AngelPig's LaPorcherie [MAIN]
Rock 'n Roll Music
BBQ All Niter
Bourbon's Big Easy
NO/Cents by St. Loin
Barbecue Lovers Only
-- Or take your barbecue at the same tables Elvis used at the immensely atmospheric Sun Studio Cafe (706 Union Ave).
-- For ribs, fried catfish, and red beans and rice, along with nightly live blues, book a table at B.B. King's (Second and Beale St).
When considering barbecue, tradition is particularly important. Barbecue is not easy to prepare-- it requires hours of tending a hot smoky fire, and vigilant monitoring of the roasting meat. Few people would choose to spend their time in a covered shack, inundated with smoke (especially during the blazing summers of the South). But barbecue endures. Despite encroaching health regulations, despite inconvenience, and despite the prevalence of fast food restaurants all over the country, people still eat
barbecue, and "pit men" still hone their craft.
When travelling through the South, your best bet for authentic and carefully prepared Southern cuisine is any of the many barbecue restaurants that dot the landscape. Don't be fooled by the casual atmosphere in most of these barbecue joints; these are the places where the legacy of Southern food is vigilantly protected. In the Southern United States, barbecue is a cherished cultural icon. In other areas of America, "barbecue" is a verb-- Northerners barbecue food on the backyard grill. In the South, however, barbecue is most definitely a noun. A barbecue is a gathering of food aficionados who appreciate the aroma of roasted meat that has been painstakingly smoked for several hours. Barbecue itself is chopped, sliced, or pulled meat liberally doused with a variety of (closely guarded) sauces. This meat is usually pork, unless you are in Texas or some parts of Kentucky (where barbecue means beef or mutton).
The roads of the Southern United States are lined with a succession of grinning pigs, advertising the availability of barbecue in countless restaurants. The origins of barbecue in the South, however, are traceable to a period long before the smiling pig became a fixture on Southern roadsides. The etymology of the term is vague, but the most plausible theory states that the word "barbecue" is a derivative of the West Indian term "barbacoa," which denotes a method of slow-cooking meat over hot coals. Bon Appetit magazine blithely informs its readers that the word comes from an extinct tribe in Guyana who enjoyed "cheerfully spitroasting captured enemies." The Oxford English Dictionary traces the word back to Haiti, and others claim (somewhat implausibly) that "barbecue" actually comes from the French phrase "barbe a queue", meaning "from head to tail." Proponents of this theory point to the whole-hog cooking method espoused by some barbecue chefs.
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