BBQ Tour 2022 – Champions Tour

Every year since 2013, I’ve ventured with some friends on an epic road trip in search of some of the best BBQ the great United States of America has to offer. On this 9th trip, I decided to visit all the past champions from the previous eight years and have them all face off head to head for the best overall BBQ experience. When judging “Best Overall BBQ Experience” I took into account (3) major criteria: #1 – Appearance of the Food, #2 – Atmosphere of the Restaurant, & #3 – Overall Taste of the food. Criteria #1 & #2 are weighted at 25% each and #3 is weighted 50% on a scale of 1 to 5 to get a their respective BBQ Guru Index or “BGI”.

This years trip took place over Labor Day weekend and this post is all about the places we visited, the food we ate, our critique and thoughts about the food, and some fun highlights along the way. I hope you enjoy reading my thoughts about each place that we visited!

Bombers BBQ – Munster, IN

Our first destination took us to the northwest region of Indiana and my “Best of Indiana” tour winner, Bombers BBQ. Since I last visited them in 2017 they’ve moved to a new location not super far from their original spot. On this trip, I ordered the sliced brisket, pork rib tips, macaroni & cheese, and a slice of jalapeno cheddar cornbread

When I’m judging appearance, I look at the plate (in this case a tray) as a whole and I ask myself “Do I want to eat everything on this plate or not?” Bombers BBQ did a really good job plating. First, you get a metal tray which is good vs. a traditional plastic basket, paper plate, Styrofoam container, etc…Secondly, everything is spaced nicely on the tray. The brisket slices you can see a smoke ring and a really solid bark. The rib tips are sauced, admittedly a little gloppy, but the sauce does provide a nice sheen look. The mac n cheese has a cornflake crumble on top which blends in a little bit with the dish but some burnt/charred noodles are visible. The jalapeno cheddar cornbread has some noticeable jalapenos in it. Overall, this plate scored really well on appearance.

The best thing on this plate was 100% the sliced brisket. I already mentioned it looked amazing and the taste didn’t disappoint. It was smoky, beefy, savory and the bark was AWESOME! It passed the pull test when it comes to tenderness even though I did notice the slices were a little thinner than I expected. I would definitely go back for their sliced brisket alone. The pork rib tips were OK/Good…just really depended on if the rib tip was mostly meat or mostly grizzle. If it was mostly meat then it was good if it was mostly grizzle it was OK. Flavor profile was great and they were tender, but I would’ve liked a little more consistent ratio of meat/grizzle on the tips. Both side dishes were great and I know heavy on the starches, but hey, it’s BBQ! The mac n cheese uses rotini pasta which was a nice twist on mac n cheese and the corn flake crumble on top added a really nice texture to the creaminess of the cheese sauce. The jalapeno cheddar cornbread was very balanced and every bite had cornbread, jalapeno, & cheddar cheese in it.

All in all, Bombers BBQ got the 2022 BBQ Tour started on a great foot and really set a high bar and everyone agreed that “We’re gonna have a lot of really good food this weekend!”

Smoque BBQ – Chicago, IL

Our second destination took us to the windy city of Chicago, IL. After an afternoon touring the Navy Pier, going on a high-speed boat tour, and walking the riverwalk area for a couple hours, we visited my best BBQ Chicken winner from 2016 Smoque BBQ. This go around I ordered the half BBQ chicken, BBQ beans, mac n cheese, coleslaw, and pecan caramel bread pudding.

Looking at this plate it screams “I’m not leaving here hungry!”. This is a packed out tray of food! The half chicken just looks PHENOMENAL and that bark is and was super tasty. The beans you can see had some meat in it but it does look “soupy” for BBQ beans in my opinion. The mac n cheese looks tasty with a bit of a crust on top. The vinegar slaw had some red onions for a nice color contrast. The pecan caramel bread pudding looked a bit like a hodgepodge of earth tones but I’ll share later that it didn’t disappoint.

