With Father’s Day coming, it’s good a idea to plan a special meal for dad. While he may enjoy firing up the grill at home and having a few beers on the patio, for his special day, give him some time off from cooking duties and consider a family trip to one of America’s top barbecue and beer spots.
At these great finds, the only BBQ-related cleaning he’ll have to do will be licking the sauce from his fingers.
Mighty Quinn, New York City
Dad will be mighty full (and happy) after chowing down on a “Brontosaurus Rib” meal at any of the five locations of Mighty Quinn’s across Manhattan and Brooklyn. Six rotating microbrews on tap (and a similar selection of bottled options) complement the sauces and cool your mouth after some spicy pickled sides. The burnt ends and briskets are good calls here. Cafeteria-style ordering helps get impatient dads to their food quicker and without fuss.
Smoque BBQ, Chicago
You can’t go wrong at this hugely popular north side spot — the slow-cooked meats literally fall off the bone on the brisket, chicken, and ribs, and you can layer on smoky or sweet sauces onto these already well-seasoned meats. They don’t actually serve beer here, but the good news is that you’re encouraged to bring your own. Pick up a six-pack of dad’s favorite, put a bow on it, and go to town. Also, this is the place where real men eat peach cobbler.
Oak Beer Bourbon & BBQ, Telluride, Colo.
Barbecue and beer — plus bourbon! It’s a trifecta of treats for dad at this casual spot at the base of the gondola in this awesome mountain town. The grill features a mix of BBQ styles from Texas, Carolina, and Kansas City, so no matter what dad’s tastes are, he’ll find something to his liking here. A good bourbon selection complements the draft beers, just be careful not to overdo it. The town’s altitude (8,750 feet) makes the booze even more potent.
The Joint, New Orleans
Look for great pulled-pork sandwiches, along with brisket meat soft enough to cut with a plastic fork, plus ribs and sausages good enough to require an additional mixed meat tray. Wash it all down with a pitcher of draft beer on the patio and prepare for nap time. The sides of mac and cheese and beans are also noteworthy, with the southern-style collard greens often selling out by noon. And you’re in New Orleans, so pick up some pecan pie for pops.
Stubbs BBQ, Austin, Tex.
Austin has a plethora of great restaurants for BBQ and beers, but given the town’s fame for music, get the best of both worlds and add some rock and roll to your ribs with some live tunes at Stubbs. This combination restaurant and music venue offers a selection of beef, pork, chicken, and turkey smoked in-house, prepared Texas-style, and accompanied by their famed sauces and some local craft brews. Want to shout out your praise and thanks for such a tasty meal? Don’t miss the Sunday gospel brunch.
Joe’s Kansas City BBQ, Kansas City, Kans.
Sometimes there can be pretty long lines at Joe’s, but fear not, you can order a beer — and drink it — while you wait. The original shop (one of three in town) is located in a kooky old green gas station. Formerly known as Oklahoma Joes, it’s been the top-rated spot in this BBQ-crazed town every year since 2004, and has won a full rack of awards. Pulled pork is the house specialty, but the ribs are so good vegetarians have been known to quit their vows. The huge and popular “Z-Man” sandwich tops beef brisket with provolone and onion rings.
Phat Matt’s BBQ, Oakland, Calif.
Texas-style brisket and Carolina-style pulled pork smoked on-site with a variety of sauces and dry rubs taste “so good it’ll make you want to slap yo mama” (so probably a better choice for Father’s Day vs. Mother’s Day). The menu of healthy-sized portions includes sides of southern-style yams, collard greens, baked beans, cold beer, and a top-notch peach cobbler, making for a filling meal — and that’s not even mentioning the insanely large sandwich specials. Tri-tips, hot links, pasta, and even a maple-glazed salmon provide some extra variety for picky dads. Come early before everything sells out.
The Pit, Raleigh, N.C.
North Carolina could be considered the capital of BBQ, so go visit the state capital of Raleigh and have some at The Pit. This family-friendly restaurant features whole-hog, pit-cooked barbecue (in both Eastern and Western NC-styles). Dad should enjoy the “Big Boy Meat Combo” with brisket, chicken, pork and beef ribs, particularly when accompanied by one of the Pit’s specially paired beers or small-batch bourbons. Soak up the sauce with an endless supply of hush puppies and biscuits and finish off the food fest with a molasses-covered carrot cake and a subsequent food coma.