Nearly every meat-eating American speaks the language of barbecue. From the backyard to the upscale restaurant to the hole-in-the-wall 'cue house, cooking meat with smoke and heat has become somewhat of an art form -- taking on various styles, techniques, and rituals around the globe.
Which is why it would be ridiculous to count down to a single favorite. So instead, we've compiled 11 'cue spots that make us smile -- even if that means our chins are covered with meat and sauce.
- Bobby Q
This popular Phoenix staple right off the I-17 serves up its boatload of barbecue offerings amid antique signs, tin ceilings, and glass bottles in the walls. Featuring platters of baby back ribs, pulled pork, and sliced beef brisket in addition to a smoked prime rib and a "smoasted" (smoked and roasted) half-chicken, entrees are served up fast and hearty-like with two sides and cornbread. For the really hungry -- or those who want to share -- order up the Whole Hog Heaven with a choice of two ribs, two meats, and three sides.