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Couple trades fine dining experiences for southern BBQ at Burnside Barbecue: Best Barbecue contest

August 8, 2018

Couple trades fine dining experiences for southern BBQ at Burnside Barbecue: Best Barbecue contest

KENT, Ohio – Phil Everett and Emily Hansford are Northeast Ohioans who spent time in the South. Hansford worked for a chef in a fine dining restaurant in Atlanta, while Everett attended culinary school there and worked in a butcher shop.

But it was back in Kent where they met. After just one month of “toying with the idea,” the two “impulsively” started looking for a space to set up their own eatery. And while they debated several aspects of the restaurant, there was never a doubt the menu would be all about southern barbecue.

They opened Burnside Barbecue in January in Kent.

Burnside is one of 20 finalists in Cleveland’s Best Barbecue contest. Each establishment was nominated, and then voted into the finals, by our readers. You may vote for your favorite BBQ joint once daily here. The poll resets each morning at 9 a.m.

We visited Burnside on Aug. 1. Scroll down to see our taste test review of its foods.

Burnside Barbecue

Address: 154 E. Main St., Kent

Phone: 330-346-0334

Website: burnsidebarbecue.com

Social media

Facebook: facebook.com/burnsidebarbecue/

Instagram: instagram.com/burnside_barbecue

How many different kinds of BBQ are on the menu? Seven: Brisket, Sausage, Pulled Pork, Burnt Ends, Turkey Breast, Chicken and Spare Ribs.

How many sauce options? Four: Peach Mustard, Traditional BBQ, Spicy Vinegar and White (mayo based for poultry).

Best Seller: Burnt Ends

Most unique item on the menu: Jalepeño Cheddar Sausage and their homemade ice cream.

Specials: Daily specials offered.

Cleveland’s Best reporters Yadi Rodriguez, Brenda Cain and Kristen Davis, along with celebrity host/comedian Mike Polk, visited Burnside Barbecue on August 1.

 

At each of the finalist restaurants, we’re sampling all kinds of barbecue, including ribs, pulled pork, brisket and chicken -- as well as many sides and a dish the restaurant felt was its best or most unique offering.

Taste Test Review

Pork Ribs: “The meat falls right off the bone, it is so tender. It has a nice rub, so sauce is not even needed,” said Rodriguez.

“The ribs were magnificent. The outside was perfect. The inside was perfect. No sauce was needed, but just made them even better,” Polk said.

Pulled Pork: “One word: Yum,” said Cain.

“Mild and tender,” Davis said.

Chicken: “Juicy with a hearty flavor. Just a little salty,” said Davis.

“Great consistency throughout. Seasoning was not overpowering. It was perfect with the mustard sauce,” said Polk.

Brisket: “Very tender. You could really taste the smoke,” said Cain.

“I thought it was good, but the slice I had was a little fatty,” said Rodriguez.

Jalepeño Cheddar Sausage: “Too spicy for me,” said Rodriguez.

“The sausage had a unique blend of spices with a great mild pepper burn at the end,” said Davis.

Burnt Ends: “Sweet and chewy, and delicious,” said Cain

“You can never go wrong with a burnt end and these were especially good,” said Rodriguez.

Turkey: “Yum, peppery and moist. Nicely cooked,” said Rodriguez.

“Yum, very smoky flavor and perfectly cooked,” Davis said.

Sides

Collard Greens: “I thought these were great: zesty, citrusy and sweet,” said Polk.

“I have never liked collard greens, but these had a nice smoky flavor to them,” said Cain.

Mac n’ Cheese: “It was a little like quiche: firm on the top and soft and gooey in the middle,” said Polk.

“I wish it was cheesier,” Rodriguez said.

Cole Slaw: “Not enough vinegar dressing. All I could taste was cabbage,” said Davis.

“Crunchy and fresh and not drenched in mayo. Vinegar dressing with a nice change,” said Rodriguez.

Sweet Potato Salad: “This was a great twist on an old favorite,” Cain said.

“I have never seen sweet potato used in potato salad before. Definitely unique,” said Davis.

Cornbread: “A little dry and dense for my taste,” said Rodriguez.

“Dry and basic,” said Davis.

Sauces:

Traditional BBQ: “Sweet. Not overpowering. Not spicy,” said Rodriguez.

“Very tasty. Not so syrupy sweet,” Polk said.

Vinegar: “Unique consistency (very thin), but had a great kick at the end,” said Davis.

“So thin it just pooled on the plate and at the bottom of the meats,” Cain said.

Peach Mustard: “Yikes – too much mustard,” said Rodriguez.

“Not enough kick,” said Davis.

Dessert:

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream: “This tasted so fresh – you could even taste the fresh herbs in it,” Cain said.

“Nice mild mint flavor,” said Davis.

Chocolate Pecan Ice Cream: “Rich and chocolatey. Definitely worth it,” said Davis.

“Oh wow! This was rich and I loved the undertones of nutty flavor,” said Cain.

Why not join us in our quest to find the Best Barbecue in Greater Cleveland. The schedule for our visits is posted here.

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