Slow-cooked, perfectly smoked barbecue is America’s original comfort food and each state claims to have the best of this delicious dish. Texas has their pepper-rubbed brisket, North Carolina dines on smoky pulled pork sandwiches and Kansas City boasts racks of meaty baby backs covered in a thick, tomato-based BBQ sauce. Phoenix may not yet be known as a mecca for meaty smoked dishes but lately, there has been been a resurgence in quality BBQ joints popping up across the Valley. Something we feel very happy about.
NakedQ BBQ is one of those barbecue havens shaking up the dining scene. Opened by a former tech executive turned pitmaster, NakedQ BBQ has been serving up some of barbecue lover’s favorite dishes including pulled pork sandwiches, burnt ends, meaty ribs, pork belly, and perfectly smoked brisket. A believer in fresh quality ingredients and the best cuts, Naked Q’s owner Oren Hartman chooses to serve all of his meats sans sauce. A delightful spin on some overly sauced options at bigger chain barbecue joints. While diners can choose from an array of sauces on the side, we found the meats already perfectly seasoned, juicy and with the perfect amount of smoke.
So enough with the set-up…..here’s how it tasted.
Pulled Pork Sandwich First up, the pulled pork sandwich. A fluffy bun topped with lean, tender pork shoulder that the NakedQ’s pitmasters rubbed with a signature spice blend. The pork was tender, juicy and succulent and the bread just served to soak up all of the delicious juices. We couldn’t stop savoring the smoky, yet sweet flavors coming off this decadent sandwich offering.
House Smoked Brisket Next, we turned to our personal favorite. Yes, we’re talking brisket. We had this sans bun because let’s be honest, there’s nothing better than tasting brisket as it’s meant to be. Served sliced on simple parchment covered trays, the crust is thick and the smoke ring evident. The smell is rich and smoky, tempting us to try a forkful. The first bite melts in the mouth hinting at a long, slow smoking process and then it hits you- beneath the crust is the most tender, juicy, meat, with a husky, beefy flavor.
Smoked Ribs Last but not least. It’s rib time. They come to the table already sliced and tender with a slight bite. Covered in a secret spice blend, these ribs prove to be delicious, smoky, juicy, with a rich meaty flavor. All we can say is they were lip smacking good and some of the best we’ve had in ages.
But good barbecue is rather boring without great sides, and NakedQ has plenty to choose from, from the classics (potato salad and ooey mac & cheese) and mouthwatering coleslaw, to fluffy cornbread muffins. They even have a daily vegetable, seasonally selected and perfect for pairing with our meaty mains. The two different selections of coleslaw were lightly dressed, making it a nice complement to our platters of smoky meats. Our favorite? The homemade pickles nestled next to each of our decadent dishes.
Last but not least, NakedQ BBQ knows nothing goes down with good barbecue like a beer. We savored the last of our meaty options with a cold, frosty pint and we recommend you try it too.
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So yes, a lot of places try and claim good barbecue but few deliver the right amount of smoke and meaty deliciousness like NakedQ BBQ delivers. And with a food scene desperately craving good barbecue, we suspect NakedQ BBQ has a great future ahead of them. So get in there and try some great BBQ before this secret gets out.
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