Have you ever had real barbecue at non-barbeque restaurants – the type of restaurants that don’t smoke meat themselves, but instead ship it in from… wherever?
Perkins® Restaurant & Bakery
For example, have you been to a Perkins® Restaurant yet this summer? As you’re being seated, they hand you, along with their regular menu, a menu of “Smokehouse Specials.”
They used phrases like “Tender slow-smoked beef brisket” and “pit-smoked pulled pork,” plus include sides of baked beans and slaw, so it sure looks like they know what they’re talking about.
And I have to admit, it all looks fantastic. The photos make their meats look perfect, and the tag line “Where there’s smoke, there’s flavor” lends credibility to the idea that their barbecue may be the real deal. But, is it?
Arby’s® has a Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich. I tried one a year ago, minus the smoked gouda cheese, mayo, and crunchy fried onions (I wanted a brisket-only experience). Their promotional materials say it’s smoked “over 13 real hours.” It did have a real smoke flavor, but it didn’t have me running back for more. In fact, I haven’t had one since. Hmmm…
Firehouse Subs®’ King’s Hawaiian Pork & Slaw Sandwich is very good (without the cheese, please). The pork is always tender and moist. If you like pulled pork sandwiches, you’ll like this one.
They had a brisket sandwich for a short period of time, and I did return for another one more than once. Again, I skipped the cheese and other items that just didn’t make sense on a smoked brisket sandwich. It was moist, tender, and pretty good, considering it wasn’t smoked on-premises.
Bob Evans®’ Wildfire Barbecue Sauce is fantastic – one of my favorites, actually. It’s sweet with a hint of onion, and a little bit of spice. You may want to take a bottle home.
What is your experience?
Can you get real barbecue at non-BBQ restaurants?
Do you know if Perkins® is delivering the real deal this summer?
I would like to know your opinion, so leave a comment below.