With three locations in Central Oregon (westside, eastside and Redmond), Baldy's is one of the few BBQ joints around that serves fried okra, a testament to the true Southern-ness of the cuisine. The C.O. staple serves up everything from barbecued shrimp to smoked turkey. And the sides...oh, the delicious sides. Delectable slaws, spicy-sweet honey-jalapeno cornbread and crispy sweet potato fries. The real heart of the operation is the slow-smoked baby back ribs, smothered in Baldy's finger-licking sauce. (Bri Brey)
Westside: 235 SW Century Dr., 541-385-7427, baldysbbq.com.
Open everyday 11 am-9 pm.
Eastside: 2670 NE Hwy 20, 541-388-4227.
Open everyday 6 am-9 pm (breakfast served until 11 am on weekdays, 2 pm on weekends).
Redmond: 950 SW Veterans Way, 541-923-2271.
Open everyday 11 am-9 pm.
Country Catering cooks up tasty, well-seasoned barbecue. In over 40 years and four generations of grilling, the operation has picked up a few tricks of the trade, including its secret signature barbecue rub, for sale at the location on Wilson Avenue. Between the mouthwatering tri-tip sandwich with soft, fatty meat (this ain't the cheap stuff) bathed in rich barbecue sauce by request, and a mean pulled-pork sandwich, CC is a safe bet for smoky goodness. The best bang for the buck is during the summertime Party on the Patio series (Fridays, starting June 7). An opportunity to mow down all you can eat of "Bend's Best" (trademarked) barbecue for only $10.95. (Bri Brey)
900 SE Wilson Unit B, 541-383-5014, bendcatering.com.
Open Tue-Fri 6:30 am-6 pm, Sat 9 am-4 pm.
Slick's Que Co.
Roy Slicker knows his barbecue. The owner and pitmaster of Slick's Que Co., located on Third Street and Revere Avenue, also happens to be the president of the National Barbecue Association. As such, Slicker knows that good barbecue takes time—up to 18 hours on Slick's voluminous outdoor grill. He also knows barbecue is best washed down with beer, which is why he offers a number of local choices, as well as wine and soda. What meats to order? The pulled-pork anything (nachos, sandwich, plate), brisket sandwich, burnt ends (the best—lightly charred bits of juicy brisket) are all deliciously sweet and smoky and modestly priced. The cole slaw, baked beans and potato salad operate as adequate sides but are hardly the makings of a repeat customer. That's what the burnt ends and pulled pork are for. See you soon, Roy. (James Williams)
212 NE Revere, 541-647-2114, slicksqueco.com.
Open Tues-Sat 11 am-8 pm (or until sold out).
With a hint of Tex-Mex and an overwhelming sports bar ambiance, Wubba's is a family-friendly barbecue restaurant. Ranging from the familiar and traditional to the unique (a Bleu Berry salad that crumbles blue cheeses and seasonal berries on top), the food is approachable. Not too sweet, not eye-watering spicy, the lunch sandwiches swim in Wubba's signature sauce; the Wet Wubba adds a twist, with crispy deep-fried onion sticks included in the mix. Dinner selections include family-style dinners: For $42.99, a collection of ribs, pulled pork and sides to feed six very hungry ranch hands.
63055 Layton Ave., Bend, 541-213-2121 SW