A New Barbecue Joint In Madisonville Is Worth the Wait

You’ll want to get to Bee’s Barbecue in Madisonville early if you want to avoid the line of friendly regulars.

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

Bee’s Barbecue, a small barbecue shack tucked away on a Madisonville side street, would be easy to miss if it weren’t for the long line outside. Although the place just opened this spring, the laid-back, friendly line of customers is mostly made up of regulars. It’s easy to see why they keep coming back.

The smoker at Bee’s churns out a variety of meats, including brisket, pulled pork, ribs, turkey breast, and two kinds of sausage. When I finally reached the small takeout counter, I ordered the two meat/two side platter of several strips of brisket, the Cincinnati Hot Link, coleslaw, and shells and cheese. The brisket—the best in the city, in my humble opinion—is a fatty, buttery cut of meat that the crunchy, peppery bark perfectly complements. If you enjoy the spicy grease that oozes out of a good chorizo, you’ll love the Cincinnati Hot Link, which tastes like the delicious love child of a chorizo and a hot mett. The side dishes were well executed, too. The shells and cheese had a rich, creamy four-cheese blend that added a gourmet touch to barbecue joint mac and cheese, while the coleslaw was wet without being oversaturated—a rare feat when it comes to mayonnaise-based coleslaws.

Word to the wise: Try to get there early. Bee’s opens at 11 a.m. and closes when they run out of meat. Understandably, this doesn’t take long.

Bee’s Barbecue, 5910 Chandler St., Madisonville, (513) 561-2337

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