conley6.gif (2529 bytes)


'Cue fix

Photos by Dan Bishop

October 2013

The Good Food Dude is one of Milwaukee’s newest food trucks, a retrofitted green van that serves, among other things, a dry-rubbed hand-pulled pork sandwich.

When it comes to barbecue, greater Milwaukee has jumped on the saucy bandwagon with ribs, brisket and sausage rubbed and ready to go. While the community doesn’t — yet — have the smoky reputation of a Kansas City or the Deep South, when you’re talking ’cue, Brew City is well on its way to hog heaven. Tune in your tummies to these hot spots.

Ashley’s Bar-B-Cue and Ashley’s Cue

Since the 1960s, Ashley’s has been serving top ’cue, dishing up shoulders, ribs and even snouts, goat and spicy pork chops. Folks in the know agree with Ashley’s mantra: "You’ve had the rest, now try the best." Ashley’s has some of the best deals in town when it comes to home-style barbecue. This is the real deal, with no frills or fuss, but everything is finger-licking good. Deliveries are made just about everywhere throughout Milwaukee County. 1501 W. Center St.; 124 W. National Ave. (414) 372-7666

Atlas BBQ

Located in Paramount Plaza in Grafton, once home of vintage Paramount Records, look for the muscular, bold letters over the door and the sign of Atlas holding up the world. Atlas revels in its homemade sauces and is ruled by barbecue, beer and bourbon. On the menu are offerings from Texas, Kansas, Memphis and the Carolinas, along with occasional dishes from the Middle East, Asia and South America. For vegetarians, the black bean burger, topped with an avocado spread, is an alternative to a grilled rib-eye. The smoked tomato soup has also earned a top spot in diners’ hearts. Call ahead at least 30 minutes to be put on the seating list. 1304 12th Ave., Grafton, (262) 618-2181

Big Daddy’s Brew & Cue

If you dig self-described "bad-ass barbecue and homegrown craft brews," Big Daddy’s is the perfect pit stop for smokin’ good housemade hot links and baby backs. Feeling hungry? Big Daddy’s Feeding Frenzy serves two, or at least a solo linebacker, with a piled platter of beef tenderloin, beef brisket, rib tips, pulled pork, pulled chicken, fries, baked beans and cornbread. The Brunswick stew makes for a different type of dish, with chicken, brisket, pork and sausage, along with carrots, green beans, yellow onions, potatoes and corn served over jalape-o cornbread. For dessert, the chocolate pecan pie is dynamite. 5800 N. Bayshore Drive, Bayshore Town Center, Glendale, (414) 203-0404

Double B’s BBQ

Red-checkered tablecloths fit in well with the Double B’s Western theme, where entrees are valued-added with sides of cornbread and honey pecan butter. The Heart-Stopper burger weighs in at a half-pound of meat, tucked between two Texas toast and extra slices of cheese. The Friday fish fry draws hearty eaters from around the area, with the ever-popular "Taste of New Orleans" special featuring a catfish fillet, shrimp, hush puppies and jambalaya. There are free wings on Wednesday when purchasing a sandwich or entree. 7420 W. Greenfield Ave., West Allis, (414) 257-9150

The Good Food Dude

The Good Food Dude is one of Milwaukee’s newest food trucks, a retrofitted green van that trundles around town peddling "The Dude," a dry rubbed, hand-pulled pork sandwich topped with a special Red Eye Q sauce. Don’t skip the sweet and sour slaw. The sandwich is served on a Fred Scardina Bakery kaiser roll. The menu includes the Chicken Dude and the Cow Dude, the latter a hand-pattied burger topped with pulled pork ’n sauce, along with hot dogs, Italian sausages and related fare. All sorts of coffees, teas and smoothies are also available. You can spot "The Dude" near the Courthouse and Cathedral Square, at Skyline Music productions and other venues. The chili and cheese French fries go really well with whatever Dude you dig. (414) 466-7372

Puddle Jumpers Smokehouse BBQ

More than 90 percent of Puddle Jumpers’ food is hand-done on premise with locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. The smokers crank away all day to put out the marvelous brisket. The meat is served "naked," as they say here, so feel free to use any number of several sauces for your own special touch. Just watch out for the Ale Wife’s Smoken Hot Sauce. In addition to the usual barbecue fare of ribs, chicken and pulled pork, try a bacon-wrapped meatloaf dinner well-lathered in bourbon sauce. Sides include Wisconsin cheese ’n mac and corn fritters, among other goodies. Puddle Jumpers offers 10 percent off to all current military with identification. 4939 S. Howell Ave., (414) 482-2271

Smoke Shack

The Smoke Shack emphasizes "certified humanely raised meats" that are dry rubbed and slow smoked, sauced with five varieties of slather. The Carolina Gold, with its mustard-based vinegar tinge, is especially tasty. All sauces are gluten-free. The Smoke Shake is a comfortably cozy joint, with fewer than 50 seats, which means an occasional wait for a table. Be aware that some items sell out fast, since only small batches of meats are prepared at a time. Experience a cup of corn chowder and then go for a full slab of custom-cut spare ribs. If there is still room in the belly, go for the bourbon praline cake. 332 N. Milwaukee St., (414) 431-1119


This story ran in the October 2013 issue of: