Out on Wears Valley Road just a few minutes off the beaten path, Boss Hogg’s BBQ serves slow-smoked meats that could be the culinary highlight of a trip to the Smoky Mountains.
Certainly it’s the best BBQ for miles around, the meat expertly bathed in smoke until all tooth resistance is gone and it bursts with flavor. Pulled pork is notable: velvet soft with a few shreds of bark to mix it up, its natural sweetness enhanced by the perfume of burning wood. It doesn’t need sauce — it’s moist and satisfying — but Boss’s sauce is a sweet/hot halo that makes it all the better.
Good as the pulled pork is, I recommend going for oinky variety in the form of a two-meat plate, with taut smoked sausage or ribs, or even beef brisket. Among a repertoire of side dishes that includes green beans, baked beans, potato salad, and cole slaw, mac & cheese is a stand-out, boasting thick, creamy consistency that is so right with spicy meats.
Boss Hogg’s is charmingly rustic with displays of wood-carver’s art throughout. Because it is the best BBQ in the area, it can get crowded enough to require a wait. For immediate satisfaction, go at an off-hour.