VENUE DETAILS

Q Fanatic BBQ and Grill

Price:

Cuisine Type:

Barbecue

Serves:

Lunch, Dinner

Handicap Accessible:

No

Outdoor Seating:

No

Handicap Accessible:

No

Outdoor Seating:

No

REVIEW

Smokin' in Champlin

"Barbecue might be the most opinionated of cuisines," said Charlie Johnson, and you know what? The owner of Q Fanatic BBQ and Grill is absolutely right. It doesn't hurt that he and I are in agreement on what constitutes fantastic barbecue. Namely, meaty pork ribs rubbed with plenty of ground peppers and other complementary spices, slowly cooked over apple wood until the smoke insinuates itself into -- but doesn't overpower -- the meat. A lively, espresso-kissed sauce is served on the side, where it belongs.

Johnson's pulled pork, similarly smoky and beautifully seasoned, is almost as good as his succulent, slow-roasted chicken. I loved the flavorful brisket, too; all three are served straight up (in third-pound and pound portions), in affordable family-style combination platters and generously stacked in sandwiches built with so-so par-baked rolls that Johnson wisely dresses up with plenty of butter and freshly chopped garlic.

Much of the rest of the menu hits all the right marks. Johnson cures his own brown-sugar-rubbed bacon, and it's terrific. The crunchy coleslaw has a teasing vinegar bite, and the creamy potato salad is little more than hunks of red-skinned new potatoes, hard-cooked eggs and tons of green onions. The baked beans are fortified with scraps of ribs, brisket or bacon, and it's impossible to stop at a single spoonful. Even dessert is a treat, a giant chocolate-white chocolate-butterscotch cookie that more than earns its "Monster" name.

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Where:

Q Fanatic BBQ and Grill
180 Miller Rd.
Champlin, MN
763-323-6550

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