Dixie Barbeque Co.

Review by: Michael Stern


Here is an eatery where you truly can have it your way. To complement a pulled pork plate or sandwich, pulled beef plate or sandwich, pork ribs, or smoked chicken, you are given a choice of sauces: East Tennessee Red, North Carolina Vinegar, Devil’s Dew, South Carolina Gold, Alabama White, Texas/Oklahoma Style, Sauce from Hell, and sugar-free dietetic sauce.

What’s remarkable about Dixie Barbeque is not how many different ways it can be had, but how good each of them are. Ribs cook a minimum of four hours over smoldering coals; pork shoulders go a full twelve. The result is delicious meat, the smoky flavor of which stays with you for hours after eating a meal. Our favorite among the choices is pork – juicy, flavorful, and elegant in a quintessential Carolinian way. Next-best are ribs. They are crusty and chewy, smoke-flavored and delicious even without any sauce whatsoever.

On the side of whichever meat you like, available companions include barbecue-flavored baked beans, chunky fried potatoes laced with sweet onion, creamy white cole slaw, and a zesty slaw dressed with mustard-tinged barbecue sauce.

Of the various sauces, pick your poison. We would only remind you that Johnson City is East Tennessee, and Dixie’s Barbeque’s East Tennessee sauce – opaque cinnabar-red and radiant with spice – is fantastic. Unless you say otherwise, this is the sauce that comes on barbecue sandwiches.

What To Eat

Pulled pork

spare ribs

fried potatoes

Pork Ribs


Dixie Barbeque Co. Recipes


What do you think of Dixie Barbeque Co.?

2 Responses to “Dixie Barbeque Co.”

Michael Shelley

February 10th, 2008

I get the feeling after our visit that Dixie Barbeque Co. is having hard times and is cutting back. The menu we saw seemed to have fewer choices than many folks have mentioned. Ribs are only available on weekends. Perhaps the best days here have past.

The atmosphere is nice enough: that back porch look, with lots of stuff on the walls, too-loud music playing, and a too-loud TV playing sports. Waitress was nice and the owner came over and described the different sauces, and talked barbeque with us; a super nice guy.

We had a BBQ sandwich and some ribs and sides, and a piece of cake. The pulled BBQ is absolutely nothing special; dry, not smoky. No wonder they have so many sauces; you’ll need them to add some flavor. The ribs are also nothing special. In fact, they are particularly “white” tasting, just white meat on bones, no smoke, no juice, no flavor. The potatoes and onions raved about previously are run-of-the-mill homefries that taste WAY too salty (I imagine that if a cook had tasted them they would not have been served). The beans are also ordinary (like canned with the addition of some pulled pork) as is the slaw and cake.

In short: nothing special.


Charlie Simpson

January 16th, 2006

We visited Dixie Barbeque on a recent Friday evening as a result of receiving a gift certificate. My wife had a half slab of dry-rubbed ribs and I had a small pulled pork plate. Our sides were potatoes and onions, slaw, beans and seasoned fries.

There are several sauces from which to choose. We sampled the Texas/Oklahoma sauce, the North Carolina vinegar sauce, and the East Tennessee sauce. There were a couple of sauces we didn’t try, a white Alabama-style and a mustard based Carolina-style. Order the pulled pork or beef “plain” if you want to try them all. If you don’t specify, it comes with the East Tennessee sauce.

The service was good and the waitress was always around to supply more iced tea. Unfortunately, I cannot rate the food highly at all. The ribs, though supposedly smoked for 12 hours, were tough and chewy, and nearly flavorless. I usually prefer just a dry rub on ribs, but these were so lacking in flavor that we used the sauces to boost the taste. The pulled pork was edible but, like the ribs, bland. There was little if any smokiness.

The Texas-style sauce was my favorite. It had a little heat, and a tangy flavor. The vinegar sauce was forgettable, and the East Tennessee sauce was sweet, with a strong taste of molasses that my wife enjoyed. The sides were all fine. The beans reminded me more of cowboy beans than barbequed or baked beans.

We will not be going back. There are better barbeque choices available.


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