Little Miss BBQ - Smokey, Charred, Fatty, Meaty Goodness

2015 list of restaurants that have captured our love and admiration
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M_L
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5 years ago

I am not certain there has been a larger impact on our food scene that has opened since Lil' Miss did in February of 2014. I think if we could have found a way to squeeze them in last year we would have because there is no question they deserve it. However, for those of you who are unfamiliar with what Little Miss supplies to the masses it is quite simply some of the best Texas style BBQ you will ever have the honor to wait in line for and consume. They open at 11 and often sell out by 2 so that should say something all by itself.

The pastrami is without question my favorite item on the menu, much to my chagrin it only appears on Thursdays which makes it difficult to want to go any other day. Of course if you do not go any other day how will you ever try their monster beef ribs? For most people it will start and end with the fatty and lean briskets. (If you are lucky the header image on the site will be an amazing shot of the brisket with AZScott in the background) And for those people you are not wrong for thinking that way, because they might be the best ones I ever had and once upon a time I lived in Texas (that was for you Lunchbox), I have been to some of the gospel BBQ places, and this stands right up there with them. The links were above average when they opened but the last few times I have had some they really hit the spot, but I am a sucker for links and I will always get at least a little bit. (There are more items but I have highlighted my favorites) I have yet to get my hands on a lamb neck but I look to rectify that problem soon. Also I have seen the posts about the Pot Pies and I really need to find a way to get my hands on one of those bad boys.

There are several sides for you to choose from but the star of this show is the meat and they made certain to get it locked in before moving on to the sides. Though the star sideshow for me is the beans. They have become truly excellent. It is the monster pepper hit and miscellaneous chunks of meat that really sells them for me. Oh and for those of you that care they have your white bread, pickles and onions as well.

Now for a bit of an elephant, SAUCE. Great BBQ does not need sauce. This BBQ unquestionably fits in that category. But for those of you who are sauce inclined or like it on your sides they have you covered so to speak. (I actually like some sauce on my links) The regular, the spicy and the mustard. All three started out pretty good and have improved as well, I really enjoy the mustard sauce. I do not mind doing a little dipping to get a different flavor or to give it a bit more spice but I implore you all to try the meat without sauce before you smother them.

Lets move on to the most important factor, no it is not the tight parking (but honestly surprisingly reasonable all things considered) or what has become for the most part a pretty impressive waiting queue. It is the staff. Scott & Bekke have created something we may not have known we wanted but clearly we needed it. They have taken a Texas staple and transplanted it to Arizona in both a faithful and personal way that we cannot help but be excited about it. They have clearly worked their collective asses off and it shows. It is hard to forget that first time in the door to see Scott at the front of the counter slinging samples of the wares. We needed little convincing but we all happily took them, and if you have been waiting in line for a bit this is akin to finding an oasis in the desert.
One of the best aspects of the "show" so to speak is Scott's father who can often be found policing the parking lot, or more notably providing the "tours" of the smoking operation. If he invites you behind the gate to take a look I would recommend it. The behemoth smoker they have constructed is quite a marvel, just go onto the Facebook page and have a look at the build. The entire staff does a great job of getting the hordes of people through the doors efficiently and with great service. They are friendly and seem like a good group of people to work with and they recognize you probably waited in line for awhile to get the opportunity to land in meat heaven. We should have known it would be something special after all Scott and Bekke were the 2012 Arizona Competitive BBQ team of the year.

If my words are not sufficient then review the thread, its only 4 pages and has over 10000 views so it should not take all that long. http://phxfoodnerds.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1440

Here are some select quotes for those of you who suffer from TL;DR: ***Note I edited them for brevity***
Bax wrote:As a native Texan (though I haven't lived there in over 20 years) I think I was probably born with an innate desire for barbecue. It's not something I eat often but when the craving hits, nothing else will do. Sadly, I hadn't found barbecue in Phoenix that made me truly happy. So when I started hearing about the marvels of the brisket at Little Miss, I started to get excited. Brisket like back home? That needs no sauce? That isn't dry and sad? Hallelujah! Finally made it over there today and it DID NOT disappoint. I already knew what I wanted but Scott recognized me as a first-timer and gave me a sample of the fatty brisket. OH MY GOD. YES. THAT. MORE OF THAT. PLEASE.
akurasch wrote:BBQ is a hobby of mine, and I have both competed and I'm a KCBS certified BBQ judge. They have successfully replicated the true Texas BBQ experience here in Arizona, and further they have achieved brisket nirvana. I have no interest in having a side, a dessert, a piece of bread, pickle, or onion because my goal when I go is to savor each and every smokey bite of the best brisket west of Austin."

