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  • Oren Hartman

Naked BBQ / NakedQ

Naked BBQ, the meats are served unadorned (hence “Naked”) and Oren Hartman provides a full complement of sauces that are thoughtfully designed to match his meats. (Photo: Jennifer McClellan/The Republic)

Playing second fiddle to Little Miss BBQ probably gets old, but not so old that I’d be willing to bet against Oren Hartman enjoying the attention. Hartman slings what might be the best brisket in town not made by a guy named Holmes. He does it with a Southern Pride smoker, which usually raises the floor and lowers the ceiling. I say “usually” because Hartman plays an instrument designed for volume like a virtuoso, coaxing a surprising level of subtlety out of meat that’s more gently seasoned than some of the widely popular styles — everyday rather than occasion barbecue, if you will. Of course, brisket isn’t the be-all and end-all. His ribs, pulled pork and hot links join some solid sides to make for one of the most consistently excellent barbecue options in town. Sauces are numerous and thoughtfully concocted, but they’re best used sparingly. The place is called “Naked” for a reason.

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