America's Best Barbecue

by Jane and Michael Stern

OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY

West of Louisville, Kentucky, mutton is king of the pit: rich and smoky with big flavor that isn't pepper-sharp but still hits you with a prizefighter's wallop. The Moonlite Bar-B-Q's huge, garrulous buffet—at which customers stand and admire the 'cue out loud, nearly clapping when new trays are brought forth from the kitchen—offers mutton chopped, sliced, and as ribs. It's also a primary ingredient in the locally loved stew known as burgoo. Served in all the local barbecue parlors, burgoo is fork-thick, loaded with vegetables, and anchored by the holy smoke-pit trinity of pork, chicken, and mutton. It's also got the eye-widening spice quotient of a Creole gumbo. You might find tasty barbecue mutton in other places (try Kansas City), but nowhere outside of western Kentucky can you experience the surprising pleasure of burgoo.

Moonlite Bar-B-Q
Tel: 270 684 8143

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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