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Curtis's Barbecue

Route 5, Putney, VT - (802) 387-5474
Posted By Michael Stern on 9/25/2006 8:17:00 AM
The self-proclaimed “Ninth Wonder of the World” truly is an amazing phenomenon: an excellent barbecue parlor in Vermont. No regional excuses need be made for the racks of ribs and half chickens pitmaster Curtis Tuff cooks on a big open grate over smoldering hardwood. These are world-class meats, served in high roadside style.

When we say high style we mean that this is not a restaurant at all. It is a picnic. Place your order at the window of one of the blue-painted school busses that are permanently anchored in Curtis Tuff’s meadow. When you have paid and it is ready, you will be pointed to a stack of cardboard cartons that are useful in toting the plates to a table, either in the sun or covered. Dine al fresco, then toss your trash in a can and be on your way.

Of the two things Mr. Tuff smoke-cooks, we go for ribs. They are available as slabs, half-slabs, medium orders and small. A half-slab is a hearty meal. The ribs are cooked so the meat pulls off in big, succulent strips that virtually burst with piggy flavor and the perfume of smoke. To dress these dandy bones, Mr. Tuff offers two sauces: mild and spicy, both of which are finger-licking good. On the side you want a nice baked potato, a cup of beans, and/or ears of sweet corn.

Note that Curtis’s Barbecue closes in October and reopens in April. It is open for lunch and supper in the summer from Tuesday through Sunday, and fewer days of the week in the late spring and early fall.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

The ribs on their grate are perpetually surrounded by a veil of delicious-smelling smoke.
"The ribs on their grate are perpetually surrounded by a veil of delicious-smelling smoke."
Michael Stern





A half-slab of ribs, painted with spicy hot sauce, ready to be pulled from the bone and savored
"A half-slab of ribs, painted with spicy hot sauce, ready to be pulled from the bone and savored"
Michael Stern


The truly great side dish at Curtis's is the baked potato, but these beans are not to be slighted. They're very Yankee -- toothsome and not too sweet -- and yet they are soulfully saturated with flavor.
"The truly great side dish at Curtis's is the baked potato, but these beans are not to be slighted. They're very Yankee -- toothsome and not too sweet -- and yet they are soulfully saturated with flavor."
Michael Stern



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Donald Hecht


Curtis Tuff, at far right, tends the half-chickens on his smoky pit.
"Curtis Tuff, at far right, tends the half-chickens on his smoky pit."
Michael Stern


Full slab, collard greens, and a corn muffin.
"Full slab, collard greens, and a corn muffin."
Eric Males


Cooked the same way for over 50 years
"Cooked the same way for over 50 years"
michael sacenti


Isabel the pig is in her dotage and spends most of the time snoozing behind the cookers. She used to pester guests for snacks. Mr. Tuff refers to his mascot as
"Isabel the pig is in her dotage and spends most of the time snoozing behind the cookers. She used to pester guests for snacks. Mr. Tuff refers to his mascot as "the boss.""
Michael Stern


Menu is simple but adequate
"Menu is simple but adequate"
michael sacenti


On a sunny day, there's no place nicer to eat ribs and chicken than at a table in the meadow that adjoins the barbecue pits.
"On a sunny day, there's no place nicer to eat ribs and chicken than at a table in the meadow that adjoins the barbecue pits."
Michael Stern


The man behind it all...
"The man behind it all..."
Valery P


Stone pigs chillin'.
"Stone pigs chillin'."
Pete Duval


Curtis offers spicy and mild sauce to go; and while the sauce is good, it's the ribs and chicken that we want to take with us when we leave.
"Curtis offers spicy and mild sauce to go; and while the sauce is good, it's the ribs and chicken that we want to take with us when we leave."
Michael Stern


Probably one of the 1st Food Trucks/Bus's
"Probably one of the 1st Food Trucks/Bus's "
michael sacenti


We never asked Curtis Tuff how he determined his place to be the 9th Wonder of the World. We were unaware that there was an Eighth!
"We never asked Curtis Tuff how he determined his place to be the 9th Wonder of the World. We were unaware that there was an Eighth! "
Michael Stern



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