Barbecue has deep roots in competition; that’s why you’ll hear folks argue about Texas brisket vs. Carolina pulled pork, or even chopped pork vs. pulled pork, hickory vs. mesquite and East Carolina vinegar sauce vs. West Carolina ketchup-based sauce. Suffice it to say there are a lot of barbecue opinions out there!
But when the rubber meets the road in foodservice—or the tray meets the line—great barbecue can be found in just about any corner of the country, if you know where to look.
“It’s funny how territorial people get,” says Chef Andrew Klipsch, GM at the University of North Texas’ (UNT) Bruceteria dining venue. “People underestimate Midwestern barbecue especially. There’s Kansas City, Chicago and Memphis…” UNT will be opening a new barbecue concept next semester, which will certainly feature Texas brisket, Klipsch says, but hopefully also what he considers the best barbecue plate: “burnt ends,” the candy-like tips of ribs often specially set aside by pitmasters and hoarded by true lovers of the ‘cue.
Once you’ve got your technique, meat and sauce figured out, the next step is adding that delectable meat to other components, creating signature items that your customers will line up for. Check out these examples of barbecue bliss.
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