For Twin Citians, there are only two real downsides to Q Fanatic: no liquor license and the long-ass drive to Champlin. Everything else about this place: the ribs, the beef brisket, the sides — reflects love, sweat and care. Q Fanatic nails what may be the most challenging aspect of producing consistently good BBQ — meat that almost falls off the bone, but requires a slight tug before it does so. It’s neither liquified nor tough, not gristly, but not overly lean and austere. Q Fanatic serves up meat so well prepared that it doesn’t need sauce.
The sauces on offer, however, (espresso, spicy pepper vodka, chipotle and Southern mustard for starters) are all carefully calibrated with a chemist’s precision; in terms of sweet, heat, flavor and seasoning, Q Fanatic’s stuff is dead on the money. Easily some of the best BBQ in the area, and arguably the best, putting old standbys such as Ted Cook’s 19th Hole and corporate automaton Famous Dave’s to shame.
BEST BET: Pork ribs (dry or wet) with Espresso BBQ sauce ($13.95) are shockingly — almost obscenely — delicious.
BBQ in Champlin
180 Miller Rd
Champlin, MN 55316
OWNER/CHEF: Eric Sueker and Charlie Johnson / Charlie Johnson
ENTREE RANGE: ($7-17)