Excellent | Worth a Detour
Review by: Michael Stern
The self-proclaimed “Ninth Wonder of the World” truly is an amazing phenomenon: an excellent barbecue parlor in Vermont. No regional excuses need be made for the racks of ribs and half chickens pitmaster Curtis Tuff cooks on a big open grate over smoldering hardwood at Curtis’s Barbecue. They may not be traditional pit-cooked-for-hours BBQ, but they are jim-dandy meats, served in high roadside style.
When we say high style we mean that this is not a restaurant at all. It is a picnic. Place your order at the window of one of the blue-painted school buses that are permanently anchored in Curtis Tuff’s meadow. When you have paid and it is ready, you will be pointed to a stack of cardboard cartons that are useful in toting the plates to a table, either in the sun or covered. Dine al fresco, then toss your trash in a can and be on your way.
What should I eat at Curtis’s Barbecue?
Of the two things Mr. Tuff smoke-cooks, we go for ribs. They are available as slabs, half-slabs, medium orders and small. A half-slab is a hearty meal. The ribs are cooked so the meat pulls off in big, succulent strips that virtually burst with piggy flavor and the perfume of smoke. To dress these dandy bones, Mr. Tuff offers two sauces: mild and spicy, both of which are finger-licking good. On the side you want a baked potato, a cup of beans, and/or ears of sweet corn.
Note that Curtis’s Barbecue closes in October and reopens in April. It is open for lunch and supper in the summer from Tuesday through Sunday, and fewer days of the week in the late spring and early fall.
Directions & Hours
|Seasons||Summer, Fall, Spring|
|Credit Cards Accepted||No|