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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, 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.

Thank you to all that bought a limited-edition tumbler this year – with your help, we raised $12,500 to benefit veterans living with traumatic brain injury. These funds, which represent 200% of profits from the sale of our limited edition tumbler, was donated to the Resurrecting Lives Foundation in conjunction with National Brain Injury Awareness month (March).

Established in 2012, the Resurrecting Lives Foundation supports the estimated 20–25% of troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with traumatic brain injury, helping these veterans successfully transition to post-military lives and careers. This is the third year we’ve raised funds to support Resurrecting Lives and its mission of advocacy, aid, fundraising, and research; we’ve donated $37,500 to date with your help! In her recognition of last year’s contribution, Resurrecting Lives founder and executive director Dr. Chrisanne Gordon thanked us “for engaging the entire community in this effort to support our military members, veterans, and their families affected by traumatic brain injury.”

Giving back is central to our culture: we also proudly partner with the American Cancer Society, Future Farmers of America, and Food Rescue, as well as local organizations in each of our communities. Click here to learn more about the Resurrecting Lives Foundation and its work supporting veterans with traumatic brain injury.

What makes a great banana pudding? We think it’s the perfect blend of fresh bananas, creamy pudding, and vanilla wafers, served in a caramel-drizzled parfait cup and topped with homemade whipped cream, a ‘nilla wafer crumble, and even more caramel sauce… in other words, everything that goes into our banana pudding! If you’ve been a longtime City Barbeque fan, you may have noticed that we recently upgraded one of our fan-favorite desserts by adding some of these extra-special touches. It turns out that Paula Deen noticed these changes as well—and liked them! The queen of Southern home cookin’ added our banana pudding to her “10 to Try” list in the February edition of Cooking with Paula Deen. We’re so glad our banana pudding made the cut… then again, we’re always excited whenever someone says they like our pudding! We’re awfully fond of it ourselves 😉

Need another reason to taste our take on a classic? Bananas have plenty of health benefits! They are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and nutrients like potassium. A medium-sized banana only has about 105 calories, but also contains resistant starch or pectin—both of which may reduce appetite and help keep you full. So if the cookies, caramel, or whipped cream ever give you pause, know that you’re getting a nutritional boost with this traditional treat!

Due to popular demand (but only for a limited time*!) we’ve brought back The Big Bone – a 9 inch long beef rib with about a pound of juicy, smoky, barbeque heaven – perfect for sharing.

“This thing is huge, when you get one you can only say – wow! We have been testing it for several months, perfecting the smoking time and seasoning.  Our fans really love it!” -Brian Hipsher, VP of Marketing

*The Big Bone will be available in Feb. & March on Saturdays only and as a special on Valentine’s Day! The Big Bone is smoked in very limited quantities, so get there early if you want to enjoy one.

Ever seen a hand-painted sign at City Barbeque and wondered where it came from? Odds are, it was created just for us by Ohio artist Jane DiGrandi! DiGrandi has been working with us for 12 years, creating everything from welcome signs and menu suggestions to floor-to-ceiling murals and pickle-painted propane tanks (seriously—visit our joint in Beavercreek to see what we mean!). Most recently, she completed a massive installation for our Polaris location, featuring a tractor, a City Barbeque silo, and a glowing sunrise.

“I’m thankful for being given the space at the Polaris store to show what City Barbeque means to me,” she says. “I knew I wanted to do something on a large scale and immediately started thinking of how to portray City Barbeque’s rural roots of bringing barbeque to the city, and of their commitment to fresh and homemade food.” DiGrandi settled on an iconic tractor to center the piece, but wanted to give things a modern feel—so she constructed the work so that tractor is coming straight at you! She loves the silo and the sunrise in the background, too: “The sunrise perfectly portrays City Barbeque’s saying, ‘It’s a great day to eat barbeque!’”

The piece took four weeks to complete, and is made up of 310 individual pieces of wood, fit together one by one. While DiGrandi has used a wide range of materials in her work for City Barbeque (“markers, wood, paint, metal, chalkboard, paper, barn wood, and even chicken wire”), she admits that she loves working with wood the most. As anyone who has seen this latest piece on display can tell you, that love absolutely shows.

Our craft is barbeque, Jane’s craft is large-scale rustic art with an industrial and natural vibe—and we just can’t get enough of it. Next time you’re at City Barbeque, take a moment and look around. You never know what masterpiece is hanging up right over your shoulder!

Interested in her work? Jane can be reached at Interested in working with us to display your craft? Reach out to Chris Blain at

To show our appreciation for our military women and men, we’re giving vets and troops a free sandwich, two sides and a regular drink on Saturday, November 11!

Know a vet? We’re making it easy for you to say thanks—bring them in on Veterans Day and their lunch is on us! Share this with the vets you know and spread the love!

Home of the Free because of the Brave