Photograph by Ryan Kurtz
Velvet Smoke’s unassuming Findlay Market stand belies its propensity for big-ass flavor, but their Kansas City Barbeque Society trophy will quickly clue you in. Matt Schneider and Marc Stitt’s brisket took second place as a backyard entry in the Madison (Indiana) Ribberfest in 2009. “It was the worst thing that could have happened. We were totally hooked,” says Schneider. Order the brisket, pulled pork, turkey, or pastrami (plus ribs and rib tips Friday through Sunday) as a sandwich or a plate, then pile on the slaw. Don’t skimp on the rest of the sides, like regular, cheddar, and jalapeño corn muffins; three-cheese-and-mac; and some of the best baked beans you’ll find in these parts. Their Kansas City–style burnt ends—the super-spiced, smoked top deckle of the brisket—are addictive.
1801 Race St., Findlay Market, Over-the Rhine, (513) 421-4726, velvetsmokebbq.com