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Mike’s BBQ – Philadelphia, PA

Mike’s BBQ – Philadelphia, PA

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Michael Strauss has been serving his style of BBQ to his friends and family for years. After opening a successful gastropub in South Philly, he started serving samples of his BBQ to his guests, who clamored for more!  With years of practice under his belt, and apprenticeships near and far, he drove to Georgia and picked up a Lang Smoker! The Lang smoker is an old school style “stick smoker”.

Well I can attest that this old school style smoker is putting out some fabulous BBQ. After many years of the Philadelphia area being a barbecue desert, I am happy to see so many choices for good quality BBQ now. The full rack of ribs were cooked beautifully and tasted great dipping them into their homemade sauce and the wings were seasoned nice with every bite being juicy.

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Hey Everybody! Check out that “Fat Pig”

Fette Sau – Philadelphia, PA

It seems like Philadelphia has gained an affirmation for all things Brooklyn, New York related lately. The Piazza at Schmidts held a Brooklyn Flea Market it seemed like every weekend this summer and before that Philadelphia’s restaurant mogul Stephen Starr recruited Brooklyn based BBQ restaurant owner Joe Carroll to open another Fette Sau (FS) here in October of 2012 connected to another Stephen Starr location Frankford Hall and just a few blocks away from the hipster hideaway Piazza.

I do not know much about Brooklyn, but what I can tell you is that if there are more restaurants up there as good as FS I hope more and more of them transplant their way down to Philly for their second locations. As you will see in the pictures below I got a little bit of everything at FS. Nothing I had there disappointed me in the least except for one particular thing, but their were some ups and downs. FS stands for fat pig, and if I could go there more often I just might become one.

Lets just get started with the great. The short rib is hands down AMAZING! Go to FS just for it. Eat it in all of its wonderfulness, it is that good. I have never had a better one yet, and I have eaten a lot of BBQ. Just look below at me eating it in all my glory and you will have picture of how happy it can make a man.

me eating rib

The baked beans were fabulous as well. Very nice chunks of burnt ends, beautiful combination of spices thrown in, and just a delight to eat. The ribs were cooked perfectly and of excellent quality, texture, and taste as well. Just when put up against the short rib it had some big expectations to follow. The pork was good, but just not anything notable and I have had better at much cheaper rates other places and the mushrooms were a dud. They were nice, but I was sort of over them after popping four to five of them in my mouth. They would be great for free as a mini-side, but not something I would pay for.

fette sau

With the good must come the bad though. FS is a carnivore paradise and a damn good BBQ joint at that. What they are not, is somewhere that has any resemblance of good BBQ sauce makers. I enjoy my BBQ wet or dry, but some people insist on having to have some sort of sauce on their meats. If you are one of these people you may want to bring a cup of your own sauce to FS. FS’s sauces to me and the person who joined me were so hands down terrible, they actually made me second guess if the meats were as good as I thought they were until I took another bite without sauce on them. I hate to admit it, but I would rather have some mass produced corn syrup infused BBQ sauce sitting on the table instead of what they put out there. It is shameful and completely unacceptable for the quality of meats they are producing that someone could actually leave there thinking that FS is not making good BBQ if they can not enjoy eating their meats dry only. I actually thought maybe it was just the container on my table, but the sauces tasted exactly the same on the other tables as well, so I do not know if the entire batch was bad or if that is really what they serve on a daily basis. I know what I said was harsh. Just know what you are in for with the sauces, but other than that you must go to FS for some of the best BBQ meats in the Philadelphia region. Be aware also that FS is not cheap to eat at, and even with the sauce debacle, mushrooms not being that great, and pork only being ok, FS has my heart with short ribs I feel in love with.

Four out of Five Stars