Though charcoal drawing was once the dominant artistic medium in America, precious few masterworks survived the realization that those early portraits could be crumpled up and used to smoke delicious stacks of ribs. Honor forgotten artists with today’s Groupon: for $8, you get $16 worth of southern-style barbecue fare at Mabel's Barbeque in West Chester.
Mabel's Barbeque mines deep reserves of patience to slow-cook and grill to order a menu of explosively flavorful southern-style barbecue. The eponymous Mabel Spann and team dry-rub pork and smoke it for four hours to craft juicy racks of ribs ($6.50 for a small; $11.95 for a medium), sided by classics from below the Mason-Dixon line, such as macaroni and cheese, collard greens, and coleslaw. Pulled pork, tenderized from losing tug-of-war championships, collapses onto bread pillows to form pulled-pork sandwiches ($6.25 each), and chicken dresses to the nines in gowns of caramelized barbecue sauce or overcoats of fried breading to pose on a breast platter ($8.95) or leg platter ($8.25). Diners conclude culinary sojourns through the South with slices of sweet-potato pie ($2 each), which wait in the wings, ready to razzle-dazzle sweet teeth like a dental hygienist with a proclivity for card tricks.