At Fat Hen Grill, seasoned pit master chef Shane Pritchett entices epicureans with slow-smoked meats, sandwiches, and down-home sides. The eclectic menu lets diners commence consumption with a fried mac 'n' cheese ($7.99), fried chicken livers ($6.99), or mango-crabmeat guacamole ($10.99). After revving stomach engines, patrons can dive into hickory- and oak-smoked pit eats, such as half a chicken ($13.99), sliced beef brisket ($15.99), or a pulled pork shoulder ($10.99), with forks, sporks, or makeshift toothpick chopsticks to savor the feast as long as possible. Each barbecue plate comes with a side-salad and the choice of one classic side, such as potato salad or thai sweet-and-sour cucumbers. A variety of burgers made from 100% black-angus beef ground in-house daily ($7.99–$10.99) and fresh salads ($10.99–$14.99) tickle all types of taste buds and olfactory follicles. Fat Hen also sates seafarers with selections such as Alfie's Seafood Special, a composite of pan-seared gulf fish with sautéed crabmeat, stuffed crab, eggplant, and shrimp dressing ($22.99).
With 15 finger-devouring flavors of Buffalo wings and a menu offering meaty burgers and fresh salads, Wing Zone has become a national go-to for delivery and takeout. Nosh on wings in their boneless or original style, with orders ranging from 7 ($5.99) to 50 wings ($31.99), and use the flavor's heat index (1 for mild, 4 for hottest) to determine the sauce's spiciness and ability to provide warmth when coating a body. The garlic-parmesan sauce artfully blends garlic with cracked pepper, and the hot honey-teriyaki mixes honey with ginger and soy. Wing Zone also serves a variety of side dishes, such as wedge fries ($1.99–$3.49) and beer-battered onion rings ($2.99–$4.99), which offer the occasional respite from wing munching. Savory half-pound burgers and chicken sandwiches ($7.99+) make for an adequate post-wing dessert.
Smoke wafts out onto the patio of Squeal Bar-B-Q, tingeing the air with the sweet scent of roasting meats. Inside the locally owned and operated smokehouse, chefs glaze cuts of pork and chicken in daily-made batches of signature barbecue sauce, whose savory flavors helped earn them praise from outlets ranging from The Cooking Channel and TLC to the Wall Street Journal and New York Magazine. Squeal's meat fixation extends beyond the smokehouse; desserts meld bacon and chocolate, bartenders mix cocktails with house-infused bacon bourbon, and a flatscreen television broadcasts nothing but reruns of Green Acres that prominently feature Arnold the pig.
Boo Koo BBQ began not as a restaurant but as a sauce. When Lee Mouton’s experiments formulating his own barbecue sauces bred a particularly tasty recipe, he started entering it in competitions on a lark—and winning. Soon, a local shop approached him about selling his sauce in exchange for a bit of cash and a handful of magic beans. He obliged, and as the sauce quickly spread to other area retailers, Mouton also began to create his own food to sell at street festivals. Soon, catering offers started rolling in and Boo Koo BBQ expanded with its own food truck, which prowled the city streets to dispense emergency prescriptions of mouthwatering brisket.
Now a bona fide restaurant, Boo Koo BBQ slathers smoked meats and burgers in the same signature sauce that racked up accolades on the streets. Diners can dig into heaping platters of barbecue, or partake of international dishes with a Cajun accent, including pressed Cajun-Cuban sandwiches, boudin eggrolls, and Cajun banh-mi sandwiches.
Instead of playing favorites, the grill masters at Cou-yons Fa Tru Texas BBQ acquaint diners with virtually every barbecue tradition—from Carolina to Memphis and Texas to Louisiana, the menu stands as a flavor tour of American barbecue. Sliced brisket fresh from the smoker represents the Texan side of things, while tender, pulled pork shoulder bears the telltale tang of Carolina barbecue. The eight styles of meat pile onto sandwiches or tower on platters alongside Texas toast and classic sides such as corn on the cob or sweet coleslaw. To deck out special events, the staff can put together feasts for up to 500 people, ensuring party guests leave satisfied and tailgaters don’t try to eat the football.
A hunk of brisket at VooDoo BBQ & Grill begins its journey suspended over a bed of pecan and oak logs. Coated in a dry rub of local spices, the meat slowly turns on a rotisserie rod for up to 16 hours, its skin crisping while the inside stays a warm pink. The chefs smoke all their beef brisket and pulled pork over logs from Louisiana-based trees to lend them the region's unique smoked flavor, even at the risk of confusing passing botanists. They lightly coat grilled sausages, chicken, and burgers in three signature sauces inspired by the state's Cajun recipes. To complement their menagerie of smoked and grilled meats, they sling a variety of southern sides such as corn pudding, greens, and potato salads. At each of the 13 locations, the aroma of roasting meat fills a space of dark-stained wood and wrought iron; dining rooms awash in a palette of reds, greens, and oranges buzz with the sounds of jazz and blues.