Get down and try Joe's Real BBQ in Downtown Gilbert for good Q.

    It'll be worth your while to head to the west side if you want to try the best I've found in these parts: Resturant 28.

    Here's a review I did on it:

    http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=18455




    #4
    TU Pablo
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    RE: Arizona BBQ? 2007/05/23 10:46:48 (permalink)
    Thanks for the tip. Desert Dog, Joes in Gilbert is next on my list. My wife and I intend to go to Joes in the next two weeks. Gilbert is really close to our home in Maricopa.

    Have you been to Honey Bears and if so, what do you think about it?

    Also, is there such a thing as Arizona BBQ and is Honey Bears an example of it? If so, that may be why I didn't like Honey Bears in that I am used to Oklahoma/Texas/Missouri/Memphis BBQ.
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    desertdog
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    RE: Arizona BBQ? 2007/05/23 16:55:08 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by TU Pablo

    Thanks for the tip. Desert Dog, Joes in Gilbert is next on my list. My wife and I intend to go to Joes in the next two weeks. Gilbert is really close to our home in Maricopa.

    Have you been to Honey Bears and if so, what do you think about it?

    Also, is there such a thing as Arizona BBQ and is Honey Bears an example of it? If so, that may be why I didn't like Honey Bears in that I am used to Oklahoma/Texas/Missouri/Memphis BBQ.


    I've been to Honey Bear's a couple times (Central location) and always thought it was OK. There is a place up in North Phoenix called Lovejoy's Kansas City Style BBQ, but it has REALLY gone downhill over the last few years. I won't even eat there any more.

    I don't think there is such a thing as Arizona Style Q, unless it involves Javalina or Rattlesnake. Check out Seth Chadwick's Blog for his comments on AZ BBQ. He is somewhat of an affectionado and posts some interesting reviews. His review on a place called Bobby Q off of I-17 sounds promising, although I have yet to make it there.

    http://feastinginphoenix.com/?cat=6




    #6
    TU Pablo
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    RE: Arizona BBQ? 2007/05/28 21:43:34 (permalink)
    On Saturday my wife and I tried Joe's Real BBQ in beautiful downtown Gilbert. We really like this place and we will return. I had the BBQ Sampler (Ribs, Chicken, Pulled Pork, Brisket). My wife had Ribs and Pork. The place was really crowded and it was tricky to navigate the serving line.
    #7
    boyardee65
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    RE: Arizona BBQ? 2007/05/28 22:13:44 (permalink)
    Personally I will only eat my own BBQ as I have a smoker in my back yard! I haven't come across a good Q place in Phoenix yet. I used to live in KCMO and nothing I found here compares with that. I used to be the Pit Boss at The Hassayampa BBQ Co. in Wickenburg a few years ago and we had great BBQ. Unfortunately, the owner decided to open in the summer when it is 115 degrees outside and most of our population is up north. Live and learn. We closed in about 6 months.
    I have tried Honey Bears on Van Buren and found it to be mediocre at best. can't really recommend anything else though. Sorry.

    David O.
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    desertdog
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    RE: Arizona BBQ? 2007/05/28 23:49:01 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by boyardee65

    Personally I will only eat my own BBQ as I have a smoker in my back yard! I haven't come across a good Q place in Phoenix yet. I used to live in KCMO and nothing I found here compares with that. I used to be the Pit Boss at The Hassayampa BBQ Co. in Wickenburg a few years ago and we had great BBQ. Unfortunately, the owner decided to open in the summer when it is 115 degrees outside and most of our population is up north. Live and learn. We closed in about 6 months.
    I have tried Honey Bears on Van Buren and found it to be mediocre at best. can't really recommend anything else though. Sorry.

    David O.



    Hey David,

    You are starting to set that bar pretty high! I lived in KC for quite some time, have eaten my fair share of Texas Q, and found a couple good places here in Phoenix, so when I come up this summer, I'm going to be expecting some "jump up and slap your Momma" BBQ over at the Legion!


    #9
    Foodbme
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    RE: Arizona BBQ? 2007/05/29 00:52:56 (permalink)
    Who ever sent you to Honey Bears or Famous Daves doesn't like you!
    Joes in Gilbert is very good.
    Also try Waldo's BBQ on Main Street in Mesa, just east of Val Vista. If you're coming from Maricopa, come up I-10 to Rt 60 East, (Globe) exit. Go 8-9 miles to Val Vista. Turn Left (North) to Main St. Turn right, go 1/2 mile it's on your left. Look for the Pink Pig.

    It's about as close to anything that could be called AZ BBQ. I don't think anyone out here makes any Q that could be said to have a distinctive taste that would classify it as AZ BBQ. Mesquite wood would be the only differentator I could think of.
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    Foodbme
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    RE: Arizona BBQ? 2007/05/29 03:29:33 (permalink)
    Found this in the MSN.com city guide. Never been there

    Lovejoy's Kansas City Bar-B-Q(602) 993-747215414 North 19th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ, 85023
    This place is finger-licking barbecue heaven, Midwestern-style. You can eat in at one of the little tables, or take it out and enjoy it on your own. Choose from sandwiches generously laden with barbecue pork, ham, beef, or a combination for $5.25-6.95. These include either potato or coleslaw salads. If you prefer the fries or onion rings, try the basket instead. Catering is also available, with slabs of ribs or barbecue by the pound. Leave a little room for the old-fashioned cobbler desserts, topped with blackberries or peaches and priced at $2.50. Please bring your cash or credit cards; checks are not accepted.
    #11
    1bbqboy
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    RE: Arizona BBQ? 2007/05/29 09:41:33 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Foodbme

    Found this in the MSN.com city guide. Never been there

    Lovejoy's Kansas City Bar-B-Q(602) 993-747215414 North 19th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ, 85023
    This place is finger-licking barbecue heaven, Midwestern-style. You can eat in at one of the little tables, or take it out and enjoy it on your own. Choose from sandwiches generously laden with barbecue pork, ham, beef, or a combination for $5.25-6.95. These include either potato or coleslaw salads. If you prefer the fries or onion rings, try the basket instead. Catering is also available, with slabs of ribs or barbecue by the pound. Leave a little room for the old-fashioned cobbler desserts, topped with blackberries or peaches and priced at $2.50. Please bring your cash or credit cards; checks are not accepted.


    Lovejoy's moved to 7th and Bell or thereabouts. When we lived in Scottsdale 20 years ago, it was the real deal- Mr. & Mrs.Lovejoy had just moved down to Phx from KC, and it was wonderful. We would drive clear across town just to go there.
    DD knows of where he speaks though, as they gave the business to the son or something similar, and has gone downhill rapidly, and now soils the KC nameplate.
    #12
    boyardee65
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    RE: Arizona BBQ? 2008/05/23 02:37:23 (permalink)
    I had the best ribs just north of Phoenix at a place called The Buzzard Saloon. Grand and 224th Ave. I liked them so much that I bought 4 whole racks for Thanksgiving dinner. It has changed hands since then so I don't know how they are now.

    David O.
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