When you walk in the front door, the smell of hickory smoke almost knocks you over, and that’s how you know you have arrived at one of the nation’s best barbeque joints (according to Men’s Journal Magazine, Business Insider, The Daily Beast and TripAdvisor). City Barbeque got its start when a group of BBQ competitors were named Champion at the American Royal Barbeque Competition, considered the highest level of barbeque competition, for their Brisket. This gave Rick Malir and his wife Bonnie the confidence to open their first restaurant in Columbus, OH. They got their start catering OSU football games, and catering is still a big part of the business. “We had never run a restaurant, so we had a lot of learning to do”, said Rick. “I was blessed to have found the right people to help the restaurant succeed, many of which are still with the company today.” The restaurant features many fantastic sides straight from the family cookbook, along with constantly refined smoking and pit master tricks to turn out competition quality meats. City Barbeque believes strongly in giving back to the community and focusing on taking care of guests with something they call Backyard Hospitality. Since the Carmel joint opened in May 2013, they have given back over $50,000 to organizations like Carmel High School, Carmel Dad’s Club and Humane Society for Hamilton Co., and the list goes on and on. Each manager is encouraged to get involved in the community. Many organizations work with City Barbeque to host a fundraiser at the joint for their nonprofit, kid’s sports team or church group. City Barbeque gives back 25 percent of proceeds generated from fundraising efforts. You can visit their website or ask to speak with a manager for the scoop. So, what is the secret to making great barbeque? The Carmel joint is equipped with three huge smokers which are fed with local hickory wood. The beef brisket, pulled pork, ribs, chicken and turkey are slow-smoked to perfection, some meats taking up to 18 hours to cook. As they say in the barbeque world, low and slow is the secret. City Barbeque has been voted the barbeque favorite year after year by the Indy A-List. Along with their competition quality meats, their sides are known as some of the best! From green beans with bacon and corn pudding to fresh cut fries and classic collard greens, they have a little something to please everyone. Speaking of pleasing people, do you have a large group of folks to feed? Their catering provides exceptional customer services as well as the delicious food you would expect. “We love City Barbeque food, and it did not disappoint at our wedding. It was delicious, and many people said it was the best wedding food they’ve had. The set-up with the cast iron pots was unique and fun. I wasn’t expecting it, but it complemented our venue perfectly. The staff serving at the event were friendly and helpful.” Weddings, birthdays, corporate luncheons – they’ve done it all.