City Barbeque is a reasonably small chain based out of Ohio. Lexington's second store is the company's 23rd restaurant. It was apparent from spending time with their staff that the company is small enough to maintain a "family" atmosphere amongst its employees. It's apparent from the food that they are also small enough to maintain a high level of quality in each store.
Their four smokers run almost around the clock perfecting turkey, pork, brisket, and of course, ribs.
You might think cooking units as big as those must surely put out a lot of heat, and be a terrible fire hazard. Not so. Truly awesome barbecue depends on 4 key things:
- Quality Meat
- Quality Wood
- Low Heat
All their meats are smoked right at the restaurant, low and slow, the day they are served. There are no microwaves at City Barbeque.
This seems like a good time to talk about what good neighbors City Barbeque is. All restaurants have leftover, unsold food at the end of the day. That's just how it works. I've heard from friends in the restaurant business that most restaurants throw out several garbage cans of perfectly good food every night. Well, that's another thing that makes City Barbeque different. They donate their daily unsold meat to God's Pantry Food Bank (www.godspantry.org). God's Pantry is an organization I strongly believe in, and support. I'm happy to hear that City Barbeque does too.
Another thing that makes City Barbeque such a good neighbor is where they buy their wood. As you can imagine they are very particular about the type of wood they use. Each City Barbeque buys wood for its smokers from someone in the same state where the store is located. So if you eat in Lexington that delicious brisket was smoked with the finest hickory from the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Great barbeque requires great sides. Most of the City Barbeque sides are passed down family recipes. There's a reason that tastes like grandma's potato salad.
If you live in the Lexington area you have two locations to choose from. Richmond Rd and now Harrodsburg Rd. I'm told several new stores are planned over the next few years including Louisville and New Albany. But if there isn't a City Barbeque near you I can honestly say it's probably worth the drive.