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WILSON COUNTY'S BBQ TRAIL

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Bar-b-Cutie’s Matt Anderson perfects the day’s smoke of ribs and pork butt.
Bar-b-Cutie One of the restaurant’s most requested plates. It’s smokey baked beans, louded ter and plulled pork, of course with a choice of sauce.
Big Al’s BBQ veteran pit master Tim Rievley has six Boston pork butts ready to cook low and slow on his smoker. KEN BECK / The Wilson Post
Big Al’s BBQ features pulled pork, briskets, potato salad, cole slaw, white beans and baked beans on its hit list.
Big Bad Wolf owner Jim LaClaire carving their sought after prime rib.
Big Bad Wolf’s delectable hickory smoked prime rib with bacon topped gratin potatoes and mac and cheese
Houston’s Chris Houston proudly displays a magnificent rack of ribs he’s famous for smoking.
Around lunchtime Houston’s is packed with people who buy their plate lunches. Pulled pork is their most coveted.
Whitt's BBQ He learned it from his dad, Greg…here they are roasting pork for their customers who line up to get the goods.
Whitt's BBQ Homemade coleslaw, smoked pork, corn bread and secret sauce beans.
At 7 a.m. on a weekday morning, Tom’s Blue Moon Bar-B-Que owner Todd Beaird hauls out 16 pork butts, eight briskets and a chicken that have been cooking overnight in an Ole Hickory smoker fueled by hickory wood. KEN BECK / The Wilson Post
The two-meat combo plate at Tom’s Blue Moon Bar-B-Que features brisket and chicken, broccoli casserole, baked beans, cornbread and banana pudding.
The Tobacco Shoppe’s James Hawkins hoists a slab of spare ribs over his hickory-fueled grill. KEN BECK / The Wilson Post
Among the big hits at the Tobacco Shoppe are the BBQ loaded tater, a pound of beef briskets and the rib sandwich.
Nykkolo Mariana, manager of the Lebanon Stroud’s Barbeque, takes 40 pork butts (350-400 pounds of BBQ) off the smoker. KEN BECK / The Wilson Post
Stroud’s Barbeque Plate offers pork BBQ, baked beans, potato salad and a cornbread muffin.
Billy Wyatt takes out about 275 pounds of pork butts from his vintage smoker two to three days a week to feed BBQ devotees at his Lebanon icon, the Snow White Drive-In. KEN BECK / The Wilson Post
The Snow White Drive-In’s two top BBQ sellers are its BBQ plate and BBQ cornbread meal.
Whole hog smoking on the grill at Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint
Martin’s stick to your ribs, ribs with a side of mac and cheese and slaw Photos courtesy Caroline Allison
Pork ribs along with sautéed brussel sprouts and sweet potato cole slaw are the star attractions of a BBQ feast served by Mo'Cara and its sister company Two Fat Men Catering.
Ed Riley, owner and top chef at Mo'Cara and Two Fat Men Catering, prepares to take 38 pork butts out of his Southern Pride cooker, which is fueled by hickory and gas. KEN BECK / The Wilson Post

Whether you spell it Barbeque, Barbecue, Bar-B-Q, BBQ or any variation of them all, it's all in the cooking as in low and slow. That stands for low heat and slow cooking.

As for choice of meat, well, that's a matter of taste, and we'll not turn down any of the Big Three--pork, beef or chicken.

Wilson Post chow hounds decided to take readers on a quick tour of the BBQ places in the county just in time for the Fourth of July. We're not rating any of these places cause we could never agree on which has the most flavorful meaty morsels (heck, we can't even decide how to spell it), but simply offering a guide to where the BBQ abounds, and what each restaurant, café or BBQ joint considers its top BBQ stars, plus a few basic details.

So consider hitting the highway and checking out the dozen or so places we found along the Wilson County BBQ Trail. And please note that many of these pit masters, grill and smoker cooks put their meats over the heat late at night and rise early in the morning (that means the meats cook for 12 hours as in slowww) so that hungry hombres can chow down on BBQ for lunch or supper--and not to say that BBQ can't be chomped for breakfast as well.

Hit the trail in Lebanon

The Tobacco Shoppe

Tom's Blue Moon Bar-B-Que

Mo'Cara/Two Fat Men Catering

Stroud's Barbeque

Snow White Drive-In

Big Al's BBQ

Hoite's BBQ

Head lickity-split to Mt. Juliet

Martin's

Bar-B-Cutie Smokehouse

Big Bad Wolf

Houston's

Bar-b-Cutie

Owners: Jim and Sherri Anderson

Address: 2037 North Mt. Juliet Road, Mt. Juliet

Hours: 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday - Sunday

Phone: (615) 773-5995

Web: www.bar-b-cutie.com

Prices of three top-selling BBQ items: BBQ pulled pork sandwich, 1 side and drink $5.99 Monday thru Wednesday; beef brisket sandwich one side and drink $7.99;

What year open at this location: 2013

Open July 4th? Yes, 7 a.m. - 9 p.m.

