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Columbus CEO named the winners of its 2017 Best of Business poll in late October, and we were honored to be named to the list not once, but twice! For the second year in a row, we were named the Best Employer (under 500 employees). We were on last year’s list for catering, too, but in the second-place spot—this year, we were named the best caterer in Columbus! (Never had City Barbeque’s award-winning catering? Check out what you’ve been missing!)

Columbus CEO’s results are voted on by the magazine’s readers, and this year’s poll saw 53,988 votes roll in. All in all, companies were vying for more than 75 awards in 11 different categories, and we’re so thankful to those who helped us with this year’s double win.

At the award ceremony on November 1, HR manager Jillian Armstrong accepted the award for Best Employer, while Regional Catering Director Scott Erwin accepted the award for Best Caterer. It’s an honor to be recognized next to more than 80 incredible Central Ohio companies honored at this year’s event. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees!

What is barbeque? Barbeque, as we define it, is the act of smoking meat slowly at a low temperature. We throw in some hickory shagbark wood and cook the meat through an indirect method. By doing this, we achieve tender & flavorful smoked meat. When you look into the history of barbecue, you’ll find that it started as a way to take tough cuts of meat and turns it into tender & crave-worthy meat! We take great pride in the authentic way we barbecue in each of our restaurants daily – craft barbeque at it’s finest!

Why is the meat pink? We get this question a lot and we’re proud we do (it means we’re doing it right!). Our meat is fully cooked – the pink color you see is called a smoke ring. This is an indication of true slow-smoked barbecue and is a big part of what gives our meat its unique flavor. Seeing a smoke ring in your barbecue means you’re doing it right! A smoke ring is a result of chemistry! “Myoglobin is the protein that gives meat its red color. When you burn wood, it creates a gas known as nitrogen dioxide. The gas dissolves on the wet surface of the meat and binds with the myoglobin. The smoke locks in that prized pink color. The pink smoke ring occurs only on the outside edge of the meat because the nitrogen gas absorbs from the outside in.” – Julia Warren, barbecuebible.com. Pretty cool, right?

It’s not burnt …it’s just bark! Bark is the delicious, jerky like crust that forms on the outside of smoked meat from the combination of smoke, seasoning, and low and slow heat. This forms on the outside and not the inside of meat because it is exposed to both direct heat and oxygen during the smoking process. We love bark so much, that we started serving our delicious “full-cut” brisket last year, where we leave all the trimmings on our brisket for extra bark & flavor. Mmm… bark…

Winning the Best Brisket at the Kansas City American Royal BBQ Society Championship. It all officially started in 1999 when an award-winning barbeque competition team put their closely guarded recipes and techniques together after winning the competition to found City Barbeque. Since then, we follow the same process -smoked on-site by KCBS certified judges – to serve our meats to “score a 9” which is the highest score you can receive in the KCBS American Royal. We pride ourselves on consistency & authenticity – it’s our passion!

What region of BBQ does City Barbeque represent? Our menu is inspired by the best barbecue we’ve found, and continue to discover as we “research” (think, barbeque-eating marathons) around the country; but as artisans ourselves, we have also added our own creativity to the process. You’ll certainly catch hints of Texas, Kansas City, North Carolina, and Memphis in our ‘que; however, if you ask us what region it represents – it represents the region in which you are eating it because that’s where it was created! Each pitmaster in our joints is responsible for the wholesome, delicious, real barbecue you will enjoy. No doubt, folks get pretty riled up when you mention which region has the best bbq, but we love, respect and are inspired by all styles! We don’t think great barbecue should be limited by geography. Be proud – you are eating some of the best barbecue anywhere.

Ribs: fall off the bone VS bite off the bone? Our ribs are rubbed with our exclusive seasoning blend, then slowly smoked to meet the rigid competition standards for “bite off the bone” ribs. Also, our ribs are pork, and the cut is referred to as St. Louis-cut. We serve this type because, through our smoking techniques, we can give you a large, tender, meaty rib. Some places parboil or bake ribs to quickly make them “fall off the bone”, but we strive for a Score of 9 “bite off the bone” rib.

Founder and CEO Rick Malir, Bonnie Coley-Malir, Vice President of People Services Ronnie Berry, Director of HR Jennifer Hamilton, HR Manager Jillian Armstrong, Board Member Jim Budros, Regional Marketing Manager Beth Berkemer

We know we have a workplace culture that can’t be beat, but it’s always exciting when other folks notice it, too. Case in point: we were named the Best Employer (under 500 employees) in Columbus CEO’s Best of Business awards for 2016! Vice President of People Services Ronnie Berry accepted the award for the team at an awards ceremony on November 9.

