Although I enjoy making my own BBQ at home, it is also nice to go out for BBQ sometimes and see what other folks are doing. There are definitely some big differences between crockpot BBQ and restaurant BBQ. For one thing, a traditional BBQ restaurant will cook their meats (pork, ribs, brisket etc.) in a smoker for anywhere from 12-24 hours using a variety of woods (hickory, apple etc.) to give the meat difference flavors. The pinkness that you may notice when you are eating pulled pork or chicken is a result of the smoking process and a sign that you are having quality BBQ. Going out and enjoying BBQ food prepared properly always inspires me to get back in there and make something new.
I went home to Boston this past weekend and no visit there is complete without stopping in to Blue Ribbon BBQ. I remember going there for lunch as a senior in high school and it hasn't changed much since. I got a Burnt Ends sandwich (this is the ends of the beef brisket which are chopped up) with coleslaw and black eyed corn for under $7. I think it may have been about $6 when I was in high school, but still an incredible value today.
I could really taste the variety of seasonings that they incorporate into both their BBQ rubs and sauces. There are other BBQ restaurants that make claims of being the best but Blue Ribbon is still hands down the best BBQ I have ever had. A 10 out of 10 in my book! If anyone reading is ever in Newton, MA, Blue Ribbon is a must eat (http://www.blueribbonbbq.com/).