Happy Happy Monday my loves! How are you on this beautiful, sunny Monday? I’m okay. I’m feeling a bit like I’m getting sick… which is NOT okay. But my throat hurts and I’m just not feeling quite right. I’m DOWNING Emergen-C like it’s my dang job and curling up on the couch and not moving until bed time.
But enough about being sick! I’m here to talk about one of my favorite things in this whole entire world… BBQ!
I love me some BBQ. Ribs, pulled pork, chicken, brisket… if it’s smothered in BBQ sauce, chances are, I’m going to order it. And while there are tons of restaurants with pretty good BBQ in Michigan literally nothing compares to the BBQ you get in Texas.
Central Texas is home to the greatest BBQ in the world. You will never get a brisket anywhere else that is as smoky, delicious and fresh as what you find in the heart of The Lonestar state. However, when you’re 1,403 miles away from the smoky, melt in your mouth goodness you so crave (and trust me… eat BBQ in Texas just once and you’ll crave it forever)… you have to start looking for substitutes.
And that my friends, is where The Q Smokehouse comes in.
The second I got back from Texas, I’ve been on the hunt for a BBQ joint that would satisfy my cravings, but every place we tried came up just a little bit short. While the food at all the restaurants was great, it was still lacking that signature Texas flair. Just when I was about to give up on finding a piece of Texas at home, my dad suggested we head into Ludington for lunch one day.
Nestled on the side streets of a sleepy lakeside town, I found what I was looking for. In the Summertime, when Ludington is full of tourists, they’ll sell out faster than you can say “I’ll have the brisket please.” Even when it’s just the locals, the meat is usually gone before 2 pm. (The sure sign of a good BBQ joint.)
So, my parents and I hopped in the car and arrived 5 minutes before they opened… on a random Wednesday in March. And it’s a good thing we did! There were already people starting to line up.
I walked in and instantly LOVED this place. I mean… how cute is the decor?! The wood pallets, the smoky smell, the cafeteria style counter and the friendly greetings instantly brought me back to Central Texas. I was SOLD.
We walked up to the counter and chose our meats first. They offer chicken, ribs, brisket and chopped pork straight from the smoker. (They also sell little mini sliders if you’re not into giant chunks of meat on your plate.) However, instead of ordering just one thing, we chose the combo meal. For $30ish, we ordered the 4×4. We got a ½ chicken, ½ pound of pork, ⅓ pound of brisket, ⅓ slab of ribs, 4 small sides, pickled condiments and white bread. Y’all. This feeds 4 people. How great of a deal is that?!
We picked this specific combo meal because we wanted to try as much as we possibly could. Knowing what everything tastes like now, I’d choose one of the smaller combo meals (around $10) next time, because I know what my favorites were. (Don’t worry… I’ll tell you later!)
After ordering our food, we ordered our drinks (Southern Sweet Tea, fresh lemonade, or Michigan made sodas) grabbed our food and headed to our table. Then, we wandered over to the sauce counter.
There are 3 different sauces on the Sauce Counter. Their signature “Q Sauce”, and Carolina Sauce and a Featured Sauce that you can choose from. When we were there, The Q’s Red Hot was the featured sauce and it was HANDS DOWN my favorite.
Then… it was the moment of truth. Would this BBQ satisfy my ever growing cravings? It sure did.
Another thing I love about this place? They donate ALL of their tips. Literally ALL of them, to local charities. A different charity is featured each month, and they’ve donated thousands of dollars to each and every one of them. How amazing is that?!
Now onto the fun part… let’s break down the menu!
The best thing on it, IMO, is the brisket. You guys. It’s melt in your mouth delicious. And with their Red Hot Sauce on it… ugh. Utter perfection.
However, their brisket sells out quick. So my second recommendation? (So not Texas-y at all. But seriously awesome…) The smoked chicken with the Carolina Sauce. If you’re a fan of the Hot Mustard dipping sauce at McD’s (my personal favorite) you will love this sauce and this combo! This one was my dad’s favorite!
And my mom? She loved the ribs with the signature sauce. For me, their tomato based Q sauce was just okay. I personally like a little bit of kick in my sauce. But, for someone who likes their sauce a little more mild, but not sweet (like a honey bbq) you’ll love this!
Choosing between the sides was the easiest part for us. In my family, if you see Shells n Cheese and Baked Beans as options, literally nothing else matters. HA We ended up with two Shells n Cheese, Baked Beans and a Coleslaw. Other options? Potato Salad, Collard Greens, Apple Sauce or featured Veggies.
But the real star of the sides? The freakin’ cornbread. I love cornbread in general, but I especially love it when it’s just a little bit sweet. The Q’s cornbread is cooked to perfection in a cast iron skilled, and served to you in a wedge. And it’s is seriously SO.FREAKIN’.GOOD.
They offer tons of desserts too. But let’s be honest… I came for the BBQ not the sweets. So I had zero room in my belly by the time I finished my meal.
You guys… Q’s Smokehouse in Ludington is the real deal. I can promise you… you’ll be hard pressed to find a better BBQ in the entire state. (Yup. That’s right. I prefer is over Slows…) The staff is friendly, the food is amazing, and the price? It’s honestly a steal. Check out the entire menu here!
So what are you waiting for? Add Ludington to your Summer Bucket List, and get your butt to The Q. You won’t regret it.
Is anyone else hungry now? I’m off to go take some more medicine, and try to sleep this sickness away. Enjoy the rest of you Monday!