You cook from a pit or on a grill? We cook on two 500 lb. Southern Pride pits

What type of fuel: local hickory wood

Do you offer pork and beef bbq? We offer hickory smoked pork, beef brisket, chicken, turkey, sausage, baby back ribs and wings

What is your best bbq dish? pulled pork is the top seller, second is beef brisket

Three best sides: turnip greens, mac and cheese and fried okra

Sit in or take out only? Full dining room, take out and order on line

Live music: No

Big Al's BBQ

Owner: Tim Rievley

Address: 5835 Highway 109 N., Lebanon

Hours: 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday

Phone: (615) 470-8111

Prices on top-selling BBQ items: Pulled pork plate with two sides, $8.95; brisket plate, $11.95; half rack of ribs plate, $11.95.

What year open at this location? 2016 but been making BBQ over 30 years

Open on July 4th? Yes, 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

You cook from a pit or on a grill? A cooker

What type of fuel used to cook BBQ? Hickory

Do you offer pork and beef BBQ or just one meat? Pork, beef and chicken

What is your best BBQ dish? Pulled pork plate

What is second best BBQ item? Briskets

Three best sides you serve? Homemade potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans

Sit-in or take-out only? Both

Big Bad Wolf

Owners: Jim and Victoria LeClaire

Address: 189 North Mt. Juliet Road

Hours: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday Closed Sunday and Monday

Phone: (615) 773-2258

Prices of three-top selling BBQ items: Hickory smoked beef brisket $9.95 per pound, full slab of baby back ribs $20.50, smoked turkey breast $7.95 per pound

What year open at this location: 2005

Open July 4th? No

You cook from a pit or on a grill or? smoker grill

What type of fuel? hickory, gas, electric heat, Wilson County Hickory Wood

Do you offer pork and beef BBQ? beef, pork, chicken, turkey

What is your best BBQ dish? sandwich, briskets, ribs, beef brisket

Three best sides: fresh cut fruit and berries, broccoli sunshine salad, mac and cheese

Sit in or take-out only? take out and dine in

Live music? no, but sometimes you can catch our employees singing!

Houstons

Owner: Sharon Houston

Address: 3939 North Mt. Juliet Road

Hours: Monday thru Saturday 9 a.m. - 7 p.m., Sunday noon - 6 p.m.

Phone: (615) 758-7226

Prices of top-selling BBQ items: smoked ribs and Houston's BBQ plus sides $6.95 on Fridays. Smoked tenderloin and chicken plus sides $5.75 on Wednesdays

What year opened at this location? 2003

Open July 4th? No

You cook from a pit or on a grill? Cook on a rotisserie smoker oven

What type of fuel? Electric Heat and hickory smoke

Do you offer pork and beef BBQ? Yes

What is your best BBQ dish? smoked St. Louis style pork ribs

Three best sides: homemade potato salad, white beans (certain days)

Sit in or take-out only? Limited seating, mostly carryout.

Live music? No

Whitt's BBQ

Owners: Jim Landers and Greg Landers

Address: 401 South Cumberland, Lebanon;

1767 North Mt. Juliet Road, Mt. Juliet

Hours: Both locations Monday - Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Phone: Mt. Juliet (615)758-7451, Lebanon (615) 443-1919

Prices of three top-selling BBQ items: Wednesday pork sandwich $2.25

After 4 p.m. pork family pack $13.49

Full slab St. Louis style ribs $18.50

What year open at this location: Lebanon opened 2000

Mt. Juliet opened 2007

Open July 4th? Yes. Both locations from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

You cook from a pit or on a grill? electric rotisserie smoker

What type of fuel? hickory, gas, electric heat

Do you offer pork and beef BB? Shredded pork, turkey, beef, half and whole chickens, ribs,

hot wings on Fridays and Saturdays

What is your best BBQ dish? barbecue baked potatoes

Three best sides: homemade vinegar coleslaw, homemade baked beans, homemade green beans and more

Sit in or take-out only? Lebanon- dine in and drive thru

Mt. Juliet- carry out and drive thru only

Live music? no

Tom's Blue Moon Bar-B-Que

Owner: Todd Beaird

Address: 711 Park Ave., Lebanon

Hours: 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday

Phone: (615) 444-7920

Website and/or Facebook page: bluemoonbbqlebanon.com, facebook.com/bluemoonbbqlebanon

Prices on top-selling BBQ items: brisket plate with two sides and bread, $10.99; chicken plate, $9.99; pulled pork plate, $8.99

What year open at this location: 2011

Open on July 4th: Yes, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

You cook from a pit or on a grill? Large rotisserie smoker

What type of fuel used to cook BBQ? Hickory

Do you offer pork and beef BBQ? Both, plus chicken

What is your best BBQ dish? Brisket

Three best sides? Homemade mac and cheese, BBQ baked beans, potato salad

Sit-in or take-out? Both, can seat around 100

Any live music? Yes, 6-8 p.m. Saturdays

The Tobacco Shoppe

Owners: James and Terry Hawkins

Address: 803 E. Baddour Parkway, Lebanon

Hours: 5 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; briskets and ribs only sold on Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Phone: (615) 449-2982

Prices on top-selling BBQ items: BBQ sandwich, $3.09; brisket sandwich, $3.99; rib sandwich, $4.99

What year open at this location: 2001

Open July 4th? Yes, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.

