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Thread: chain restaurants

  1. #1
    TVWBB Super Fan
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    Hi Lolis

    I'd like to echo everyone else and say thanks for taking the time to answer everyone's questions.

    Since I've joined this forum, I've often bemoaned the lack (tongue-in-cheek of course) of how litttle bbq history we have here in Michigan. As I've found, there are many backyard bbq'ers in the state who strive to create authentic bbq. Yet, there is no, or very few anyway, place where where one could point to and say "thats where you need to go to get some good Q'" Lately though, this side of the state (west michigan) has seen a few national chains open: Smokey Bones and Famous Dave's. I am curious as to your opinion of these chain restaurants - are they good for the tradition? Or are they bastardized versions of what Q' is and should be. Are they just making McBrisket for the masses?

  2. #2
    New Member Lolis Eric Elie's Avatar
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    New Orleans, LA
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    Scott,

    I think you really have to take the chains one by one to consider them. For example, Texas-based Luther's does real barbecue over real wood. That's all I ask. I'm not asking you to necessarily make the style I like or cook it to my taste. But don't put it in the oven, slap sauce on it and call it barbecue.

    Advances in technology are making it possible to use real wood for flavor and fuel but not have to have a pitmaster tending the fire all night. That makes it possible for any business with enough capital to buy such equipment, to have at least passable barbecue.

    I don't know the chains you refer to. But the great paradox of American art and commerce is that, although we create some great art, our impulse seems to be to try to make millions off of it. I fear that most chains are about commerce not art.

    As for bastardizing the tradition, that's already been done. These days, anything you put sauce on is "barbecued."

    i think we just have to try to give folks some alternatives and assume that a certain percentage of them will do real food.

    But, speaking of your state, have you been to Zingerman's Road House? they are trying to do some real barbecue. They're succeeding too. It was interesting to me because they use a quality of vinegar in their N.C. style sauce that is about 10 times better than the usual stuff most folks use for barbecue. it makes a difference. The sauce may have been the best N.C. style sauce I've ever had.

    Lolis

  3. #3
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    Zingerman's has a great reputation on this side of the state, but I have not been there, yet. A lot of my friends are rather disparaging of my gastronomic experiences as a result. Actually, I did not know Zingerman's did bbq. Mostly, I've heard about their other stuff - bakery items and the like.

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