Barbecue can be so vexing—like one of those vague memories you can’t decide whether it ever really happened, or you maybe just dreamt it. You’ll be driving around the ragged streets of North Philadelphia trying to find that vacant lot where some guy had a half-barrel smoker and was selling brisket and ribs wrapped in wax paper, making change out of his pocket. Was it a Saturday, or maybe a weekday? I thought it was hot outside, or maybe it was winter. Could it have been Brooklyn?
Then there’s always the idle smoker along the side of the road in Carolina. Cold, black steel welded together as tight as a battleship. Where, oh where, could the wonderful man be who’s going to fire this thing up one day and bring us the joy of hot, tender pork?
And it’s utter folly to send a friend to a place that you just happened across. A harmonica player from Kansas City talked trash about me for months, calling into question the reliability of my witness in the barbecue realm, over a barbecue mix up in Georgia. He and his band took a pork-seeking diversion while on tour to try out a place that I had recommended.
Read more at c-ville.com.