As many of you know, I've been on a mission to find the Holy Grail for quite some time. I've been to all three coasts in my search and as far north as the wind still carries this side of the Mason-Dixon line. I've found half of the Holy Grail several times but never the whole thing all in one place. All this time, I've not been actively seeking it but waiting it to find me. Well a couple weeks ago, I think I may have found it. I'm referring to the Holy Grail of BBQ.
It was one of those rare days here in Iowa when it wasn't raining so I took half a day of vacation, grabbed the wife and daughter and hit the road for a river town about an hour's drive away. We had nothing planned other than to kill some time and enjoy the day but the first order of business was to find some grub. Business and pleasure has carried me to that town several times over the past year but every time we have been there, a little hole in the wall BBQ joint called Dillon's BBQ had been closed with no clear times posted as to when they might be open. The first time I saw it I was intrigued because it had all the signs of a good BBQ place. It was small and cozy so they were definitely interested in producing good BBQ and not selling it to the masses. The only sign other than the hand painting on the window was one of the rolling light signs on wheels with plastic letters. The menu was short and sweet and posted on a sign behind the cash register. It wasn't written on a chalk board but I've never considered that a hard and fast rule. Perhaps the best sign of all was that the entire back end of the building was in the form of an enormous SST smoker/grill. Where the grill ended the building began.
But on this day as we pulled up a little after one on a Friday, a hanging open sign dangled in the window beside the door. We were the only vehicle in the parking lot. The special of the day was a BBQ beef sandwich and so we both ordered one up, being careful not to order it Carolina Style which I assumed meant slaw on top. By the time we had gotten our drinks and sat down, our food was in front of us and we dug in. The first bite of the sandwich was heaven. The meat was tender, very flavorful and full of a delicious BBQ sauce that wasn't too tangy and not too sweet. It was perfection between two bun halves and wrapped in waxed paper.
Now we both had the BBQ beef sandwich so I can't tell you how the rest of the very limited menu is but if the beef is any indication, I'm sure it is worth trying out. In the end, even if they don't have the best ribs, the best pork, or the best slaw, I am confident that after all the years of looking for it, I have finally found the Holy Grail of BBQ beef sandwiches, and of all places, it was almost in my back yard. I couldn't have thought of a better place for it to be.