Sunday, August 1, 2010

Top Three BBQ Joints in Utah Valley

Being the talented eater that I am I felt that I could contribute to Man Stuff by presenting what I feel are the top three BBQ restaurants in Utah Valley. I would try to present some cool BBQ recipes or tips, but I do not own a smoker or even a grill,...yet. Hence I must rely on the restaurant business to satisfy my almost constant and insatiable cravings for BBQ. However, before I share my top three BBq joints, I would encourage everyone to visit the following educational site on BBQ, just to make sure we are all of the same understanding:

Now, the moment you have all been waiting for, Cody's top three BBQ joints in Utah Valley:

1. Hands down, without a doubt, and with every fiber of my being, the best I've tasted is Pat's BBQ in Salt Lake City.
I came across this joint because it was featured on Guy Fieri's show, "Diners, Drive ins, and Dives." This place is literally a hole in the wall. In fact, I thought we arrived at the wrong place when my friend Jake and I hit it up for lunch a few weeks back. The place is located behind this industrial park looking area, just off the free way. You park on a gravel patch 50 yards from the entrance. Had it not been for the large banner of the pig flashing us and the unmistakable aroma of BBQ I would have climbed back in the car and left.
Here is the thing about Pat's though, the only thing worth getting is their lunch specials, which usually sell out by 1pm (they open at 11am). We sampled some of their pulled pork and regular brisket and it was just average. I would like to try their pork and beef ribs though. Everyday they have a different lunch special. Friday's is the burnt ends brisket. It's a double rubbed, doubled smoked slab of meat. That may not make sense or even seem possible to you BBQ-minded people so just check out the triple-D clip at the Pat's BBQ website below (make sure to scroll down to the bottom).

The burnt ends brisket was the most tender and juicy BBQ I have ever tasted. The outside crust spawns from a flavorful rub that is cooked to perfection. It provides the optimal texture and flavor, while the inside is juicy and full of that nice smokey BBQ flavor. Pat has also engineered some tasty sauces to complement his meat, but I preferred the burnt ends brisket just the way it was. I want to go again and try the Wednesday lunch special: smoked meatloaf!

2. While I didn't think it was possible to beat Pat's burnt ends brisket, my friend Jake mentioned he prefered the brisket from the Smoking Apple in Lindon over Pat's. Being the BBQ conesour that I am, I decided to investigate. As you can see, my brother Mike (a fellow BBQ enthusiast and talented BBQer - He conjured the best ribs I've ever tasted to this point in my life) joined me for this BBQ outing. I ordered the brisket and ribs. The Smoking Apple brisket was delicious, but in my opinion, Pat still holds the title. The Smoking Apple shreds their brisket taking away from the awesome texture and flavor you get from Pat's burnt ends brisket. Also, the smokey BBQ flavor was not as pronounced as Pat's brisket was. I actually preferred the Smoking Apple brisket with a little bit of their house BBQ sauce.
Their ribs were delicious. I think they really smoked them and didn't cheat by steaming them in the processes. They were tender and flavorful and cooked just to the point where they almost fell off the bone. I enjoyed them because I liked the sensation of biting the meat off the bone; more manly I suppose. At the same time, it was easy to clean the rib of all its meat. My only critique is when they serve their ribs, they smear a whole bunch of their BBQ sauce on the top of them, which isn't necessarily bad, but part of judging good BBQ is tasting that good ole' fashion, unadulterated with sauce, smokin piece of meat. So if you get the ribs, ask that they not put on the sauce. The other nice thing about the Apple is its price, very cheap and affordable.

3. And coming in at number 3 is the slightly pricey and a little stingy on their portion size, Goodwood. I really only go here on special occasions or with someone who I know has a small appetite and I can ask to finish off their left-overs. I have tried their pulled pork, brisket, chicken, and apple smoked turkey. If you are a first-timer trying out Goodwood, don't waste your time with the chicken, don't even let your wife waste her time or your money with the chicken. My one complaint with Goodwood is obviously their chicken; it's dry and just not that flavorful. The pulled pork and brisket are good, better than Pat's even, but I think they cook the pork with a lot of liquid smoke which I think is cheating. Now, I have not tried any of their ribs, and I don't know if I ever will, but I am in love with their Apple Smoked Turkey. I don't know how they do it, but this turkey is beautiful. When they serve it, you can see clearly the trademark smoke ring of a successful smoke. Also, turkey, especially the white meat, is also known for being dry, but not this stuff. It is as juicy as a starburst, only the restaurant doesn't fill up with water and giant fruits when you bit into it, and the taste is 100% BBQ. I have never even bothered to put sauce on this stuff because the flavor is so good on its own. One time, when I forgot to take off my skirt and had to actually doggy bag some of this meat for lunch the next day, I made it into a sandwich and purposly did not put on any sauce. Not only was my sandwich perfectly juicy, but incredibly flavorful. I have to give Goodwood props on their apple smoked turkey. It is worth every overly-priced penny you pay for it.

Well, those are my top three favs. If you have not already enjoyed the bliss offered at these restaurants, I hope my post inspires you hit up the restaurant soon. At the same time, I realize I have not hit all of the BBQ joints in the valley like Lon's BBQ, the Smokehouse, or Wallaby'; but when I do, if they measure up I will be sure to let you guys know. Until next time, continue being manly.


  1. I enjoy Smitty's, its hole in the wall in the middle of a residential area, but there is always a ton of food. They guy has a problem and always tries to make too many things. His siblings are usually there eating as well. Best ribs I've ever had. I also enjoy Texas Road house. I am pretty sure that it is not "real" BBQ, but the sauce is great and so is their stake.

  2. I am glad that I can say with confidence that I am now on the same page after watching that funny video. I watched it with Marybeth and she loved it. The only thing I don't like about your post is the fact that I can't try any of these restaurants unless we take a nice long road trip, but I have been to goodwood a few times and it has always been really good

  3. Dude, Cody... have you ever been to Famous Dave's? Very delicious! I share your same love for BBQ. I was blessed to be in Texas and partake of the best smoked meats of my entire life. Ya'll should go there.

  4. I love Goodwood. Their ribs are excellent. You should try them if you get the chance. I get them every time we go. They have this "rib roundup" and you get a half rack of babyback and a half rack of St Louis style ribs. The BBQ sauce is amazing as well.

  5. Aleta and I had a moment of silence today for Lon's BBQ which recently closed down this week that was one of our faves. it was cheep and quick and they had awsome fried calliflower that I've never seen anywhere else. So untill I find a new BBQ place I'll have to stick to Smitty's down the street.

  6. I regret to say that I never tried Lon's BBQ. It was on my list of BBQ joints to hit up. Darn.

    Dane, you are the second person that has brought up Famous Dave's. I think they are next on my list to hit up, unless I a able to get into that place Smitty's. That place is only open every so often, but like I said, the best ribs I've ever had.