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American barbecue is an institution in the southeastern states, but particularly in Texas, Missouri, Tennessee and North Carolina. This two week road trip gives you a taste of the best brisket, ribs and pulled pork around.
Destinations > The Deep South > Ultimate Barbecue Road Trip
14 nights hotel accommodation and 14 days car rental. Note: One way rental fee from Austin to Raleigh is not included in the price, and must be paid locally.
Discover the spices and slow-smoked flavours of Kansas City barbecue; savour the Spare Ribs on offer in St. Louis, experience the best of Texas beef brisket in Austin and visit 'The World's Largest Honky Tonk' in Fort Worth; sample Nashville country music roots and barbecue hot chicken.
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Traditionally, Texas barbecue means one thing — beef — and spicy, smoky beef brisket holds an enduring place in the state’s barbecue tradition. There are many fantasticoptions in Austin, including Franklin Barbecue, which is so popular the queues are often a few hours. Iron Works & La Barbeque are also worth checking out. Before falling into a food coma, check out one of Austin’s fantastic live music venues. About 45 minutes away is Lockhart, irrefutably the ‘Barbecue Capital of Texas’. Try Smitty’s, where the food is served on butcher paper, sans cutlery, or Black’s Barbecue, an institution since 1932 that looks, smells and tastes like Texas.
See Day 1 for today's itinerary.
Delicious smoked Texas barbecue is the speciality at Billy Bob’s Texas, known as ‘The World’s Largest Honky Tonk’. Located in the Stockyards National Historic District, it’s an almost 1000 square metre dancehall, with over 30 bars and live professional bull riding every Friday and Saturday night. Channel your inner cowboy with line dancing lessons and live concerts every weekend.
Featured on the Food Network’s ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’, Leo’s Barbecue is known for its succulent ribs and smoked bologna.
Kansas City barbecue is characterised by its wide variety of meats: pork, beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, sausage and sometimes even fish. Burnt ends – the crusty, fatty, flavourful meat cut from the point of a smoked beef brisket – are in demand and distinctive to the city. Kansas City style barbecue is rubbed with spices, slow-smoked over a variety of woods and served with a thick tomato-based barbecue sauce. Make sure you visit the original Joe’s Bar-B-Que, located in an old gas station. Wash all the meat down with a few drinks at one of the local jazz clubs.
See Day 5 for today's itinerary.
St. Louis style barbecue generally refers to spare ribs, which are usually grilled rather than slow-cooked in a smoker, like most barbecue in the US, and smothered in sauce. St. Louis consumes more barbecue sauce per capita than any other city in the country.
Memphis barbecue is all about dry rubs. Delicious baby back ribs are slow smoked over a low hickory fire, coated in a paprika based spice rub and served without sauce, or with sauce on the side. There are over 100 barbecue joints in Memphis, so the tasting options are endless. Try Central BBQ, a local favourite, or for a unique choice, visit The Bar-B-Q Shop, which offers barbecue spaghetti.
See Day 8 for today's itinerary.
Nashville has long been known as a music city, but it’s food scene is emerging as one of the best in the region. Aside from the local staple of hot chicken, Nashville’s barbecue restaurants are booming. Two of the best are Peg Leg Porker and Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint.
See Day 10 for today's itinerary.
Asheville is a great place to get out in nature and work off some of the delicious BBQ. There are still some great dining options, including 12 Bones, where President Obama had ribs, and Luellas, which includes a vegan option.
North Carolina has two distinct styles of barbecue. Eastern, where the ‘whole hog’ is barbecued, the meat chopped and mixed together with a thin sauce of vinegar and spices. Western, or Lexington style, focuses on pork shoulder, which is chopped or sliced, rather than pulled, with a red sauce made with ketchup, vinegar and spices. En route to Raleigh, stop for lunch in Lexington, the town synonymous with North Carolina barbecue. There are plenty of tasty options in Raleigh for a few final bites before ending your culinary adventure.
See Day 13 for today's itinerary.
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