The half chicken was my main entrée as it won my best BBQ chicken and it was as good as I remembered. The skin got an excellent crust that was packed full of flavor and I’m sure my heart wasn’t super thankful but my tastebuds definitely were! When it comes to the meat itself, the dark meat was great! Smokey, moist, and tender. The white meat had a few parts that were a tad dry and it needed some sauce. White meat chicken is very difficult to keep moist so I understand the difficulty. I will be honest, that the beans and mac n cheese I wasn’t a big fan of. There was a spice or something in the beans that I can’t tell was super heavy. Could be cumin but there was a strong bitter taste in the beans that I had. The mac n cheese was traditional but not super creamy and the crumble on top didn’t quite provide the texture that the mac n cheese at Bombers BBQ did provide earlier this day. The coleslaw, which was vinegar based, was surprisingly good and provided a nice freshness to the meal. The pecan caramel bread pudding is an ABSOLUTE MUST HAVE! I will admit, I’ve become a little bit of a bread pudding snob/connoisseur and I usually try it every time I see it and this bread pudding was AWESOME! It is very rich (too rich according to one of my friends) but it’s a great balance of sweet and savory and the pecans add a really nice texture that take this dessert over the top.

Pappy’s Smokehouse – St. Louis, MO

Day #2 of the BBQ Tour took us to Pappy’s Smokehouse in St. Louis, MO. Pappy’s has a lot of national recognition and is actually a (2) Time BBQ Tour champion winner winning my inaugural trip in 2013 with best ribs and my best of St. Louis trip in 2018. This year, we ordered what’s called the “Adam Bomb”. It consisted of a half-slab of ribs, a pulled pork sandwich, a brisket sandwich, a chicken sandwich, (3) ears of deep fried corn on the cob, a side of BBQ beans, and “frito pie” which is essentially corn chips with smoked sausage, beans, cheese, and onions. We also got a 1/4 pound of beef burnt ends. PHEW!

Looking at this spread of food everything looks delicious! You can see a nice shine to the ribs, the corn has a little character being deep fried, and the frito pie looks like a mess…a deliciously tasty & smoky one! I will knock Pappy’s that our plates were plastic baskets with butcher paper…this is just a personal peeve of mine. The BBQ sandwiches (Chicken, pork & brisket) were already cut in half which was a very nice touch as my friends and I were able to easily share the sandwiches.

Pappy’s is a place that I always have high expectations at. They’ve won twice on my BBQ trips and have lots of national recognition and me and my friends said the word that best describes the food at Pappy’s is simply “CONSISTENT”. Their food is just so darn consistently good it’s tough to beat! The ribs were of course the highlight of the meal. The ribs are sweet in flavor and a bit too tender to my liking but the flavor of the ribs definitely overcomes the tenderness. On one visit to Pappy’s I got to help them unload one of their smokers and carried a tray of about 20-25 racks of ribs to the kitchen…fun times! The sandwiches were mixed reviews among me and my friends. The pulled pork sandwich was probably the best of the three sandwiches straight up. The chicken was smoky but it was dry and needed sauce. The brisket was tender but wasn’t smoky and also needed sauce. The fried corn on the cob was AWESOME! Only knock on it is that it doesn’t come pre-buttered and I had to butter it myself LOL. The beans were very good and had some smoked meat in it which provide some next texture. The Frito Pie was just flat out great…crunchy, melted cheesy, smoky, BBQ goodness!

Jack Stack BBQ – Kansas City, MO

Day #2 of the BBQ Tour took us to Jack Stack BBQ in Kansas City, MO for dinner. Jack Stack BBQ won my Best of Kansas City BBQ Tour back in 2020 beating out other Kansas City, MO BBQ staples like Arthur Bryant’s, Q39, Slaps BBQ, & Joe’s BBQ. This visit to Jack Stack I ordered a 3-meat dinner which included pulled pork, pork spare ribs, and brisket burnt ends. I had sides of BBQ beans and potato salad. My friends and I shared a skillet jalapeno cheddar cornbread and a large slice of carrot cake.

