As much as we pretend to be fond of salads around here, we have to admit that nothing satisfies our hunger like a fat hunk of smoky barbecued meat.
Lucky for us, we live in a country where barbecue sauce flows like water, and the meat smokes like a chimney. Unfortunately, that also means there's plenty of mediocre BBQ joints out there, just waiting to wreak havoc on our tastebuds with under-seasoned meat and sub-par sides.
In order to help us find the best of the best, the folks at Open Table have just released the barbecue edition of their 2014 Diners' Choice Awards. By analyzing more than five million reviews of over 19,000 restaurants, they've determined the 30 best-reviewed restaurants in the nation — and surprisingly, the majority of them can be found in the Northeast, the Midwest, or on the West Coast. (Huffington Post proposes that the top barbecue restaurants might still be found in the South, albeit at establishments that never bothered with Open Table reservations.)
So let's stop pretending we enjoy salad (if only for a day) and head out to one of the following meat Meccas for a bellyful of brisket.
Russell's Smokehouse, Denver, Colorado
Percy Street Barbecue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Chicago Q, Chicago, Illinois
Bluebird Barbecue, Burlington, Vermont
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, New York City, New York
Freedmen's, Austin, Texas
The Montgomery Inn, Cincinnati, Ohio
Naples Rib Company, Long Beach, California
The Granary 'Cue & Brew, San Antonio, Texas
Southpaw BBQ, San Francisco, California
To view 20 more of the best-reviewed barbecue joints on Open Table, read their original article here.