Curtis' BarBQ in Putney, VT

This is more a fond recommendation than a review. I don't feel qualified to properly critique Curtis' BarBQ because 1. I'm from the Northeast and pretty much ignorant about barbecue, and 2. I don't like ribs! Yes, I'm one of those (lazy) people who thinks that ribs are just bones and grease, and if there is meat on there, it's too much work to find it. But I do love Curtis' BarBQ in Putney, Vermont. Just take exit 4 off I-91 North in Vermont, take a left off the ramp, and Curtis' will be on the right after you go over the highway. Most of the times I've been there, Curtis himself is at the pit grilling, and his pet pig is in there too just hanging out.

Chickens on the grill. Slabs of ribs are on another (lower) grill behind.

Here's the awesome sink setup back behind the grill pit where you can wash up before, and especially after, eating your barbecue. Note the giant roll of paper towels. And the water runs hot!

Here's where you order and pick up--from 2 windows in a blue school bus. You can get ribs in different sizes, cuts of chicken, combos, and all sorts of fixins and sides like yams, baked beans and corn. They also produce their own sodas.

My dining companion loves the ribs--here's a small order (far right). For a rib skeptic, it looks pretty meaty! We shared a large order of coleslaw (my own recipe coming soon!). The baked potato (top middle) and the chicken (lower left) are my personal faves. My baked potato has sour cream, but you can also get one stuffed with chicken or with pork.

Once you pick up your order and a swack of napkins, find a picnic table either under a roof or out on the lawn and dig in to your barbecue. It's a great place to just hang out after eating--there's a volleyball net in the back; there's a huge pile of sand with toys for kids, plus a swingset. Also, when Curtis saw a small child looking at his pet pig CJ, he kindly gave her a piece of apple to feed the pig through the fence. (I noticed he has the radio on while he works, and Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence" was playing while I washed my hands--cool.) This is a very family friendly place. Judging by the number of motorcycles usually in the lot, it's a traveler- and biker-friendly place too. We usually get up to Curtis' 2-3 times a year and it's always a treat. Check out "the 9th wonder of the world" if you're ever near Putney!

You can catch a nice slideshow and interview with Curtis at the BBQ Pilgrim site (scroll down to the "Tuff Love" entry and click). Curtis is now expanding with a restaurant in Chester, VT as well. And he'll bring his pit to you if you ever want them to cater a wedding or big event that requires great barbecue.

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