Eric's Family Barbecue | Avondale | Barbecue, American | Restaurant
Chris Malloy

Eric's Family Barbecue

Hungry for 'cue in the West Valley? The meats smoked in salvaged propane tanks behind Eric's are the best you'll find. The chefs at this joint smoke the old-fashioned way, meaning without the assistance of gas, a labor-intensive method that raises the ceiling for how good marquee cuts, like brisket, can be. In this spacious, cafeteria-style dining room and out on the home-style patio, that brisket adorns just about every platter. Slices come thick, broad folds pungent with the deep smoke of mesquite. They almost dissolve on your tongue. This is one of the best briskets and some of the most impressive barbecue in the Valley. At Eric's, smoked turkey (one true test of a pitmaster's skill) is subtly flavored and tender as can be, thanks in part to an infusion of sweet tea. Aggressively dry-rubbed ribs tingle with pleasantly warm spicing. Pulled pork is a more-standard-but-still-admirable version, everything you'd want in a shredded pile. Low-key sides and desserts, like banana pudding and cheese-dusted elote, call to mind the backyard barbecue fiestas from which this West Valley gem was born.