Thursday, December 13, 2012

Q Fanatic BBQ – Champlin, MN (Bar-B-Quest 2012 Semi-finals!)

The competition between BBQ places in the Twin Cities has been heating up since we began this mission. Today’s match-up is to see who goes to the championships from the Western Division. Will it be Baldy’s BBQ from Lakeville or will it be Q Fanatic BBQ in Champlin??? We rallied the troops to find out!

Here’s the quick review since I’ve reviewed this place fairly recently.

Since there were four of us (LowVee, HotGirlsBrother, and HotGirl), we decided to get one of Q Fanatics crazy picnic combinations. This was going to be cheaper in the long run and then we could get creative with the sides.

We got both the baby back ribs and the spare ribs just to see what was what. Then we got spicy potato wedges (more than one order), baked beans, cole slaw, and mac and cheese. There was also come pulled pork and pulled chicken that comes with the combo, so we were going to try those.

The mac and cheese is still fantastic. We really like it here and are thrilled they use real cheese in it. Maybe not the best in the Twin Cities, but it IS the best on the Bar-B-Quest. The spicy potato wedges were fought over, once again. They are top notch and with the dipping sauce, you can’t stop eating them. Perfect again. The baked beans continue to be the best anywhere. Huge chunks of meat in the beans gives you some texture to chew on. They could be a little spicier (in my opinion), but they’re still some of the best baked beans I’ve ever had. The cole slaw again, was plain looking, but when paired with the ribs themselves, it is absolutely fantastic.

The pulled pork was pretty good, and we were all glad we tried it to see who it stacked up to the other food. With the right combinations of sauces Q Fanatic offers, you can get it dialed in just right. The pulled chicken, however, didn’t need any doctoring. It was great on its own. Much better than any of us expected, to be honest. Very tender and lots of flavor and seasoning. Perfect chicken.

Finally, the ribs were amazing as usual. The meat here just can’t be beat (or can it?). It falls off the bone but still has a good char on the outside that gives it some texture. Very little gristle and fat in these to contend with and you really enjoy every bite. Make sure you try the vodka pepper BBQ sauce – it’s the best one. This competition is getting to be TOUGH.

And of course, we had to get cookies. We weren’t playing around this time, since the “great incident of Bar-B-Quest” when HotGirlsBrother took too large a bite of LowVee’s cookie and she went ballistic. We made sure everyone had cookies immediately upon ordering (then I went back and got two more, since I wanted D.Rough to be able to share in the joy that are Q Fanatic monster cookies. I’ve decided I’m going to ask if they’ll sell me a few cookie’s worth of the dough, since I’m a huge cookie dough fiend. I’ll sign a waiver if I need to for the raw eggs – I just need that cookie dough in my face hole soon!

And the final decision, without much debating…….. Q Fanatic beats out Baldy’s for the Western Division champion and is moving on to the final round against C.G. Hooks BBQ in White Bear Lake. You have no idea how excited we are for this adventure!!!!!!! Here’s how the bracket looks, folks.

Big thanks to HotGirl, who had never experienced the intense BBQ-related discussion and debate that happens during these outings. I think she was torn between making fun of how serious we take this and how awesome the food was. That’s a good sign, people.

Top 5 things about Q Fanatic
1. Incredible BBQ spare ribs
2. Baked beans
3. Spicy potato wedges
4. Mac and cheese
5. Life changing cookies
6. Charlie commented on the last review we did of his place and thanked us for the kind words – he’s a great host!

Bottom 5 things
1. Distance from all of our houses
2. Ordering takes really long – noticeably long – as you hold up the line trying to decide
3. Potato salad has serious mustard flavor (just a personal preference)
4. I’m seriously considering hosting some large event just so I can have Q Fanatic cater the event
5. You will end up bringing a lot of leftovers home (not a bad thing, I suppose)

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