In a Tight Race Cole's Wins the Big Barbecue Contest

The spot near the beach got the most votes, but there are some close contenders.

If you are queueing up for 'cue, the place to go is on Portola Drive according to Patch readers.

It's this joint was picked as best place to meet for meat. Cole's got 33 votes, just ahead of and, both of which had 26 votes.

More than wine or ice cream, barbecue generates the heat when it comes to controversy. Texans hate Kansas City style. New Yorkers think nothing West can be best. Californians, well, some of them confuse barbecue with McDonald's, but we won't generalize here.

We do have some experts, such as John Berwald, who brings great Texas style to the 30 Armadillo Willy's around the area (please come back to the Cruz, John).

Here's his analysis of the barbecue question:

"When you mention Texas and KC Barbecue AND "fall-off-the-bone" and 'fat-less' you are talking about two different things completely. Real Texas, KC, or Memphis BBQ is neither fall-off-the-bone tender or fat-less! You are talking California barbecue or what I like to call Yankee Barbecue with the emphasis on the tender and the sauce. Barbecue cooked with the dry heat of a wood fire will not produce a wet, tender, fall of the bone experience (baking in sauce, braising, steaming, boiling WILL). Lean meat is not compatible with the low heat and slow cooking of the authentic barbecue process. Brisket is the perfect example - you can take a 15 pound hunk of the toughest, sorriest looking piece of beef and turn in into something with more flavor and tenderness than a prime filet. That's because the marbling of fat throughout the brisket keeps the meat moist throughout the long smoking process. Real barbecue enthusiasts will choose the fatty party of the brisket for the intense flavor and moisture.

"At Armadillo Willy's (just over the hill) we have been cooking the old-fashioned way for almost 30 years and would love to see our old friends in Santa Cruz take the short drive over to say "hi" - we miss you too!"

I still want to hear what you all think of Sid's and we'd love some reviews of other great meat-eating places around the county.

Brad Kava June 09, 2012 at 10:59 PM
I'm going there ASAP...thanks Mary
John Colby June 10, 2012 at 12:15 AM
My sister also brought me some ribs from Sid's about a year ago. They gave huge portions. The slab of pork ribs were almost all meat and little bone. Thanx for reminding me about Sid's — they're a top notch smokehouse.
Isabella June 12, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Sid's is a winner is our book! We love their BBQ ribs and chicken. They just rolled out a grilled Salmon that is tasty as well! Truffle fries are so good they should be illegal! : ) I noticed the BBQ poll is still open and Sid's is ahead - when did it close?
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