Jack Stack BBQ probably did the best plating on this trip and big plus in that happening is the fact that the plate and even the sides are in actual plates! Besides that I do enjoy a full looking plate of food and the drizzle of sauce is a nice touch. I wish the beans and potato salad dishes could’ve been a bit tidier from an appearance standpoint but I didn’t ding them too bad for that. I liked the sprinkling of dry rub on the potato salad and you can see some smoke and charred parts in the pulled pork. The ribs are stacked nicely and cut in a way where you get meat on all sides of a bone vs. just one side. The brisket burnt ends are cut into cubes very nicely and uniform but I would’ve liked to have seen some smoke ring on it.

When it comes to taste at Jack Stack it was across the board good to really good. I liken the word of “consistent” that I used for Pappy’s Smokehouse to be similar to the meats here at Jack Stack. We knew going into this trip that the meats were going to be good so a place really needed to bring it to score above average and the meats at Jack Stack were simply good to very good. The spare ribs were near fall apart tender which I personally don’t like but I get it. The flavor though was very good. Smokey, sweet wit a little bit of tang. The beef burnt ends were also really tender but not falling apart which is really good. They had a smoky flavor even though I couldn’t see much of a smoke ring on them. The pulled pork was also smoky, tender, & moist but it didn’t have any specific property jump out to take it over the top. The side dishes though…helped Jack Stack the most as they were very good to great. The beans have some of that tangy bbq sauce in it along with some smoked meats. The beans are also thick which is a big plus for me. The potato salad stole the show though for the side dishes. I usually don’t get cold sides but I knew the potato salad was good so I got it again. It’s creamy, rich, and the dry rub sprinkled on top makes it a little savory and really provides a nice balance to the dinner.

Now hold the front door open because the carrot cake ultimately stole the show! First it’s a massive carrot cake “slice” but it was flat out delicious. It was served warm which was a very nice touch and made the cake portion very filling. The frosting on top was killer good. The crumbled pecans added a nice texture to it and the fact that there’s some carrots in it makes me think I’m eating something healthy…ish HA! If you have room for dessert at Jack Stack BBQ you must get the carrot cake.

Central BBQ – Memphis, TN

Day #3 of the BBQ Tour takes us to Memphis, TN and Central BBQ. Central BBQ is my most recent BBQ Tour champion winning my best of Memphis tour last year in 2021 beating out other BBQ joints like Rendezvous, The Barbeque Shop, A&R Barbeque, & Pig on Beale. Sadly, the location we went to last year was under construction/renovation so we had to visit another location, but nonetheless the food should still be as good even when you franchise. I ordered a 3-meat plate that consisted of pulled pork, pulled chicken, and baby back ribs. I got sides of potato salad and mac n cheese.

This location provided us hard plates which is different than the location I usually go to so that was a nice touch. The ribs have that traditional memphis style dry rub look with a little bit of shine. The pulled pork had some nice smoky parts and strands. The chicken though looked dry but it was crowded on the plate as well. The plate itself looked a little disorganized and appeared to be “thrown” together as there was a lot of dead space on the plate. The sprinkling of rub on the sides was a nice touch but the plastic containers was a blah to the appearance of the plate in my opinion.

I will admit that. Iforgot to take zoomed in photos of my individual meats and sides but I did get a photo of the banana pudding. I also included photos of the plates that my friends got. Everybody got ribs but one friend went with turkey and one went with smoked sausage. The best thing I ate at Central this day was the ribs hands down! This was the first place that had competition style ribs where the tenderness isn’t fall off the bone so that was really good to see and the classic dry rub flavor of Memphis style ribs was on point. The pulled pork I got was really good. It was smoky, tender, flavorful and moist. The chicken though was dry and needed sauce. The chicken did have a nice smoke flavor though so that was good to taste. The sides were OK to good…the mac n cheese was traditional and the dry rub sprinkle added a nice pop of flavor. Same for the potato salad…traditional but nothing over the top. The rolls appeared and tasted like store-bought Hawaiian rolls. The banana pudding was super good and was a really nice sweet end to the meal. It was creamy, had some good texture of moist cake and crispy wafers, and plenty of banana flavor to go around.

