Reader: Is Colorado-Style Barbecue Smothered in Green Chile?
Coy Webb cutting barbecue at Roaming Buffalo Bar-B-Que.
"Colorado barbecue" are two words that just don't go together, according to many smoked-meat enthusiasts. This state lacks the tradition, they explain, arguing that all of the barbecue in Colorado is inspired by barbecue from somewhere else. But as Mark Antonation notes, there's a small group of chefs attempting to put the Colorado back into Colorado barbecue in various ways. One is Coy Webb, who opened Roaming Buffalo Bar-B-Que in early 2015 with his wife, Rachael. Their place won our Best Barbecue Restaurant in the 2016 Best of Denver, and just snagged a spot on our list of the Ten Best Barbecue Joints in Metro Denver. Steve agrees:
Roaming Buffalo is well deserving of your Best Barbecue award. If you like Texas-style brisket (the best and only way to prepare brisket imho), Roaming Buffalo nails it like no other place I've been outside of central Texas. That everything else is superb just makes me that much happier.
But Sarah isn't convinced by the claim that Roaming Buffalo also serves "Colorado barbecue":
As a Southerner, I am curious...what is Colorado-style barbecue? What I've tried so far has left MUCH to be desired by Southern standards. Mostly, y'all need to figure out how to keep your meats moist.
There really is no "Colorado-style" barbecue. In fact, I've come to realize that Colorado is very reluctant to embrace the barbecue culture, by way of its reluctance to accept transplanted anything altogether (people, food, etc...). It's kind of a combination of whatever Southern styles are most popular with the natives. Those who truly know their 'que tend to patronize lesser-known establishments that have real, rooted styles from their respective native regions as a means of getting their fix in a state that doesn't quite know its food flavor. The sad reality about Colorado, and why really good barbecue joints don't last here, is that...if they can't drown it in green chile, they don't want it.
What's your favorite barbecue spot in Denver?
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Denver dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.