Since BBQ joints are a little few and far between in Connecticut, we go out of our way to try them out. Especially if someone has recommended one. We can usually tell if it's going to be good if we smell smoke as soon as we get out of the car.
For the past four years, we have enjoyed some favorite places in neighboring towns. We love Dinosaur Barbecue in Stamford. The meat is solid and they have combined that simple barbecue idea with some more gourmet touches to create something for everyone. My kids love the pulled pork, Ric loves the brisket and we all love the pimento cheese/ chorizo appetizer. Bobby Q's in Westport is also great and smells super smokey when you walk through the corridor to their restaurant. We love that they serve burnt ends and the trinity (St. Louis Ribs, Caroline BBQ, and Texas Brisket)-- along with one of the largest bourbon selections in the area. While they have a lot more variety than most Southern BBQ joints, they really do focus on the meat and it's flavor. Occasionally we will go on Monday nights where kids under 12 eat for $3.00. That is a rare find in Fairfield County!
This summer while I was home in Atlanta, my sister and I went to one of our favorite gourmet cookware shops, Cooks Warehouse (It's like a Cook Nook but merchandised beautifully http://www.cookswarehouse.com/). Their staff is extremely knowledgeable, they stock top-of-the-line, dream worthy pieces, and they offer cooking classes throughout the week. As we pulled up, I immediately saw a sign saying "Big Green Egg Sale". I have NEVER...in my life...ever..seen a BGE sale. I couldn't get in the door fast enough.
Let me start by saying that BGE's is a type of smoker that can also function as an oven and a grill. I have talked about these for years, but the price tag has kept me at bay. I knew the sale had to be good enough to load a 150 lb smoker in my car and drive it back to Connecticut-- not to mention, relocating my daughter from her coveted solo spot in the third row to the middle with two boys in order to accomodate the box (for 15 hours). This, my friends, would be a labor of love.
Reader, meet Maude, our new smoker. I am absolutely obsessed!
Our first adventure-- two slabs of ribs smoked for 3 hours and then finished on the grill with some Johnny Harris Sauce.
All of this was served with my very own sweet tea with fresh mint (and a scotch with a massive ice ball for my co-chef)
I know we will use our BGE a ton. We've smoked brisket and chicken since this first stab at ribs. And considering we lose power for almost a week every year due to storms, Maude will be our source for cooking everything in the freezer. Who knows what we will smoke.