Monday, April 14, 2008


BBQ Joints - stories and recipes from the Barbecue Belt

David Gelin

Publisher: Gibbs Smith

168 pages

David Gelin is the author of the recently published BBQ Joints – stories and recipes from the Barbecue Belt. David was the subject of an earlier interview on the Home of BBQ where he related a bit of his background and how he went about writing the book.

Gelin’s book is a travelogue of some of the most ‘authentic’ BBQ joints throughout the nation. In an industry as idiosyncratic as BBQ, you are going to be hard pressed to find a uniform definition of an ‘authentic’ or ‘true’ BBQ joint; but I would be very surprised to hear anyone having any qualms with Gelin’s choices.

The book is replete with anecdotes, snippets of history, recipes and photos. If (like me) you are a yankee, this book opens up a window through which you can take a glance at a romanticized south. Each entry contains a little history, a bit of background, the restaurants name and address and a recipe. Mixed in throughout is a liberal dose of social commentary, discussing what is, what was and helping to form conclusions about what should be.

These are the stories of people who take their ‘Q seriously. It is a way of life that they are helping to preserve for their children and ours. No one in this book is going to become wealthy from selling BBQ. No one is going to be able to live a life of leisure while being a BBQ dilettante. The restaurant business is difficult and the BBQ niche is an exemplar of that credo. The pitmasters and restaurant owners featured in BBQ Joints love what they do and sharing that passion is their reward.

The book is well written and well organized. What is more important is that the author knows what he is talking about. You can disagree on matters of personal preference, but there is no denying that David Gelin is a BBQ aficionado. The book is an easy read that will have a permanent home in my collection.

You can visit David’s site at

You can (and should) purchase the book at most major booksellers and online through retailers such as


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