Red State BBQ – Lexington, KY

Day #4 of the BBQ Tour took us to our last BBQ place on this trip, Red State BBQ, in Lexington, KY. I do want to put a quick plug that Lexington, KY had another past champion in Lyles BBQ which won my best of Dixie (Kentucky/Tennessee) trip but they sadly closed up shop due to the pandemic. Red State BBQ though endured and won my best pulled pork sandwich trip back in 2015. My visit this time featured the pulled pork sandwich with beer cheese grits. My group also ordered a 3-meat platter to sample their ribs, hot link sausage, sliced brisket, BBQ beans and corn pudding. My friends got a pulled pork sandwich with mac n cheese and the beer cheese brisket sandwich also with mac n cheese. We also split an order of BBQ egg rolls.

First glance at everything screams this is a table that’s going to eat good! Taking a closer look at the sandwich and side that I specifically got the main thing that jumps out to me is the amount of meat on the sandwich. I do like that the top bun is also slightly off the sandwich so the eater can see a large majority of the meat on the sandwich. The meat itself you can see some of the smoky end parts and the pulled strands appear to be moist and the bun is buttered with a slight toast which is a nice touch. The beer cheese grits I’ve never had before and it looked bland or in other words cheesy grits. The pre-packaged plasticware was also blah.

Even though the plating at Red State was less than desirable, the food was definitely worth it! The pulled pork sandwich was for the most part moist and needed no sauce but the array of sauces that Red State has provided plenty of complimentary flavors…the South Carolina mustard being my personal favorite. The beer cheese grits were actually really good! The texture was similar to a very creamy and cheesy mac n cheese but with the texture of well cooked grits. I like a creamy grit vs a rough one so it was an excellent beer cheese grits side. The ribs were good but needed sauce. The hot link sausage was tasty and had a really nice snap on the casing when you bite into it. I was disappointed in the brisket. It was overcooked and fell apart on us everytime and it was more like chopped beef. It lacked smoke ring but had a little bit of smoky flavor. The mac n cheese, BBQ beans, and corn pudding were good but nothing really made them jump out as super exciting. The BBQ egg rolls were a nice touch. Pulled pork, mac n cheese, wrapped up in an egg roll wrapper and deep fried. Definitely going to have to give it a try sometime.

Shout out to my friends Adam Lamb & Jacob Burki for joining me this year on this trip!

Pecan Lodge – Dallas, TX

Restaurant Name: Pecan Lodge
Address: 2702 Main Street, Dallas, TX 75226 

As I’m writing this blog post the US in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic. During my time stuck in my house, I figured I’d dig up some old BBQ adventures of mine that I haven’t written about yet. This post is about the Pecan Lodge in Dallas, TX.

The Pecan Lodge sits in Deep Ellum district of downtown Dallas. My first experience with the Pecan Lodge was when my boss from work brought back some BBQ from here when we had a job site in Dallas nearly 10 years ago. Since then I’ve been to the Pecan Lodge twice…once was on my very first BBQ Tour in 2014 and then most recently for a work trip and a day of vacation. Here’s their awesome menu board:


On this particular day, which was vacation, I had just wrapped up a pretty successful round of sporting clays so I rewarded myself for my lunch before heading back to Indy. My lunch consisted of a pork sausage link, beef brisket burnt ends, collard greens, mac ‘n cheese, and peach cobbler.


