Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Rural Adventures (Part 3) U.S. 60 and barbecue

In Part 1, my dad and I went through the boonies of Western KY. We travelled home via US 60 and highway 641. If the Pixar movie Cars made you nostalgic for roads like Route 66, then U.S. 60 is your kind of road. It stretches from Virginia to Arizona. I had never been on US 60 west of Henderson, so that was fun.

On the backroads of KY you notice one thing: Every small town has a barbecue restaurant. There's usually a pig on the sign, and they often only sell pork. Most people outside Kentucky don't realize that Western Kentucky takes barbecue very seriously and considers itself a world capital.

Now, Texas had these kind of places too, but it wasn't quite the same. Most of the good ones were a counter where you told them how much beef you wanted, and they handed you a sheet of butcher paper. (Good, but Joni and I would trade most of the barbecue in Texas just for Sonny's in the rest of the south as far as taste, price, and selection).

Some small towns may only have like 500 people, but they have 2 barbecue joints on the highway. The only real difference in the products is the sauce. And the food is cheap.

We stopped in Marion and ate at Marion Pit barbecue. Marion is a quaint town that has a couple cafes, a bakery, and a couple barbecue joints. Pretty good stuff, we enjoyed the sauce and took a bottle home.

So, next time you're driving through western Kentucky, get off the parkway or interstate and follow a state road to whatever small town is on your map. There you'll find a barbecue joint that only the locals know about but that may serve the best pork barbecue you've ever tasted.

No comments: