11:32 AM Derek , 1 Comment
Though this country has seen a BBQ boom in the last ten years, my home state of Michigan has been slow to follow. Using Google, I have only been able to locate about a dozen true smokin "Q" joints in the entire state. Compare that to my current location, North Carolina, where there are a dozen establishments in every city.
Fortunately, one of the few "Q" sources in the state can be found just a short drive from my hometown. On our recent trip home to visit family, I got the chance sample some Michigan BBQ at Saucy Dog's Barbeque (Jonesville). I met my brother, Jeremy, on a Tuesday afternoon for lunch. Most of the tables and booths were full. I suppose that's to be expected. Saucy Dog's Barbecue was voted Hillsdale County's best place for lunch.
Saucy Dog's has a pretty robust menu that includes burgers, dogs and fish in addition to slow smoked BBQ. Though I typically order ribs or pulled pork whenever I go to a new joint, I was entering a period of pork overload for the week. I already had dinner plans with a friend of mine that evening and I was pretty certain he would serve pork. I was also booked to smoke ribs for the family just two days later. With all of that in mind, I decided on a combination platter that included 1/2 smoked chicken, beef brisket, beans, slaw and corn bread.
I was particularly interested in the beef. Brisket is a pretty foreign cut in the great lakes region. It's not something you see in grocery stores or on restaurant menus very often. I was interested to see Saucy Dogs' take on what can be a difficult cut to prepare. The hearty serving of brisket came sliced about the width of a #2 pencil, which is exactly how it should be. It was correctly cut acrossed the grain making the beef pull-a-part tender. The beef was slightly dry, but very flavorful. The rub created an excellent salty bark on the exterior.
If the beef was satifactory, then the chicken was exceptional. The 1/2 bird was moist and smokey. The skin was crispy from being finished on the grill. BBQ chicken is difficult to get right in a restaurant. It's not easy to keep the meat (especially the breast) moist while still maintaining crisp skin.
The size of the platter was more than adequate. I took half of the brisket home for Katie to sample (she really enjoyed it). The vinegar slaw was a bit plain, but the baked beans and cornbread were quite good. For the price ($12.99), I was quite satisfied with my Saucy Dog's Barbecue experience.
To see how Saucy Dog's Barbecue compares to other joints from all over the country, click the "BBQ Ratings" page. Be sure to check out The "Q" Review's new Facebook page as well. "Like" the page and you'll be instantly eligible to win free BBQ product during our future giveaways.