Ranking without Texas, Kansas City causes stir

With May as the national barbecue month, international food magazine Chef’s Pencil posted its best and worst cities to grill, and some people on social media disagreed vehemently with the ranking.

The publication, launched in 2009 by Dutch chef Paul Hegeman, used data from TripAdvisor for the reviews. “We analyzed the TripAdvisor ratings of all barbecue areas in the 75 largest cities in the country and rated the cities based on their average rating,” says the article. Chef’s Pencil examined 2,020 establishments that had grilled dishes on their menu and had at least five reviews.

Despite using Tripadvisor data, the travel company expressed “concerns” about the presentation of the data.

“Tripadvisor is unrelated to this BBQ study presented by Chef’s Tab. In fact, we have concerns about the use and presentation of Tripadvisor data within the study, including how cities were ranked against each other,” said Elizabeth Monahan, Tripadvisor spokeswoman . said in a statement to USA TODAY.

Here are the best and worst grill towns according to Chef’s Pencil, along with their score (out of five):

Top cities for grilling in the US

  1. New Orleans, LA – 4.31
  2. Oklahoma City, OK – 4.26
  3. Charlotte, NC-4.25
  4. Wichita, KS-4.25
  5. Virginia Beach, VA-4.25
  6. Columbus, OH-4.24
  7. Seattle, WA- 4.23
  8. St. Louis, MO – 4.21
  9. Miami, FL-4.18
  10. Newark, NJ-4.18

Worst cities for grilling in the US

  1. Anchorage, AK-3.60
  2. Plano, TX-3.82
  3. Boston, MA-3.82
  4. San Antonio, TX-3.86
  5. Aurora, CO-3.90
  6. Jacksonville, FL-3.92
  7. Houston, TX 3.93
  8. Philadelphia, PA-3.93
  9. Omaha, NE-3.93
  10. Fort Worth, TX-3.94

Chef’s Pencil also crowned the Blue Door Smokehouse in Lexington, Kentucky, the best grill restaurant in the country.

The rankings found their way onto social media, and people were upset about a number of things, including cities in Texas that weren’t in the top 10 but were on the “worst” rankings.

Visit Houston replied with a laugh. The city of Houston was rated seventh worst by Chef’s Pencil.

Some people asked why Seattle and Newark, New Jersey were on the list, while others gave Newark credit for the Portuguese barbecue.

Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jord_mendoza.


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