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Big Jim's Old South Barbecue
190 North Coast Highway 101, Encinitas

"Big Jim" Wade, from Clanton, Alabama, does barbecue right -- smoking it long and slow over sweet-flavored hickory. Then he makes two different sauces to sop it with -- a tangy, mustardy Carolina-style sauce for his pulled pork and chicken, and a Texas-style sweet tomatoey sauce for beef. If that's not enough to put every Q-lover into hog heaven, there are the fixin's, which will truly "put some South in your mouth." The "soup or salad" option includes a nonpareil Brunswick stew, made from Wade's family recipe -- a smoky-sweet meaty mixture of poached-to-shreds pork, chicken, and brisket mingling with tomatoes, corn kernels, and coffee in a deep, thick, complex broth. The hush puppies are tangy and airy. The slaw is clean and balanced. The corn muffins are sweet with honey butter.

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