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Adrian Miller has been certified to judge competitions by the Kansas City Barbecue Society, but he likes all kinds of barbecue, not just Kansas City style. Among his favorite barbecue joints in Denver are a couple that can't be categorized by region, including Country Time BBQ, reviewed this week, and Boney's Smokehouse Pit Barbeque.
Lamont and Trina Lynch run this spot off the 16th Street Mall, as well as a Boney's express cart on the mall at Lawrence Street. They didn't set out to be barbecue barons; they only moved to meat after plans to open a soft-pretzel shop fell through. But barbecue had always been a hobby for Lamont, who's spent years giving a Southern tweak to a repertoire of family recipes imported from the Bahamas. As a result, the barbecue at Boney's defies categorization. It's simply Lamont style, and it's good.
Lamont relies on a dry rub and smokes the meat — brisket, pulled pork, hot links, chicken and ribs — over low heat for a long time. He and Trina make their own barbecue sauces; the house version is thick and tomato-based, both tangy and peppery though not too spicy. (They have a jalapeño-infused version, too, if you like yours hot.)
1543 Champa St.
Denver, CO 80202
Region: Downtown Denver
I made frequent stops at Boney's when I worked downtown, squirming into a seat at a long, shared table, eating my lunch out of a black plastic basket lined with red-and-white-checked paper, then returning to my office reeking of smoke. And when I dropped in last week, I went with one of my old favorites: the pulled-pork sandwich with a side of coleslaw. The soft roll held a mountain of pork, crisp around the edges and doused in that sticky house sauce, which enhanced the smoky flavors while also adding zip. About halfway through, I decided to give the sandwich a Carolina accent, topping it with slaw — which both added a cold crunch and highlighted some nutmeg or cinnamon notes in the meat I hadn't noticed before.
I washed my lunch down with a Coke, whose sweetness made it a perfect pairing — though Boney's does good sweet tea, too.
No matter what region inspired this 'cue, I'm glad that Boney's found a home in Denver.