Who needs a food truck?: Great BBQ in unexpected places.

UPDATE: I believe the name of the BBQ joint at 164 and National is now called LD’s BBQ, as opposed to DD’s which it was called this spring.  The post has been updated to reflect the new name.  
You can’t swing a dead cat these days without hitting a food truck but a couple of Milwaukee-area BBQ pitmasters have ditched even the truck and have set up temporary locations in of all places, the parking lots of local gas stations.  J.T. Bones and LD’s BBQ are serving some of the best ‘que in the area despite not having an actual restaurant or even a trendy food truck.
BBQ, in my opinion, is meant to be cooked and eaten outdoors.  While I enjoy Pat’s Rib Place, Speed Queen and Ashley’s, there is something wonderful about seeing ribs being made in their natural environment, outdoors.
 J.T. Bones Ribs and Tips Combo
J.T. Bones, 110 E. Layton Avenue,Milwaukee (at the Shell Gas Station)
J.T. Bones was located in a nondescript strip mall hidden behind another building on E. Capitol Drive in Milwaukee.  The BBQ and items like cole slaw, mac and cheese, and greens were all delicious but it was short-lived as I don’t believe they even lasted 3 years.  Imagine my surprise when I saw a J.T. Bones smoker parked in front of a gas station at the corner of Layton Avenue and S. Howell Avenue in Milwaukee.  They have set up a bare bones operation with not much beyond a smoker a table and a small tent.   I ordered the Ribs and Tips combo for $9.00.   The ribs are just as good as I remember; perfectly smoked with a nicely balanced sweet and tangy BBQ sauce
J.T. Bones is out there every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
LD’s Famous Smoked Meatloaf Sandwich
LD’s BBQ W235S7125 Big Bend Drive, Big Bend (in the parking lot of a Mobil station)
At the northeast corner of National Avenue and HWY 164, just north of I-43 in Big Bend, LD’s Barbeque has set up what I can only describe as a makeshift restaurant underneath a large tent in the parking lot of the Mobil station. Smokers, refrigerators, stainless steel workstations and loads of ingredients are clearly visible and the smell of smoke permeates the air. Outside of the tent is a large pile of wood to fuel the smoker.  The owner says he is there from spring through fall, every day.  They offer the gamut of BBQ staples; ribs, chicken, brisket, shoulder, and sausage.  However what caught my eye was their “famous” BBQ meatloaf.  I’ve seen this made on TV and in books but had never ordered it, so I had to try it.
I went for the sandwich, which featured a slab of the smoked meatloaf slathered with one of their two (mild or spicy) sauces.  I went for spicy and for my side I grabbed some cole slaw.  The slaw was really a really good vinegar based version. I took a few bites and dumped the rest of it on top of the meatloaf, like you would do with pulled pork.  The sandwich was incredibly tasty.  You had your typical meatloaf consistency and flavor but with the added elements of smoke and sauce.  The slaw added some textural contrast to the soft meatloaf and bun.  I cannot wait to return and try some of the other items.
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2 thoughts on “Who needs a food truck?: Great BBQ in unexpected places.

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