When my name got called this tray was waiting for me and I about passed out in the glorious view of my lunch. Everything looked absolutely delicious! Most appealing to my eye is probably the amount of bacon in the mac n cheese. The sausage link and the brisket burnt ends had a great color and I could tell they were legitimately smoked. The mac n cheese also screams CREAMY and it most definitely was. The collard greens looked fresh and it was a good size serving. I will admit that I barely finished this platter for my lunch but of course I did finish it LOL. Here’s some closeups of the individual items I got.

Let’s talk about the flavor experience that Pecan Lodge is. Traditional Texas style BBQ is beef, salt, & pepper. The brisket burnt ends match that pretty much perfectly. Paired with a sweet sauce though it was off the charts delicious. It was super tender…almost fork apart tender. The pork sausage was a good spicy with good hints of smoke. The casing had a solid snap when you cut into it AND bit into which is a texture I really like in smoked sausages. 

Of the two sides and dessert that I had the mac n cheese was definitely my favorite. The greens and peach cobbler were delicious but the mac n cheese took this meal completely over the top. The macaroni noodles were super soft, the cheese sauce was super creamy, and the fresh chopped up bacon on top was a delicious salty delicacy that makes all tastebuds put a cowboy hat on and say “Yeehaa!”.  The collard greens had a great smokey flavor as they had some pulled pork in it and it was very balanced with onions as well. The peach cobbler was a great finish to the meal and probably put me close to gluttony but not quite. It was warm, smooth, and the crust was solid. 

Very tough to find a true “negative” at the Pecan Lodge. The burnt ends may have been a bit too tender for me as I do enjoy a good chew. Ice cream would’ve been nice to have on the cobbler but I guess you can’t expect them to be excellent at everything. 


The Pecan Lodge in Dallas, TX is an absolute must visit if you’re in Dallas area. GET THERE EARLY! There is always a line usually wrapped around the building just to get in to the building…you still have about another 100 feet or so to go before you actually get to the counter to place an order but I 100% GUARANTEE you the food will be worth the wait and worth the money. 

Lyles BBQ – Lexington, KY

Restaurant Name: Lyles BBQ
Address: 3101 Clays Mill Road, Lexington, KY 40503 

The 2019 Bang Bang BBQ Tour comes to an end and Lyles BBQ in Lexington, KY is the restaurant in the clean-up position. Will they hit it out of the park or will one of the earlier five places take home the championship for best BBQ experience in Kentucky & Tennessee? Let’s find out!

Lyles BBQ sits in a street facing storefront off of Clays Mill Road on the southwest side of Lexington and only a few miles away from the University of Kentucky. On the outside they have a cool looking sign with an American flag hanging just below it. I found out the place was started by a veteran so that was awesome to hear!


For my final meal of the trip I went with a classic! Beef brisket sandwich, baked beans, and mac & cheese. I also ordered an extra side of hushpuppies. My friends with me ordered the pulled pork sandwich, beef brisket, same sides as me, but we also split a 1/2 pound of burnt ends.

When my food came out, the very first thing I noticed was a FULL PLATE of food! Every square inch of the metal tray pretty much covered with food or had food within an inch of it which makes the meal even more delicious when it comes to me. They do say that you eat with your eyes before you do your mouth and this plate didn’t disappoint. 

The brisket sandwich was really good. It had a great tenderness that wasn’t falling apart and it surprisingly had a really good smoke flavor even though the brisket slices really didn’t have a smoke ring that we typically see with smoked brisket. The baked beans actually had chunks of brisket in it which was an intriguing add to beans as it’s very common to see pulled pork added to it. I will say the brisket did add a nice texture to the beans that was different in a good way. It added the smokey flavor I like in beans and overall the beans were tasty. The mac & cheese was really good but lacked the creaminess I like in mac & cheese. The choice to use shells in lieu of macaroni was a nice twist. There was a subtle hint of smoke to the mac & cheese as well. I just wish the cheese portion was more creamy vs. sticky. The hushpuppies were FIRE! Near PERFECT! I like my hush puppies to have a crunch on the outside and a fluffy, airy, soft inside and these hush puppies were super super close to reaching that. I’m thinking 10 more seconds in the fryer and they would’ve been 100% spot on to the best hush puppies I’ve ever had. 