You cook from a pit or on a grill? Grill

What type of fuel? Hickory wood

Do you offer pork and beef BBQ? Both

What is your best BBQ dish? Toss-up between pulled pork and brisket

Stroud's Barbeque (also locations in Franklin and Cookeville)

Owner: Sean Stroud

Address: 1400 Baddour Pkwy., Lebanon
Hours: 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday

Phone: (615) 444-6695
Web site: stroudsbarbeque.com, facebook.com/Strouds-Barbeque-71533043814/

Prices on top-selling BBQ items: Value pack (feeds four), $14.99; BBQ Nacho, $8.49;
BBQ pork or chicken sandwich, $4.99
What year open at this location? 1994

Open on July 4th? Yes, 7 a.m.-4 p.m.

You cook from a pit or on a grill? Pit/smoker

What type of fuel used to cook BBQ? Electronic heating, hickory smoke

Do you offer pork and beef BBQ? Pork, chicken and ribs

What is your best BBQ dish? BBQ nachos

What is second best BBQ item? BBQ potato

Three best sides you serve? Baked beans, cole slaw, mac 'n' Cheese
Sit-in or take-out? Both

Snow White Drive-In

Owner: Billy Wyatt

Address: 1714 West Main St., Lebanon

Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday

Phone: (615) 443-4299

Web site: facebook.com/Snow-White-Drive-In-114850595217562/

Prices on top-selling BBQ items: Barbecue plate: $6.50; barbecue on cornbread, $4.50

What year open at this location? Been making BBQ here for about 20 years

Open July 4th? No

You cook from a pit or on a grill? Smoker

What type of fuel used to cook BBQ? Hickory and pecan

Do you offer pork and beef BBQ or just one meat? Pork only

What is your best BBQ dish? BBQ on cornbread

What is second best BBQ item? BBQ plate

Three best sides you serve? Cole slaw, French fries, baked beans

Sit-in or take-out? Both

Live music? No, but holds classic car cruise-in on Friday nights

Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint

Owner: Pat Martin

Address: 200 Crossings Lane, Suite 500, Mt. Juliet

Hours: Monday - Sunday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Phone: (615) 686-2066

Web: martinsbbqjoint.com

Prices of three top-selling BBQ items: BBQ sandwich $6; pulled pork BBQ plate with two sides $13; and ribs & 'que combo with two sides & Texas toast $17.50.

What year open at this location: 2013

Open July 4th? yes

You cook from a pit or on a grill? A pit - a whole hog goes on the pit everyday

What type of fuel? hickory

Do you offer pork and beef BBQ? Pork - whole hog bar-b-que is the cornerstone of Martin's, but we also offer beef brisket.

What is your best BBQ dish? Pat Martin says: "Our best item is our whole hog pork sandwich topped with slaw. Each whole hog is cooked for 22 to 24 hours and it brings a flavor that's so unique."

Three best sides: Pinto beans, baked beans and potato salad

Sit in or take-out only? Take out and dine in

Live music? no

Mo'Cara, Two Fat Men Catering

Owner: Ed Riley

Address: 1331 West Main St., Lebanon

Hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 5-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 5-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday

Phone: (615) 449-2088

Web site: twofatmencatering.com, mocarasouth.com

Prices on top-selling BBQ items: St. Louis cut pork ribs, $24, Bar-B-Que Sampler (BBQ chicken, brisket and ribs), $30

What year open at this location? 2001

Open on July 4th? Yes, 9 a.m. till sold out

You cook from a pit or on a grill? Southern Pride cooker

What type of fuel used to cook BBQ? Hickory, cherry and gas

Do you offer pork and beef BBQ? Pork, beef and salmon

What is your best BBQ dish? Ribs

What is second best BBQ item? Smoked pork butts

Three best sides you serve? Sauteed Brussel sprouts, sweet potato cole slaw, black-eyed peas

Sit-in or take-out only? Sit-in

Any live music? Yes, Friday and Saturday nights

Hoite's BBQ

Photos not available

Owner: David Wilhoite

Address: 145 Highway 109 North, Lebanon (a little red trailer at 109 exit beside Thornton's)

Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday, 1-7 p.m. Tuesday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday, 1-7 p.m. Thursday and Friday

Phone: (615) 934-1557

Web site: hoitesbbq.com

What year open at this location? 2015

Sit-in or take-out only? Take-out or sit beneath tent

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