Taos, New Mexico, was not exactly the place I expected to have the best barbecue I've tried in years, but life is full of surprises. When I first drove past Jeff's Joint BBQ, I thought it looked promising somehow, and my instincts proved to be correct: this is the best BBQ I've had since Clark's Outpost in Tioga, TX (it was North Carolina before that).
The busy pitmaster (Jeff, presumably, although I did not have a chance to ask) wandered by the counter once or twice, and my inquiry as to the house specialty yielded the answer, "Ribs". Thanks. There are 4 kinds here: spare ribs, baby back, beef ribs, and short ribs. Naturally, I wanted to try all of them, and herein lies the biggest problem with going places solo as I so often end up doing. The intensely sweet but scattered woman behind the cash register was more of a hindrance than help with ordering, but in the end, I settled on a half rack of spare ribs over the baby back, plus half-pound orders each of beef ribs, short ribs, and sausage (to go--even I can't eat all that in one sitting).
It was all fantastic. This guy really knows what he's doing. The ribs all benefited from a nice dry rub, then were barbecued/smoked by an expert. The meat comes out so juicy and tasty that it hardly needs the tangy, not-too-sweet, house barbecue sauce served on the side, but is enhanced by it beautifully.
My big regret: not being able to try to the Saturday-only special, Stephane's grilled and sliced whole top sirloin. Maybe next time.
Closed Mondays, and be sure to get there before 9:00 p.m.
Jeff's Joint BBQ
1014 Paseo del Pueblo Sur
Taos, NM 87571