Mattrozen wrote:Lil Miss BBQ is where I am sending any out of town guests arriving from the airport for lunch. People used to land and head to Bianco, soon it will be land and head to LIl Miss BBQ.
Mike Z wrote:If you want to torture yourself, here's what you do:
You arrive at Little Miss BBQ, and as soon as you get out of the car the scent of the smoker swarms you. You stand in line even closer to the smoker, enveloped in it's aroma for 10-15 minutes. When you get inside Scott gives you a sample of the fatty brisket, then . . . you order their brisket To Go! If you can make it home without having a teeny tiny taste, consider yourself a Jedi Master or Gandhi reincarnated
"I’m not sure if this is the best Texas style barbecue outside of Texas, but it’s certainly in the conversation"
-Daniel Vaughn
http://www.tmbbq.com/little-miss-bbq/

"During my 25 years in the Valley, the needle on my barbecue meter has oscillated predictably between "not bad" and "pretty good." Until now. Little Miss BBQ's "Central Texas"-style meats have blasted the needle way beyond "pretty good," way beyond "very good," all the way, when it comes to brisket and sausage, to "insanely scrumptious.""
-Howard Seftel (He also named it one of the 10 essential restaurants for 2015) http://www.azcentral.com/story/entertai ... /18438821/
chrislee wrote:I can't stop thinking about it pretty much...ever. Not having a background in real BBQ, I was blown away my first visit. I love seeing others enjoy it as much as I do. 13 first timers & they all loved it. One great bonus from the brisket sample was that I pretty much had carte blanche on ordering. I think pretty much everything we've had is excellent but the thing I just can't get out of my head is that fatty brisket. I don't know if I've ever had more flavorful meat or ever enjoyed fat quite as much.
I'm actually ready to go back right now.
davegorton54 wrote:I have nothing original to add. I've made about 6-8 trips down to Little Miss and am blown away every damn time. Everything is really good but the brisket is perfect. You've set the bar extremely high.
mrln242 wrote:The pastrami brisket will be my last bight on death row.
I think you get the idea.
Thank you Scott and Bekke for delivering this bounty unto us.
And with that comment away.

Little Miss BBQ
4301 E. University Dr.
Phoenix, AZ 85034
602-339-0821
http://www.littlemissbbq.com/
Tuesday - Saturday 11:00 am - 4:00 pm or until sold out
Last edited by M_L 5 years ago, edited 6 times in total.
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ScottofStrand
Posts: 624
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Location: Mesa, AZ

5 years ago

No place is more deserving, imho. +1(million)
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Skillet Doux
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5 years ago

It was only a question of who was going to get to the nomination first :-)

The very definition of a no-brainer. One of our own, opening what was, IMO, the most exciting new restaurant of 2014. Little Miss is more than a restaurant. It's a phenomenon that not only raises the BBQ bar in Phoenix by about seventeen notches, but I hope will cause local restaurateurs to rethink a lot of the conventional wisdom surrounding what it takes for a restaurant to succeed in Phoenix.

A seismic happening. The most obvious FNA nomination we've had since Ga Hyang. And maybe ever.
Dominic Armato
Dining Critic
Arizona Republic | azcentral.com
Bax
Posts: 79
Joined: 6 years ago

5 years ago

I heartily endorse the nomination of Little Miss!

Every visit is a joy, despite the line and the wait. Increased popularity means that Scott, his dad and the rest of the staff have less time for socializing, smoker tours, etc. but everyone remains friendly, jovial and delightful. The fatty brisket is simply a marvel (as "chrislee" says, "I don't know if I've ever...enjoyed fat quite as much"), to the point that as good as everything else is, I feel like I'm wasting plate and stomach space if I'm not having brisket (I do need to try that lamb neck one of these days though...).

If I'm craving barbecue I don't even bother with anywhere else anymore. I'm a Little Miss girl through and through. :)
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BillBuitenhuys
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5 years ago

How does one spell "shoe in"? Let there be brisket!
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LaPan
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5 years ago

Duh
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azhotdish
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5 years ago

Just get the FNA sticker and sign printed for LMBBQ! All hail the brisket!
---
Joel
@azhotdish
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BarbaraToombs
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Location: Chandler/Tempe, Arizona

5 years ago

This is a complete no-brainer. Only wish I had nominated them first! :)
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chrislee
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5 years ago

Yeah. Pure love for LMB.
katfishkh
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Location: Peoria, AZ

5 years ago

All of the above ^ :D
Do not resist temptation, you may not get another chance.
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MyLifeOnVacatio
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5 years ago

Nothing to add except even more support for this nomination!
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Mike Z
Posts: 494
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Location: Central Tempe

5 years ago

Just to throw in my two . . .
You know how at amusement parks you can pay extra and buy a speed pass so you don't have to wait in the long snaking lines? If LMB sold one I'd buy it in a heartbeat and I'd have been there 20 more times than I have. It's still ONLY just over a year old, can you believe it? LMB isn't just putting BBQ on the food map in PHX . . . it's one of a handful of joints putting PHX on the food map of the US
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Lunchbox
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5 years ago

This is a no brainer shoe-in...
-- LBX

Instagram: @zachary.garcia

Twitter: @zach_garcia
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Skillet Doux
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5 years ago

Little Miss BBQ has been named to the 2015 Food Nerd Approved list.
Dominic Armato
Dining Critic
Arizona Republic | azcentral.com
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