Guide To Barbecue In The St. Cloud Area

August 1, 2012 6:00 AM

(credit: Thinkstock)

You only have to hear the word barbecue to alert those taste buds. What’s your favorite barbecue food? Expand your choices with these offerings from local venues: barbecue pork ribs that aren’t done cookin’ till they’ve fallen off the bone, mouth-watering barbecue sauce, barbecue pulled pork salad, barbecue pulled pork salad and barbecue shrimp.
antons Guide To Barbecue In The St. Cloud Area

(credit: Anton’s Restaurant/Facebook)

Best Pork Ribs:

2001 Frontage Road N
Waite Park, MN 56387
(320) 253-3611

Anton’s chefs aren’t allowed to call the pork ribs done until the pork falls off the bone. These smoky-flavored meaty ribs slow roast for five or six hours before they’re smothered in Anton’s own honey-barbecue sauce, described as mellow, sweet and tangy, enough to satisfy any palate. Patrons have made Anton’s barbecue ribs one of the three top menu items. “We’re not a barbecue pit,” part-owner Betsy says, “but it is something that people come here for.” They’re so popular, in fact, that the ribs make both the lunch and dinner menus. For lunch, hungry barbecue lovers tuck into a smaller portion served with another signature item, the restaurant’s famous giant popover. Dinner patrons sit down to a half rack of ribs, choice of soup or salad and one of Anton’s off-the-charts potato items. Wet Naps and a generous supply of napkins are also served with the ribs. Eat in or take out.

Related: The Spiciest Dishes In The Twin Cities

hrpestys Guide To Barbecue In The St. Cloud Area

(credit: HR Pesty’s/Facebook)

Best Barbecue Sauce:

H.R. Pesty’s Saloon and Eatery
258 4th Ave N
Waite Park, MN 56387
(320) 251-9774
Facebook page

Manager Joey says that if you don’t come early, you probably won’t get in on Pesty’s Fridays-only barbecue ribs served in the noon hour. Why are these ribs in such high demand? Partly because the pork falls off the bones. But the rest of the story is the proprietary barbecue sauce. Joey’s not giving away any secrets except to say that the sauce has a lot of honey and something that makes it peppery, too. Pesty’s owners have used the same recipe for at least 15 years. Fresh batches run out pretty fast because it is served with the chicken strips, western burger and pepper burger. Joey even recommends dipping French fries in the sauce. Get the sauce and the ribs for under ten bucks.

kayskitchen Guide To Barbecue In The St. Cloud Area

(credit: Kay’s Kitchen/Facebook)

Best Barbecue Pork Salad:

Kay’s Kitchen
303 College Ave
St. Joseph, MN 56374
(320) 557-0030

Not everybody goes for Kay’s barbecue salad at first, but once they try it, they stick to it from then on. The pulled pork that goes into the salad is a signature item for Kay’s Kitchen. It roasts overnight, ready to be pulled the next morning. Kay’s builds its own barbecue pork salad first with heaps of fresh veggies — lettuce, red and green peppers, onions and tomatoes — then a chopped-up hard-cooked egg is added. This is where Kay’s is different: it warms the pork on the griddle with some of the juices before loading onto the salad. Cheese is next, then barbecue sauce is drizzled on top. Owner Tanya said, “take a leap of faith and try it.” You may want regular breakfast fare, but do try the barbecue pork salad for lunch or dinner.

warrens Guide To Barbecue In The St. Cloud Area

(credit: Warren’s BBQ/Facebook)

Best Beef Brisket Sandwiches:

Warren’s Barbecue
(320) 266-7021
Facebook page

Warren is well-known for his drop-dead, award-winning Texas barbecue beef brisket sandwiches. Three hundred people from around the world voted Warren’s Barbecue the best barbecue in 2004 and 2005 at the annual bikers rally in Sturgess, South Dakota. He’s taken other top honors as well. Although the restaurant has closed, Warren is still available to cater so you can continue to enjoy those delicious smoky sandwiches. And barbecue beef brisket sandwiches aren’t Warren’s only claim to fame. He makes knock-’em-dead barbecue baked beans and sauce. When he’s found the perfect location, Warren will set down restaurant roots. For now, don’t miss out on getting his barbecue wherever and whenever you can.

Related: Best Buffets In Minnesota

400supperclub Guide To Barbecue In The St. Cloud Area


Best Barbecue Shrimp:

400 Supper Club
25958 Lake Road
St. Cloud, MN 56301
(320) 253-2465

Expect to race right out to the 400 Supper Club Tuesdays through Sundays when you see what it does to jumbo shrimp. The Club’s Texas barbecue shrimp is one appetizer that’ll keep you coming back for more. The kitchen broils the jumbos, wraps them in bacon, tops them with the Club’s own Jack Daniels house sauce and serves five of them on a bed of sweet potato fries. Don’t let the price tag of $19.99 scare you away from trying this droolin’-good dish. It just might fill you up enough that you won’t have room for a main course.

Natalie M. Rotunda is a freelance editor, and, as a freelance writer, has written about her passion for organic foods since 2008. She also contributes articles, on assignment, to The Digest, the quarterly newsletter of the organic food co-op she is a member of. Her work can be found at