McClure's is one of the best in the city for BBQ, maybe THE Best.
by Napoleon on 3/1/12
For lunch today I decided to try McClure's BBQ, having heard of it, but rarely able to make its 1:30 closing time. (They are only open M-F 11:30-1:30 & Tuesday nights)
Well I'm glad I finally tried it, and with the chef's attention to detail and well crafted recipes it has to be at the top of local BBQ.
The down side was they were out of brisket, and I bought the last four ribs that he had. Me and my employee got there for 1:10, and were the second to last table to sit. Dante's kitchen itself is a small restaurant, and McClure's doesn't even use the whole building (maybe they do, it was slow when I went) but it still makes a nice lunch spot.
You place your order at the hostess stand. You then go to the bar and grab whatever you want to drink; Soda, Beer, Tea, etc. On the bar I happened to notice the sauce menu. I have seriously never seen this amount of BBQ sauce at one restaurant before.
It was all very good. First of all the beans. I have said before that the beans at a BBQ are like a litmus test to me. If a place has good beans, then I have a more positive outlook on the rest of the meal. If they have bad beans then I figure the food probably won't be that good. Well McClure's beans are easily the best. Forget The Joint, Smoking Buddha(RIP), Hillbilly, Saucy's and Squeal. McClure's is on to something here. I think its almost more pulled pork than beans as there is a substantial amount of meat in those beans. I talked to Neil afterward (The Chef) and he told me that for the longest he used canned beans and just fixed them up, and he said this is the norm for BBQ places. He went on to say that he does them from scratch now, and figures he has "gotten it down now". I say he has.
The cornbread was good too, but the meat is what I came for.
The pork was really good, I'm not sure if it topped the seasoning of the Squeal pork I had Saturday, but it was really good. Though I didn't even think to try a bite "dry" as I wanted to taste all seven sauces.
I wanted the brisket, and settled for the pulled pork, it was still very good (easily top three or four) and I enjoyed it none the less.
The ribs were spare ribs, and I prefer baby backs, but these were some damn good ribs. Meat pulls off the bone, but is not too soft. New Orleans east sauce on the ribs makes for a great Thai Rib, pour some Kc City sauce on the rib and you can imaging you are at a Missouri smokehouse with the sweet tangy BBQ. The options you get with the sauces really enhance the flavors, as you get a great canvas to start from, and can mix and match flavors to attain exactly what you want.
The Alabama Sauce and South Carolina sauces, which look very strange went well with the chicken. I also likes the bite I had of the Mac and Cheese.
Then as they were closing up, the chef brough us out some potato salad and Coleslaw "just so we could sample it as well".
Now the potato salad was good, but it and the coleslaw contained no mayonnaise (or very little) and were both creole mustard based. I really liked the Coleslaw, and preferred it to regular coleslaw with mayonnaise. The potato salad while I did think it was good, I don't like it as much when its very large cold chunks like that. Though the flavors used were very good.
Overall I was pleased, Lunch for two with sodas came to $24 (pre-tip) which is pretty good for BBQ.
I surely hope to see McClure's as a set location, I think he has what it takes. As BBQ is so varied its hard for me to name a definite number one (some have better pork, ribs, brisket, etc) but this place is up there, really worth checking out.
It's located at 736 Dante, right near the levee by the end of Maple St.