Kansas: Joe’s Kansas City BBQ
> Location: Kansas City (KS), Olathe, and Leawood
What began as a small gas station eatery has become a local chain with three restaurant locations and an event venue. Joe’s offers a full range of classic meats and sides as well as some New Orleans-style dishes like red beans and rice and po’boys, but the specialty sandwiches are the real stars. Try the Rocket Pig, which comes with pulled pork glazed in sweet-hot BBQ sauce, bacon, pepper jack, and BBQ mayo, topped with fried jalapeños.
Kentucky: Moonlight Bar-B-Q Inn
> Location: Owensboro
This down-home restaurant has a barbecue buffet and a separate dinner menu including shrimp and catfish specials. A local favorite, Moonlite is known for its tender meats, and people drive from far and wide for the smoked mutton. Customers also love the burgoo, broccoli casserole, and pecan pie.
Louisiana: Grayson’s Barbecue
> Location: Clarence
Open since 1959, this brick pit barbecue establishment serves a pared down menu of smoked ribs, beef, pork, and ham with vinegar sauce and sides of baked beans, potato salad, and slaw. Choose a sandwich with a homemade bun or meat by the pound, and grab a ginger cookie for dessert.
Maine: Salvage BBQ
> Location: Portland
Besides barbecue, this counter service bar and lounge offers beer and cocktails plus occasional live music, bingo, and a trivia night. Try the meat coma tray, which comes with a 1/3 rack of St. Louis style ribs, 1/3 pound of brisket and chopped pork, a cup of chili, and two sides, including the best hushpuppies in Maine.
Maryland: Blue Pit BBQ
> Location: Baltimore
A casual, dog-friendly restaurant and bar with an extensive whiskey selection, Blue Pit BBQ offers tender smoked meats and sandwiches, including jackfruit barbecue for vegetarian customers. Diners love the four-cheese mac and pickleback slaw, and whiskey lovers rave about the house Old Fashioned.
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