Smoked meat has always been the star of barbecue: tender, fatty brisket, smoky ribs and snappy sausage. But the new generation of barbecue joints knows that the side dishes can make or break a meal. Sure, traditional potato salad, coleslaw and beans can be great, but unfortunately they oftentimes come out of a can. Here are six places that do their sides justice.
Squash Casserole at John Mueller Meat Co.
The great ornery pitmaster himself says that the casserole isn’t a vegetable but a cheese product. Amen to that. With loads of cheddar holding it together, it’s sure to fill up any room you had left after eating that amazing-looking meat.
Blue Cheese Coleslaw at Kerlin BBQ
The traditional barbecue side gets a kick with plenty of blue cheese and pepper, plus more mayo than you’ll know what to do with.
Smoked Beets at Freedmen’s
Chef Evan LeRoy smokes more than meat; these beets are smoked on the same fire as his down-home barbecue and are then dressed with a red wine vinaigrette and topped with herbed goat cheese and chives.
Espresso Sauce at Franklin Barbecue
The espresso barbecue sauce at Aaron Franklin’s famous stop has become so well-known that it’s now bottled and sold at stores like H-E-B. Also try the light vinegar and sweet Southern varieties.
Moon Pie at Micklethwait Craft Meats
The trailer may be known for its delicious sausage, but don’t miss the buns, bread or dessert here either, all made by staffer William Ankeney. The moon pies are truly out of this world.
Corn Casserole at Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew
The family recipe for this sweet treat that can be eaten before dessert comes from owner Shane Stiles’ aunt Sara. Think creamed corn in a more-solid form - that is, until it reaches your mouth, when it melts faster than an M&M.