Real Barbecue: The Classic Barbecue Guide to the Best Joints Across the USA--with Recipes, Porklore, and More!by Vince Staten, Greg Johnson
Two decades after barbecue kingpins Vince Staten and Greg Johnson published their ode to the top 100 barbecue joints around the United States, they have logged thousands more milesand at least as many rib racksin their quest to monitor, taste, and even create the very best. Part travel guide, part recipe book, REAL BARBECUE is really a celebration of a
Two decades after barbecue kingpins Vince Staten and Greg Johnson published their ode to the top 100 barbecue joints around the United States, they have logged thousands more milesand at least as many rib racksin their quest to monitor, taste, and even create the very best. Part travel guide, part recipe book, REAL BARBECUE is really a celebration of a way of life, peppered with such sage advice as, “A man that won't sleep with his meat don't care about his barbecue” (Early Scott). This update of the classic has a completely new design with photos, trivia, detailed locations of great eating joints coast to coast, sidebars about sauces and sides, columns about cook pits and shack architecture, sections devoted to Texas ribs, Cowboy-que, lowcountry pulled pig, California-que-zeen, and real-man reviews of rib joints such as Allen & Sons in Pittsboro and Vince Staten’s Old Time Barbecue in Prospect (he put his money where his mouth is). Secret recipes and mail-order finds are also included. This is your guide to the best barbecue across America, often identified only by a thick black column of smoke in the distance.A syndicated columnist and author of ten books, including Kentucky Curiosities(Globe Pequot Press), Vince Staten has appeared on such media as "Late Night with David Letterman," "Dateline NBC," "Today on NBC," and NPR's "Morning Edition." His varied career encompasses writing, lecturing, teaching, and co-owning Vince Staten's Old Time Barbecue in downtown Prospect, Kentucky. Greg Johnson is the Features Editor for The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky. "This book is to barbecue what Rand-McNally is to maps."Playboy magazine"What Masters and Johnson did for sex, Staten and Johnson do for barbecue."Willard Scott"This is a helluva readable book...There's as much flavor in the writing as in the Rev. Noble Harris' sauce at House of Prayer Bar-B-Que in Fort Lauderdale...Toss this on the dash and hit the road."Gannett News Service
- Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- First Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.81(d)
Read an Excerpt
Chapter 1 - INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW EDITIONThe best thing to do with a book about barbecue is wipe your hands on it. That’s how we began the first edition of this book twenty years ago, and another thousand barbecue joints later, we feel the same way. No matter how brilliant the prose (and some of it is darned brilliant), reading about barbecue is like hearing about a hot date: It's interesting, but it's nothing like being there. The whole point of “Real Barbecue” remains to bounce you out of your Barcalounger and into the delicious world of great eating, from America's best BBQ joints to your own back yard.After publication of that first edition, Willard Scott called us the Masters and Johnson of barbecue. Playboy labeled us barbecue’s Rand-McNally. We prefer to think of ourselves as the Lewis and Clark of barbecue, blazing new trails, exploring the back roads of barbecue, discovering places previously known only to natives who lived in the neighborhood. When we headed out to find the great joints, there was nothing to guide us but smoke in the air and recommendations from friends. It has been two decades since we first published ‘Real Barbecue.’ In the interim our little ode to the slowest of the slow foods has become a cult classic. Which means it didn’t sell very well first time out. But that was before Amazon.com and the Internet. Now we’re back to tell you that real, slow-smoked, pit-cooked, fall-off-the-bone barbecue isn’t a lost art. Finding the real thing isn't always easy, and preparing it yourself requires a little effort, but it's there to be had. And it is truly the pinnacle of culinary creation, the most coddled and cared-for food in the world. Eating it is the goal; reading about it just gets you there.Luckily, your loyal and hard-working authors are back to assist you. We logged 40,000 miles for the first edition, visiting nearly 700 barbecue joints and burning the hair off a couple of knuckles rounding up and testing the very best this country has to offer. This expanded and revised edition incorporates eighteen years of leisurely sampling and another twelve months of serious swallowing, involving another 10,000 miles (not including air miles). It was a lot of eating, but it was worth it. We found sauces so rich and luxurious that we wanted to climb in the pot and bask in them. We found sauces with more snap than a set of new suspenders. There were ribs that had people speaking in tongues, and sandwiches that had businessmen sneaking them home in briefcases. In the end we regretted that we had but one gall bladder each to give to the cause. Besides the barbecue itself, there were the barbecue chefs - a friendly, entertaining and colorful bunch of folks who have dedicated their lives to a food that gets them up at four in the morning to stand in a sweltering room. Their determination to produce a product they can be proud of, no matter how demanding the effort, is evident in every steaming bite. It is what elevates barbecue joints, despite their modest means, above restaurants staffed with Cordon Bleu chefs and decked out in designer finery.Although this is called a travel guide, we prefer to think of it as more. We consider it a cultural anthropology of barbecue. And as much as barbecue is about great food it is also about great stories. We ended the original Introduction this way: Barbecue is more than a meal; it's a way of life. Twenty years later we can only add: Amen.
Meet the Author
VINCE STATEN BIO SHEETCareer: Free-lance writer, author, columnist, movie critic, lecturer, professor and restaurateur. (One of these days I'll settle down and pick a career.)Age: Same as David Letterman and Almond Joy (the candy bar, not the strip tease artist)Current position: Metro columnist, Kingsport Times-News, 2003-present. Best Columnist in Tennessee, Tennessee Press Association, 2005.Syndicated columnist: syndicated home video columnist: New York Daily News 1989-1996; (Louisville) Courier-Journal 1989-2006.Free lance writer: articles have appeared in more than a thousand publications including New York Times, Boston Globe, Dallas Times Herald, Baltimore Sun, Food & Wine, Satellite Orbit, Video Review, Saturday Review, Icon, Bon Apetit and many other publications.Media experience: Have appeared on "Late Night with David Letterman," "Dateline NBC," "Today on NBC” (twice), History Channel (six different shows that seem to be repeated over and over and over), Home & Garden TV, and numerous other television shows. Radio appearances on more than 1,000 shows, including three appearances on NPR's "Morning Edition."Professor: part-time instructor, University of Louisville, teaching classes in feature writing, news writing and television criticism, 1979-present.Co-owner: Vince Staten's Old Time Barbecue in downtown Prospect, Ky.Education: Bachelors degree with worthless major in psychology from Duke University; Masters degree in journalism from University of TennesseeCivic organizations: Commissioner of the City of River Bluff, Kentucky (population 356), 1989-1996. Never indicted.Honors: Eighth grade Twist Champion, Ross N. Robinson Junior High School; Homecoming Queen, University of Tennessee, 1970 (never crowned, ruled ineligible due to graduate student status)
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