Barbecue (or is it barbeque?) is loved worldwide, but nowhere more than in the United States.  In fact, before the Civil War, it is estimated that Americans ate about five pounds of cooked pork for every pound of beef.  During the 19th century, when pigs were considered to be a low-maintenance food source, pork barbecue was the culinary favorite in the Deep South. Did you know that the word barbecue can be used to describe the meat itself, the apparatus used to cook the meat, the act of cooking the meat, or even a party where such meat is served?  It’s true!

But we’re really just here to talk about the meat, right? Oh, and the sauce of course. From Kansas City to North Carolina to Texas, fans take their love of barbecue seriously. Today you can enjoy pork, beef, chicken, turkey, and even shrimp barbecue-style with a favorite regional flavor.  And it’s the regional sauce and seasonings that divide loyalists into feuding camps – fighting it out for bragging rights on whose barbecue is best.

Barbecue lovers won’t be disappointed when visiting the Great Smoky Mountains.  The region is home to three of the best BBQ joints around.

Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que – Voted best family dining in the Smokies, you can find a locally-owned Bennett’s location in both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.  Their pork ribs, chicken, chopped pork and beef briskets are basted in a special house-made sauce, then hickory smoked for up to 14 hours to ensure every mouthful is rich and juicy.  The menu includes smokehouse steaks and an amazing salad bar, plus a wide variety of barbecue ribs, wings, sandwiches, and platters to please every palate in the family.  You can also get down-home southern favorites like fried green tomatoes, cowpoke chili and deep fried pickle chips to round out your meal.  Starting your day early? Don’t forget to stop by and sample Bennett’s all-you-can-eat breakfast bar. Check out the full menu and get a discount coupon.

Corky’s Ribs & BBQ – According to Corky’s, nothing beats the flavor of true Memphis-style barbecue.  With a heritage of unique flavorings, this Tennessee tradition can be experienced right here in the Smokies in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. The meat is slow cooked in pits with hickory chips and charcoal, then hand pulled and basted with Corky’s special blend of sauces.  It’s so good that Memphis Magazine named Corky’s best barbecue for 17 straight years. Pair Corky’s legendary ribs with barbeque pork, chicken, or turkey for a great meal deal. The menu includes everything from salads and soups to steak, shrimp, and specialty sandwiches. Back home with a hankering for that Tennessee flavor? Corky’s will ship your barbecue favorites via FedEx right to your home.

Tony Gore’s Smoky Mountain BBQ & Grill – After more than 25 years in the entertainment industry, Gospel singer Tony Gore decided to pursue his second love – cooking – and opened his one-of-a-kind restaurant in Sevierville. Famous for mouth-watering, fall off the bone Baby Back and St. Louis style ribs, Tony Gore’s serves up a wide variety of Southern favorites including smoked pork, beef brisket, chopped steak, catfish and even fried corn on the cob.  And be sure to try Tony’s special baked beans loaded with smoked pork. Stop in on “Live Gospel Music Night” to hear Tony perform with other favorite entertainers like “Hee Haw’s” Lulu Roman. You’re sure to discover why Tony Gore’s was voted one of the top restaurants in Eastern Tennessee!
When it comes to bar-b-que (or is it Bar-B-Q) everyone has their favorites. Whether you crave a traditional BBQ sandwich, or can handle an entire side of ribs, be sure to sample true southern cuisine on your next trip to the Great Smoky Mountains.

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