Oct 1, 2021

A brief return to LD’s BBQ, East Troy, Wis.

If there’s one thing this commoner has learned in my never-ending quest to find the best possible barbecue, it’s that you can find top quality ‘que practically anywhere and in any place.  So, I was not surprised when I discovered what may be Wisconsin’s best barbecue several years ago being run out of a deli counter in a gas station convenience store in East Troy, Wisconsin. 

But nothing lasts forever.  Fortunately, when you’re as good as LD’s BBQ, that’s a good thing.  LD’s BBQ has outgrown that gas station (which no longer exists) and moved across the street to a much larger building.  In fact, it’s big as a barn (and kind of looks like one) and offers plenty of parking – both necessary for a barbecue joint that has built a well-deserved large following.   

You’re also still likely to smell the smoke from the barbecue cooking all the way to Interstate 43 nearby.  It looks like they brought over all the original equipment for smoking all their meats and probably added on, too.  

They also made sure to have plenty of space for the inevitable long lines at lunchtime. 

Also fortunately, the menu is essentially unchanged from its beginnings.  LD’s BBQ continues to offer its ridiculously oversized specialty sandwiches with your choice of one side, as if you need anything extra.  The Wiley, a hoagie stuffed with a smoked sausage then covered with brisket and pulled pork, remains my favorite.  For even more carnivorous appetites, you can’t go wrong with a dinner platter of whatever combination of meats is making you salivate at the moment with two heaping sides. 

My go-to platter is still LD’s rib tips, with sides of slaw and ribs-n-beans.  As the photo shows, they don’t last long once I’m ready to eat.   

And no longer do you have to worry about finding an open seat somewhere among the few tables at the old gas station or settle on taking your stacked Styrofoam platter to your car.  LD’s current dining room is very spacious, even if you may still be sharing a table with some new friends.  Given how stuffed you may get, having a place to hang out for a while after you're finished eating might be a really good plan. 

As a semi-frequent customer when I was working in Wisconsin, it’s good to see the growth and success of a place like LD’s BBQ.  I’m obviously not alone in thinking the food is definitely worth the trip … and repeated visits.  And happily, LD’s growth has in no way diminished how good the barbecue continues to be.  If you love barbecue, some of Wisconsin’s best is still right off Exit 38 on Interstate 43 as you pass East Troy.  Just look for the big red building instead of the gas station.  

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