Authentic smoked 'Que is tough to come by in these parts. Sure there are a splattering of chains in the area that proclaim to have true smoked BBQ, but do you really believe chain restaurant and authentic BBQ belong in the same sentence? I must admit I am a BBQ connoisseur. I have studied the art of smoking meats low & slow for many years, and have had the pleasure of trying various types of BBQ throughout the world. For those wondering, my favorite comes from Kansas City, Missouri and Memphis, Tennessee.
On a recent visit when walking into Suzy-Q's on Niagara Street in the Riverside area of the city, you can't help but notice the smell of that savory smoke that permeates the building. It's like a tease on the senses as you decide what to order. The building has that charm that makes locals coming back for more, and out-of-towners wondering what they’re about to get into. The dining room is cozy with a combination of booths and tables. Your eyes will notice the sign that states "Not Fine Dining...Just Fine Bar-B-Que," and that's the truth, but isn't BBQ better served on paper plates with no bells and whistles? When you're true to what you do well, aesthetics don't matter.
Enough about the minor details, and on to what matters- the food! Suzy-Q’s has a simple straightforward menu with your expected BBQ staples, as well as several unique items with a BBQ theme. Piglets are mini open-faced chopped pork sandwiches topped with BBQ sauce and shredded cheese, baked golden brown, and great as an appetizer. The Piggy Pie is a mountain of food 5 layers high. Fries, baked beans, pulled pork, homemade salsa, and shredded cheese blend together perfectly to please your palate. BBQ'd Spaghetti gives diners a chance to choose between pulled pork or polish sausage, smothered in BBQ sauce and Smokehouse Salsa, then topped with shredded cheese and baked to a golden brown. My favorite, The Heavenly Hog is their version of a BBQ pot pie complete with potatoes, fried corn, baked beans, pulled pork, and corn bread, topped with cheese, BBQ sauce, salsa, hot or mild peppers, and baked until it is bubbly.
My dinner was BBQ heaven. I had a combo platter with wonderfully smoked polish sausage, and true smoked ribs with that pink smoke ring that let's you know they were on the pit for hours. The meat on the ribs was fall off the bone tender, but with just enough tension where you could appreciate putting a little work in. The corn bread that accompanied my meal was sweet and savory with a golden crunchy top. I also had the baked beans and fried corn which reminded me of something my grandma would make, (that's a good thing). The companion had the beef brisket, possibly the most difficult meat to smoke, which was juicy and sliced perfectly to melt in your mouth. Make sure you head to Suzy-Q's Bar-B-Que Shack for quite possibly the best authentic smoked southern Bar-B-Que in the region.