The State of Barbecue in Oklahoma
Oklahoma barbecue is between a rock and several hard places, which puts us in a bit of identity crisis for local joints.
Oklahoma sets geographically when it comes to barbecue: Texas to the south, Kansas City to the north and the dry rubs and vinegar-based sauce from Memphis to the Carolinas to the east. Each spot has a distinctive, recognizable barbecue identity. Thank goodness New Mexico has its green chiles, or we’d be surrounded.
Oklahoma has some tradition when it comes to barbecue, too. Van’s Pig Stand has been selling pig sandwiches for 80 years. Takes a lot of sweat and love dripping from the brow into those smokers to garner that kind of success.
Leo’s Bar-B-Q started serving hotter than hot sauce and strawberry-banana cake with its ribs, smoked bologna and brisket three-plus decades ago. Leo’s was the first local barbecue joint I was attracted to when I moved here in the late 1980s.
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