When I think "barbecue", St. Louis, Memphis, and Kansas City are the first American cities that come to mind. For the writers at foodandwine.com, one tri-state city ranks right up there with the best of them.

I do love me some BBQ. My usual go to is a half chicken platter usually served with a side of baked beans and mac 'n' cheese although I do enjoy pulled pork and brisket every now and then. Honestly, if it has barbecue sauce on it (tomato based sauce that is, not that vinegar based stuff), I'll at least give it a try.

As much as my wife and I like to cook at home, barbecue is one thing we don't attempt because we don't have the equipment (a smoker) nor do I have the patience to wait 12 or more hours for the meat to cook. That's why I leave it to the pros like Moonlight and Old Hickory BBQ in Owensboro, the two restaurants named in Food and Wine's list.

The Western Kentucky city is mentioned specifically for its barbecued mutton. Food and Wine cites mutton as a "naturally tough meat, which comes from a sheep older than a year" which Owensboro has apparently mastered in the eyes of Food and Wine with a "low and slow wood-smoking and regular applications of a vinegar-and-pepper basting liquid" followed by serving it with "a Worcestershire-based 'black' dipping sauce, or as burgoo, a thick mutton stew fortified with chicken, pork and vegetables." Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go get a towel to soak up the puddle of drool I just left on the floor.

While it's been almost two years since I made a trip to Moonlight, I've never been to Old Hickory. But I'm thinking it's about time to fix that.

Where do you like to go for great BBQ in the tri-state?