Pulled Pork Tug-of-War: Honey Bear's Bar-B-Q vs Stacey's Smokehouse

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Summer is on its way out yet the sunshine is still plentiful. Sounds like perfect timing for a barbecue to us. Would you agree?

Just think. Pulled pork. Slowly cooked and slowly smoked over a low heat for hours until the meat is tender enough to softly pull apart. Are you in or are you in?!

Enter our battle of the dishes: Honey Bear's Bar-B-Q in Phoenix off Central Avenue vs Stacy's Smokehouse on Indian School Road in Phoenix.

Join the battle after the jump.

In One Corner: Honey Bear's Bar-B-Q
2824 N. Central Ave. 602.279.7911

The Set Up: Wrapped up in tin foil (or is it aluminum foil?) you'll find a mound of pulled pork loaded with Honey Bear's special sauce. It's set between a soft white bun, reminiscent of the Wonder bread some of us grew up on.
Pros: The meat was juicy with a present smokiness. The sauce had a little tang with all the spice black pepper could offer. The combination is the reason people return time after time.
Cons: Maybe the "wonder bun" was a bit too soft. The bun was completely soaked through, making it almost impossible to pick up about halfway through. If you can finish this sandwich in three bites or less, then maybe the soggy bun won't be an issue.

In the Other Corner: Stacy's Smokehouse
1650 E. Indian School Rd. 602.230.6724

The Set Up: The staff is friendly, down to earth, not hesitant to start random conversations about Tom Robbins' "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" and tattoos. Your lunch is served in a red basket with wax paper. The sandwich is simple, almost naked, accompanied with a squeeze bottle of BBQ sauce.

Pros: With full control over the BBQ sauce bottle, this sandwich can quickly turn into a pulled pork sloppy joe. It may require two hands and possibly a fork, but we're not complaining. Definitely go with the lunch special and try one of a dozen options. We couldn't deny the greens; as good as granny used to make.

Cons: Is it possible all the well-smoked meat was saved for the Scottsdale location? Because our sandwich came up a bit short. Some bites were packed full of dry meat and some were...not so dry. Definitely enough to make the experience slightly less enjoyable.

The Verdict: By what other standard does one judge a pork sandwich other than by the pork? Honey Bear's takes the win for this battle. The BBQ sauce is also important, but we'll leave the sauciness up to you. Go ahead! Leave your comments below and share with us all.

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Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


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