The Rockies may not be the obvious setting for Southern barbecue, but meat fiends now have a plethora of BBQ-focused options, as two new joints just opened in Aspen and Snowmass. What to order? Start with ribs—the best-selling item at both newcomers and one long-standing institution.
More than 50 St. Louis–style rib racks are pulled daily from five outdoor smokers at Home Team BBQ, and chefs still can’t keep up with demand. (The Inn at Aspen location serves more ribs than any of the three Charleston, SC, restaurants under the same ownership.) The secret: brining, overnight resting, meticulous dry rubbing, and slow smoking that creates a crispy crust to dip in six house-made sauces. hometeambbq.com
Defining “Colorado ’cue” since it opened in sleepy Marble six summers ago, Slow Groovin’ BBQ, now in Snowmass, too, is the regional champion of smoked meat. Hailing from pigs raised on a small farm in Brush, Colorado, the St. Louis–style ribs are rubbed with a sweet-spicy dry blend and slow smoked, becoming magnets for the three signature sauces: tangy, sweet, or fiery. slowgroovinbbq.com
Hickory House Ribs has stood sentinel at Aspen’s S-curve for 30-plus years, fueling ski bums and socialites alike with its frills-free breakfast platter: a half rack of Danish baby-back ribs—“the filet mignon of ribs,” quips owner Paul Dioguardi—basted in sweet sauce with two eggs, hash browns, and toast. hickoryhouseribs.com