A taste of one of the best BBQ joints in the country

Barbecue lovers treat the subject religiously. Everyone knows somebody who's had or made the best barbecue ever… and everyone knows someone else who's had or made one better than that. But a national publication devoted entirely to all things barbecue says we have one of the best such restaurants right in our back yard. So we decided to take a look inside and taste for ourselves.

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Last month, the National Barbecue News named Company 7 in Englewood one of the "Best of the Best Barbecue Restaurants in America".  A nominated restaurant is notified by the publication that a judge will make an unannounced visit as a regular customer and report their findings, according to co-owner Bill Grilliot. Less than 30 restaurants made the cut this year and none are placed in any particular ranking.

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Awards are nothing new for Company 7, which also recently won two of three national championships in the National Barbecue News Annual National Sauces of Honors competition out of 165 entries. This writer tried all six of their table sauces (The Rookie, Captain Carolina, Firefighter Sweet, Lieutenant Tangy, Chief Smoky and Commissioner Burns), and preferred the Chief Smoky, which won Best Sauce for Beef. I opted for the brisket meal, with garlic potatoes, cole slaw and Texas toast. The meat was thinly sliced. Despite being a tad dry, it was still so tender that I almost didn't need a knife. I was a big fan of the garlic potatoes. There was nothing remarkable about the slaw, but it was good.

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The atmosphere, adorned with years of firefighter memorabilia, is pleasing and relaxed. We're ready to head back...

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