I get Thrillist emails and have discovered that it is aimed at people who are young, hip and trendy. I am none of those, although I used to be young. They recently posted a list of what they consider the most under-rated barbecue cities in the US.
Because Thrillist is aimed at young, hip and trendy people, they lack a laser-like focus on barbecue. Thrillist gets excited about things like the kale-beet salad at Slow Bone in Dallas, while the lead photo accompanying the article shows dried out pork and brisket and what appears to be a large chunk of pork shoulder or pork butt fried with a cornmeal crust. Look for yourself And Thrillist doesn’t keep up with the places they like as trends change. For example, the DWP Grill MD in Dallas has closed.
Some of their selections are reasonable. Decatur, Alabama has good barbecue, but then so do a lot of other cities in Alabama, including, say, Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, both of which I think are better. And I have no problem with the proposition that Dallas is under-rated, especially as compared to, say, Austin, In my experience, there are a lot of good barbecue places in Dallas, although Fort Worth is better (try Cousin’s south of town) and Waco has some very good places. But then Thrillist loves Austin (which does indeed have good barbecue) so I guess anyplace other than Austin and Lockhart is underrated. And they love Portland, Oregon, which I think of as a good place for oysters. The selection of Nashville is a sign that Nashville is moving into the hip and trendy vanguard, but I don’t doubt that they have good barbecue there. I need to explore Nashville. And because there are a lot of young, hip and trendy people in DC, they picked DC as under-rated. This is arrant nonsense. You can search “DC” for my barbecue reviews. DC is very good for Vietnamese, Thai, and Central American food, and generally for food from nations whose governments have been overthrown and the tyrants and their minions have fled to the country that has been supporting them. I keep hoping for revolutions in Cuba and India. Venezuela is looking up.
I haven’t had barbecue in most of the other cities – yet. I encourage everyone to go to the recommended places, but first check to see if they are still open. I also would check to see if they have a Yelp rating of 4 or higher based on 100 or more reviews, which will usually keep you out of trouble in picking a place to eat. There are a lot of Yelp 3.5s among the places Thrillist highlights. So go – and send a review!