Blue Oak BBQ

900 N. Carrollton Ave., (504) 621-9837; blueoakbbq.com

When Blue Oak BBQ took over the old Fellini’s Café last spring, it already had a fan base thanks to years spent as a fixture inside the Chickie Wah Wah nightclub. Now, the barbecue finally takes center stage. The new digs are rustic-casual, family-friendly and give more room to really get after Blue Oak’s full-tilt flavor. Anticipation builds in line, as you look into an open kitchen to see staff slicing ribs and brisket, piling chopped beef into Texas toast sandwiches and sprinkling panko crumbs over the roasted garlic mac and cheese. The full bar has a good selection of drafts. Lunch and dinner Tuesday-Sunday. $

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Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - Slow-and-low cooking put the New Orleans restaurant the Joint on the map for barbecue lovers.

The Joint

701 Mazant St., (504) 949-3232; alwayssmokin.com

New barbecue restaurants have been billowing across New Orleans lately, but one of the early adopters locally of the slow-and-low approach is still among the best places to satisfy a craving for deeply-smoked meats. The short menu offers a tutorial of regional styles, from St. Louis ribs through Carolina pulled pork and Texas brisket. The new location the Joint took up a few years ago put only a minimal polish on the creature comforts (you still order at the counter and find yourself a picnic table), though the bonus is a bar where you can sample the way a glass of syrah pairs with smoke. Lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday. $

Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter, @IanMcNultyNOLA.