Lyles has an array of sauces at the table and 1 sauce on ice near the counter you order at. The highlight of this meal was the Alabama white sauce…the sauce at the counter that was on ice. If you’re unfamiliar with the Alabama white sauce and why it’d be on ice you should know the base of this sauce is mayonnaise vs. vinegar or tomatoes but has horseradish and a few other spices mixed into it for a creamy and robust flavorful sauce. The white sauce at Lyles was awesome. I put it on the brisket sandwich, burnt ends, brisket, and hush puppies and it made every bite even better.

The only “negative” I have about this meal I had mentioned earlier and it was the lack of a smoke ring on the brisket. Not sure if the meat just “grayed” on them or not as it was still smokey but just not visually speaking smokey. 


Lyles BBQ was a place that interacted with me on Instagram when I mentioned I was coming and they said they were looking forward to having me there and they’re product performed excellently. The experience was so good it earned them the championship of the 2019 Bang Bang BBQ Tour! They scored an adjusted BGI (BBQ Guru Index) of 4.617 points out of 5 possible points running away by .367 points to Knoxville based Sweet P’s BBQ. Congrats Lyles BBQ!

Archer’s BBQ – Knoxville, TN

Restaurant Name: Archer’s BBQ (West Knox)
Address: 10205 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37922

Our original plan for Sunday’s dinner was to journey up to Lexington, KY and enjoy Lyle’s BBQ. We ended up doing a round of sporting clays at Chilhowee Sportsman Club right at the foot of the Smokey Mountains and it was AWESOME! A great scenic view pretty much on every station. This round of sporting clays took us longer than usual and we weren’t going to be able to make it to Lyle’s in time for dinner so we pushed that place to lunch tomorrow. 

Our dinner tonight featured another place highly touted in the Knoxville, TN area for really good BBQ and that’s Archer’s BBQ. Archer’s has 4 locations in the Knoxville, TN area and since time was short, we went to the West Knox location. If I could’ve done a little bit more research I would’ve chosen a different location as this location doesn’t cook any meats on site, instead they’re delivered each morning which means the meats are all kept in warmers all day and that poses some challenges to smoked meats. 


My friends and I each ordered the meat trio plate which consisted of some pulled pork, some pulled chicken, and about 3 pork ribs. My plate had sides of collard greens and the BBQ baked beans. 


When you order at the counter the food is plated in front of you very similar to Sweet P’s BBQ. When I look at my plate it looks like a typical weekend BBQ cookout with your friends plate…but I did notice the very fine attention to plating that the people at Archers BBQ did as they kind of layered the meats on top of each other. The bottom of the plate was a thick cut piece of Texas toast with half of it covered in pulled pork and the other half covered in the pulled chicken with the trio of pork ribs on top. That attention to detail gives me hope that the food is just as good as their detail.

The food was pretty tasty. My favorite had to be the ribs. They were seasoned very well and didn’t have any sauce which let me try a variety of their house made sauces all themed in different regions like Memphis and Kansas City. The best sauce though was 1000% the Carolina mustard sauce. That sauce was the BOSS! The ribs were good, the pulled pork was good, the chicken wasn’t up to my par…it was saved though by the mustard sauce. I put the mustard sauce on every meat and it complimented every single bite. The beans had really good flavor, but not the texture I like. I like my beans thick & chunky and almost sticky but they were full of flavors of smoke and their rubs. 

I was disappointed in the chicken. It could’ve just been a bad batch or could’ve just been because it was the end of the day sitting in a warmer but the chicken that I had was dry and no visual hint that it had even been smoked. As I mentioned earlier, the Carolina mustard sauce saved the chicken. The collard greens were good but I think they needed to be chopped a little bit more. They were really tender but each bite ended up being a lot of greens and I just prefer them a little more chopped up. 