Columbus CEO’s results are voted on by the magazine’s readers, and 16,500 folks weighed in on who should win. Thanks to all who helped us reach the top spot! And of course, we were thrilled to be recognized for our ‘que, too: City Barbeque was also awarded second place in the Best Caterer category for the second year in a row. (Check out our catering and see for yourself!)

But that’s not all! Columbus Business First just named us one of their Best Places to Work in Central Ohio for 2016—we’re in the top five in our category (Extra Large companies with at least 250 local employees)! Business First received 200 nominations for companies to consider, and the final honorees were chosen via independently administered workplace satisfaction surveys. Director of Training Frank Pizzo, HR Manager Jillian Armstrong, and HR Assistant Christine Swisher accepted the award at a luncheon on November 10.

businessfirstDirector of Training Frank Pizzo, HR Assistant Christine Swisher, HR Manager Jillian Armstrong

Vice President of People Services Ronnie Berry says, “These awards reflect our core culture, which is made up of leaders who live to serve. They’re really a testament to the principles we’re founded on: empowering people, giving them the freedom to think for themselves, and ensuring they’re able to live a life where they’re engaged both at work and at home.”

Both the Best Places to Work award and the Best Employer title are new ones for City Barbeque, and we couldn’t be prouder. Columbus CEO and Business First recognized more than 100 amazing organizations throughout Central Ohio; we’re just honored to be among them. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees!

Want to join our team? Click here to learn how!

Thank you so much, Columbus, for helping us achieve top-honors for our Catering! Columbus CEO Magazine placed City Barbeque as #2 best caterer in Columbus.

We feel extremely honored and we couldn’t have done it without our raving fans.

We love you, too!

Check out the article here.

City Barbeque catering columbus ceo magazine Columbus CEO Magazine Best of Business November 2015

Restaurant Hospitality magazine recently named our “More Cowbell” sandwich one of the best in the country!  The editors of Restaurant Hospitality magazine scoured the country for the best sandwiches, asking chefs and restaurateurs alike for nominations.  The editors then narrowed the field based on customer reviews and several other factors then secretly visited the top contenders.  The “More Cowbell” sandwich was among 6 sandwiches recognized in the beef category as America’s best.

“This year’s Best Sandwiches in America Contest was insane this year with so many entries. That was particularly true in the beef category, which attracted a lot more attention than many of the other categories,” said Michael Sanson, editor-in-chief of Restaurant Hospitality magazine. “We were blown away by City Barbeque’s More Cowbell (hilarious name). The brisket sandwich was a complex delicious sloppy mess! We want another!”

The “More Cowbell” sandwich consists of City Barbeque’s award-winning smoked beef brisket, topped with melted provolone cheese, grilled peppers and sautéed onions, onion straws and horseradish dressing all piled high between two pieces of garlic buttered Texas toast.  The sandwich was launched last year and has already become a fan favorite.  “It’s got an addictive quality to it,” said Brian Hipsher, VP of Marketing for City Barbeque, “our guests simply have a fever for it – they have gotta have More Cowbell.”

Try it and we’re sure you’ll agree 🙂

Check out the article here!

City Barbeque made enough macaroni in 2014 to make 1,963,636 kids (and kids at heart) say “More, please!

In 2014, City Barbeque gave away enough food to Food Rescue, an organization that delivers food to shelters in the community, to feed 25,592 people free pulled pork platters!

In 2014, City Barbeque won 17 local and national awards for having the best barbecue around.

1,196 organizations held fundraisers at a City Barbeque joint in 2014… We love to help—just ask!

City Barbeque used enough chocolate chips in their cakes last year to make over 20,450 chocolate bunnies.

City Barbeque cooked enough brisket in 2014 to easily feed 345 adult, male lions every day for an entire year.

City Barbeque customers LOVE a kick—they consumed over 189,000 pounds of Brush Fire barbecue sauce in 2014.

If laid end-to-end, City Barbeque sold enough rib bones to cross the state of Ohio and run 50 miles into Kentucky!

City Barbeque’s first business came in the form of catering college tailgating.

All City Barbeque employees enjoy free barbeque as a company perk (and great pay, too!).

We got our big break when we won the Superbowl of BBQ back in 1997 – winning Best Barbeque Brisket at the American Royal Invitational – besting over 300 teams from around the country.

We make all of our sides right here, from scratch, and we smoke all our meats on premise.

We have a secret insider menu… but can you find it? *Hint- it’s not on the website!

Brides and BBQ go well together – we have catered hundreds of weddings to rave reviews.

We have more than 30,000 friends on Facebook – won’t you join us?

We are pretty happy to be ranked on the best BBQ in America list that was recently published by Men’s Journal.

Men’s Journal has listed City Barbeque as one of the country’s “18 Best Barbecue Spots,” in their 2014 review.

The story, “A Road Trip to the 18 Best Barbecue Spots in America,” advocates taking a trip to “the best, most unique, and most authentically American barbecue eateries in the country.”

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