The Sugarhouse Barbecue Company in Salt Lake City is a barbecue oasis in the desert.   As a roadfood fan who has traveled America in search of good barbecue, it turns out that the SBC in SLC has won the award for best barbecue in the area for eight years running.  They should compete on the national level.

Two short blocks of Interstate 80 at exit 125, the SBC runs counter to the common experience that the more decrepit the operation looks, the better the barbecue potential.  A bright, airy, clean place with a big patio in back and a friendly, committed staff, the SBC has a great menu, wonderful music playing, and an eclectic and cerebral selection of reading material you can start on in the brief time before the food you ordered at the counter is brought to your table.

Their ribs are great.  Seasoned and smoked exquisitely, they leave you with the dilemma of eating them dry, to savor the genius of the pitmaster, or putting on one of the wonderful sauces at your table.  The house sauce is a sweet southern sauce that was also good on their pulled pork and brisket. They also have BBQ chicken, baby backs, Jambalya, wings, rib ends, turkey and jerked chicken.  Their selection of sides is traditional, but their spicy Greek oven roasted potatoes are particularly savory.

Of particular note is the smoked beef jerky they make themselves.  For skiers, a pack of their jerky is so vastly superior to the burgers you might purchase at a ski area, and cheaper.  However, the jerky is not merely a meal of expediency.  It is a richly spiced reminder of the BBQ that you can take home on the plane with you.  It may cause some issues for any canines used by the TSA, but that’s an issue they’ll have to work out for themselves.

The website for Sugarhouse is at sugarhousebbq.com.  Ironically, it was founded in 1996 as Redbones, but they changed their name because the name was federally registered with a barbecue in the Boston area which doesn’t begin to compare to the SBC.