When I was in college, I dated a guy who knew a guy whose grandparents had a big barbecuefest every October, and I was lucky enough to be invited. When the meat was done, all of the men brought out their knives, placed the meat on a big slab and started whacking away at it. The result was piles and piles of tender, smoky pork barbecue, which was served buffet-style with homemade fries, hush puppies and coleslaw. If I hadn’t been whacked in the face by someone’s volleyball spike just before dinner, it might have been one of the best food days of my life. It still comes close.
The recent closing of Bastian’s BBQ in Salem spurred one reader to ask who has the best barbecue in Southwest Virginia? And it’s a darn good question, one I’ve planned to ask before but was perhaps just a teeny weeny bit afraid because of the overwhelming passion it generates. People have written entire books about the subject and launched barbecue wars – this is serious stuff.
I mean, just think about how many questions can arise from that one question. What is the definition of true barbecue? Which state does it best? Is it Texas? North Carolina? Kentucky? What is the best sauce? Should it be thin and vinegary, mustardy or thick and sweet? Pork or beef? Chicken? Slaw or no slaw? Chopped or pulled? Apple wood or hickory? AAAAAAAHH! Do you see what I mean?
But a person doesn’t get anywhere without trying, so I say the time has come to officially launch this discussion. To get the juices flowing, I will paste (below) the blog comments I’ve received so far about the best BBQ in Southwest Virginia. Come on, y’all. Chime in.
Carol: I love Three Little Pigs in Daleville (they also have microbrews) but it’s so far away from Bbg. Anyplace nearer?
abdnva: In SW Va, the best I’ve found is Due South on Roanoke Road in Christiansburg. They do an excellent job, on par with some of the best of North Carolina barbecue places. Log Cabin Barbecue in Blacksburg is pretty good, too.
Dennis: I too like Three Little Pigs, a LOT. But, they are a long ways from W. Salem where we live. I think that Blues BBQ downtown has really good BBQ, though I haven’t been there in a while. Henry’s Memphis BBQ has good smoked pork, but the sauces and sides are “not so much” for my taste. I love the smoked pork sandwich at the Brambleton Deli! The South Carolina sauce is my favorite, though they have other good sauces as well. Due South BBQ in C’burg is decent and easy to get to for me. NOT a fan of Smokey Bones, or of Wildwood & Pit Boss, but they are options if you like it…
Other John: I love Due South in Christiansburg. Log Cabin in Blacksburg is alright, but not as good as Due South, in my opinion. Not sure about places outside of the NRV or restaurants that serve BBQ but are dedicated joints.