North of the Mason-Dixon line, “barbecue” tends to be used as a verb, maybe an adjective. But in the South, it’s all noun. Think pulled pork (not cooked in sauce) on an industrial, white-flour bun, ideally garnished with cole slaw and a healthy squirt of sauce. Just Q’in wrestles with this grammatical-meets-culinary conundrum in a small shack tucked away in sleepy Newtown, where they serve up seriously substantial St. Louis-style ribs (trimmed pork spare ribs often referred to as rib tips), smoked half chickens, and juicy-yet-well-crusted Texas brisket. You’ll find the usual suspects (coleslaw and mac-and-cheese) in the sides department, along with a few outliers worth investigating: BBQ green beans lightly tossed with house sauce and brisket bits, molasses-rich smoked baked beans, and plenty of jalapeño-heavy corn bread. Never underestimate meat smoked out back—that’s part of the authenticity. Still need convincing? In Memphis, the history of a barbecue joint isn’t measured by years in business, but by the number of kitchen fires. Fortunately, owner Matt Cuff is a former aerospace engineer, which means his shack is undoubtedly built to last. The combos at Just Q’in are designed to feed 4–16 people—for larger orders a pre-order is preferred—and are great for game day parties, staff lunch buffets (slip a menu under HR’s door), and always a runaway winner at any potluck where you need to one-up the neighbors.
Just Q’in, 6901 Valley Ave., Newtown, (513) 271-6555. $8–$12. Lunch and dinner Tues–Sat.