It’s getting close to dinnertime and you’re in the mood for some delicious smoked meat. You pull out your phone and type in the words barbecue restaurant near me. There are several options that pop up, so how do you know which one to choose? Here are tips on what to look for in the best barbecue restaurant’s offerings.

Enticing Aroma

To narrow down the options in that best barbecue restaurant near me search, pay attention as you pull up to one of the restaurants on that list. You should be able to smell the smoker before you even enter the door. You may not be able to see the smoker, but the enticing aroma will let you know your meat is being freshly prepared.

Tender Meat

The best BBQ comes from quality cuts of tender meat prepared in the right way. Ribs should have a caramelized exterior and the meat should stay on the bone when you take a bite. If it falls off, it’s overcooked. Pulled pork should not be mushy. The true test is in the brisket. If you can pull the meat and it gives just a bit, your search for that best barbecue restaurant near me has been a success.

Light BBQ Sauce

The best barbecue specials make the savory smoke and spices of the meat the focal point. If the meat is drowning in BBQ sauce, you have to wonder what the cook is trying to hide. Whether you like your meat wet or dry, it should include just enough sauce to accentuate and highlight the meat’s flavor.

Classic Side Dishes

While some barbecue restaurants offer adventure in specialty fusion dishes, the best barbecue restaurants make sure to include classic side dishes that customers are familiar with. This includes items such as fresh and crispy coleslaw, fries, soups, salads, and creamy mashed potatoes. Be wary if these items taste sweet. They should bring a flavorful balance to your meal with just the right amount of greasy goodness.

As the barbecue industry continues to see business heat up year-round, finding the best BBQ restaurant will become more difficult. But by knowing what to expect with the restaurant’s offerings, you’ll be able to choose one that you’ll enjoy going back to time and again. Enjoy your meal and don’t forget the napkins!