BEST BARBECUE (1999)
On a good day, and those days are frequent, the salty pork and beef all but slide off the bone. On those rare off days when the meat is a tad overdone, that subtle, smoky flavor and thin, tangy jus make up the difference. While fad restaurants all over town hang banners heralding awards won at this or that competition, the cooks at Ted's quietly carry on a 30-year tradition--keeping watch over a room-sized pit of slow-cooked ribs, then generously slathering the finished product with a simple, vinegar-based sauce, peppered hot to your taste. Both the half rack ($8.75) and the feast-sized full rack ($15.95) come with finger-lickin' JoJo potatoes, sweet, celery-salted coleslaw, and two pieces of bread (for dipping, of course). Those looking to add a little soul can order up a mess of greens and black-eyed peas, then undo the belt for some spicy peach cobbler.