For a last-minute, on the go, change of plans place Archer’s BBQ held strong especially for a location that doesn’t do cooking in house. Next time I’m in Knoxville, TN I’ll definitely try to visit one of their locations that has a full kitchen and pit and see if it’s the same or not. The West Knox location I’d definitely recommend for lunch as I’m assuming they get everything a little bit before 11 AM when they open and those meats are prolly only an hour or so off the pit.

Sweet P’s BBQ – Knoxville, TN

Restaurant Name: Sweet P’s BBQ (Downtown Dive)
Address: 410 W. Jackson Ave, Knoxville, TN 37902

Lunch today took us to downtown Knoxville, TN to Sweet P’s BBQ. Me and my friend Ryan passed through Knoxville on our East Coast BBQ Tour in 2015 and had a really good experience at Dead End BBQ. Since I had already revisited a place on a previous tour (Jim Neely’s Interstate BBQ) on this tour, I wanted to try something new and Sweet P’s BBQ came up on a lot of lists of people’s favorite BBQ joints in Knoxville.

At Sweet P’s, I ordered the chicken plate dinner which consisted of a chicken quarter, a side of mac & cheese, a side of smoked pinto beans, and a slice of cornbread. I added a BBQ burrito and a bacon chocolate chip cookie for dessert. My friends ordered a two meat plate of ribs & brisket with mac & cheese and one ordered a pulled pork sandwich a side of mac & cheese and slaw and a ¼ rack of ribs. 


You order at the counter at Sweet P’s and they assemble your plate in front of you. One thing I thought that was really unique to Sweet P’s vs. other BBQ restaurants I’ve been to is they apply a finishing rub to all their smoked meats. The meats appear to be smoked low and slow and not sauced but finished with a fresh application of their house rub. The finisher rub really makes the meat pop on the plate which is always good. The mac & cheese has some of the charred top in it which adds a nice visual color change. The pinto beans were OK to the eye and looked like beans. They were out of the “greens and things” that I was really hoping to try. The cornbread comes already cut and saran wrapped along with the bacon chocolate chip cookie. You could see the bits and pieces of bacon in the cookie though so that was appealing to the eye. The burrito is wrapped in foil so no seeing the finished product until you roll it out. 


Taste wise, big fan of the chicken quarter, mac & cheese, and the burrito. The chicken was smoked perfectly and had a very balanced flavor of smoke and the rub and best of all, CHICKEN! Chicken is a tough meat to BBQ as it’s easy to lose the flavor of chicken with all the rubs and sauces that people add to it but Sweet P’s lets the smoke & the rub compliment the natural flavor of the chicken. The chicken was also really moist & tender. The skin though not bite through like a competition was really tasty when I ate it. The mac & cheese was delicious and dreamy! The noodles had a really good chew and the cheese mixture was really creamy. You could eat the mac & cheese with either a fork or a knife and you would’ve been able to get a really good bite. The burritto was simply a BBQ plate wrapped up in a tortilla. It had a really “explosion” of flavor from the smoked meat, the beans, the slaw, and the BBQ sauce all conglomerating together into a single bite and it was really good.

The pinto beans I wasn’t a big fan of. They seemed a little dry but they were a little smokey so that was something going for it. The cornbread I could’ve done without. It was very dry and no butter around…probably just a bad batch but it wasn’t appealing for me. I had high hopes for the bacon chocolate chip cookie but it ended up tasting mostly like a chocolate chip cookie. There were some subtle “salty” enhancements I think from the bacon pieces but I was expecting a little bit more bacon flavor than what I got. 


All in all, Sweet P’s BBQ in Knoxville, TN was a great visit and you should visit it too if you’re in town. They have a cool looking chalkboard menu and a great “part of the neighborhood” feel and the food backs it up.  

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