39: Big Boy Ranch Plate from Chef Shack Ranch

Here is the thing about BBQ joints -- lots of times, they are run by the kinds of dudes who could double as linebackers. Meats are their strong suit, and many can smoke these meats quite well, indeed. But the attending players -- the slaws, breads, pickles, and beans -- are usually such an afterthought that it's a standard BBQ move to serve, for instance, elbow mac with an unmelted smattering of cheese or a single slice of Wonder bread.

Lisa Carlson and Carrie Summer are the gals with the big red food trucks and the famous Indian spiced mini donuts. They are the kind of people who are so quietly humble about what they do you wouldn't really know that they are also classically trained chefs who could probably work anywhere, here or in New York, which they both have done, for many years previous to their continually burgeoning real-food-for-regular-folk empire.

You see, they are proletariat. They want to share their prodigious talents as far and as wide as possible, so, meats and donuts.

See also: 40: House Hot Dog at Kyatchi


So they're classically trained, yes, but they're also "chick pit masters" as they like to say, and their brisket is probably the best BBQ to be had in the Twin Cities right now. It's tender and smoky, yes, but also maintaining delicate integrity, not overly bombarded with smoke. It's like if that linebacker started doing pirouettes on the field just to show he's capable of more than brawn -- elegant, nuanced, and memorable.

As are the Indian spiced beans, sanctified biscuits that could stand up to the prim judgement of The Great British Baking Show, and a potato salad that doesn't fight with any of it.

And pork! Carlson does a bang up job with a cheffy pulled pork, and the sausages are outsourced to Fischer Family Farms, local fifth-generation pork farmers. The one we tried was infused with a little whiff of maple, like it took a bath in pancake syrup.

House-made pickles and beets are the astringent foil to pierce through all this considerably rich bounty.

100: The Pickle Dog from the Minnesota State Fair 99: Mademoiselle Miel's Honey Bon-Bons 98: Giant Pretzel at New Bohemia 97: Kopplin's Breve 96: Corn Chowder at Barrio 95: Crescent Moon's House Special Football-Shaped Pizza 94: Buffalo Tots at the Blue Door Pub 93: Duck Burger at the Happy Gnome 92: Mac's Industrial Tuna Melt 91: Toast Bar at Canteen 90: Sonora Grill's Eggplant Fries 89: Brasa's Pineapple Ginger Ale 88: The Freehouse's Cheese Curds with Quince Jam 87: Black Coffee and Waffle Bar's Naughty Waffle 86: Czar Jack at Town Hall Brewery 85: Soft-Shell Crab Fried Rice at Tiny Diner 84: Sanduche de Pollo at Chimborazo 83: Grand Café's Eggs en Cocotte 82: Pollo Tacos at Las Teresitas 81: Chicken Tikka Masala at Himalayan Restaurant 80: Cornmeal Galette with Ham and Sweet Corn from Black Walnut Bakery 79: Cheddar Biscuits and Gravy at the Third Bird 78: The Buttermilk Chicken Sandwich at Lake and Irving 77: The Larry from Taco Cat 76: Lobster and Eggs from Eat Street Social 75: New York Strip with Trumpet Royale Mushrooms from Sparks 74: Icehouse's Sipping Shots 73: The Prairie Dog at Prairie Dogs 72: Dr. IPA at Public Kitchen & Bar 71: Patisserie 46's Éclair 70: Dong Hae's Korean Style Chicken Wings 69: Birchwood's Black Bottom Coconut Cream Pie 68: Coup d'Etat's Gnocchi 67: Egg, Cheddar & Bacon Biscuit Sandwich at Colossal Cafe 66: Red Wagon Pizza's Sausage Espagnole 65: Verdant Tea's Chinese Hash 64: The St. Paul Cheese Shop's Chorizo Sandwich 63: House of Curry's Pol Roti 62: Goat Cheese Curds from the Curious Goat 61: Post-Dessert Dessert at Spoon and Stable 60: Table-Side Caesar Salad from the Salt Cellar 59: Nam-Khao from On's Thai Kitchen 58: Poutine at Triple Rock 57: Black Sheep's Meatball, Ricotta, and Garlic Pizza 56: Eli's East's Pistachio Cheesecake 55: Shrimp and Grits at Smack Shack 54: The Southside at World Street Kitchen 53: Size 7 from Steel Toe Brewing 52: Khao Soi at Sen Yai Sen Lek 51: Burger, Fries, and Hamm's at Nightingale 50: The Delmonico Steak at Capital Grille 49: Foie Gras at Cosmos 48: Braised Pork Tostadas at Sanctuary 47: Bucatini Bolognese at Lyn 65 46: Sauerkraut Grilled Cheese at Gyst Fermentation Bar 45: Frozen Blood Orange Parfait at the Kenwood 44: Deep Dish Sausage Pizza at Davanni's 43: Lengua Burrito from El Taco Riendo 42: Slice from Hello Pizza 41: Tagliarini di Locanda del Lupo at Broder's 40: House Hot Dog at Kyatchi

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