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Curtis' All American Barbecue Pit
"9th Wonder of the World"
Just off I-91, Exit 4, Putney, Vermont
*Article written and published 8/20/05
No, those cars aren't on fire, and it's not the building in the back.
It's Curtis' All American "9th Wonder of the World" Barbecue. If you're traveling to Vermont along the
I-91 corridor, Curtis' Barbecue off Exit 4, Putney Vermont, is a must stop!
Why? Simple. This barbecue pit is one of southern Vermont's most talked about local roadside attractions.
You won't find a typical polished restaurant set up to cater to the tourists, what you'll find is a real
barbecue pit. Nothing fancy, just a lot of smoke, a line of people waiting to place an order, and the best
tasting barbecue chicken and ribs north of New York City.
For almost 40 years Curtis Tuff has been doing what he does best, cooking award-winning barbecue chicken and ribs
from his roadside stand. If you didn't know about this barbecue stop and were just passing by, you'd find yourself
asking, "What's going on over there?" On weekends, especially during the summer when people can enjoy the sun and
picnic table area, the parking lot is filled with travelers and locals alike, stopping for some delicious spicy
southern style chicken and ribs, a bucket of slaw and perhaps a bottle of Curtis' own cream soda
to wash it all down. No need for a knife because the meat just falls off the bone - perfectly cooked and
covered in Curtis' barbecue sauce.
After reading about this "Vermont's best eatery" in
Susan and I finally decided to go check it out. We'd known about Curtis' roadside
stand for years, but in all our trips to Vermont the timing was never right to stop by. So, on
August 23rd, 2005, while enjoying our yearly summer vacation in the Green Mountains, our curiosity got the
best of us. We hopped in the car and drove over to Putney from Wilmington. Not knowing what to expect, we
ate a very light breakfast. "If it is as good as everyone raves, we'll want to eat a lot!"
We weren't surprised when we arrived to find a full parking lot, but the amount of smoke billowing off the
pit did amaze us. Susan quickly got in line to place an order while I made my way over to the barbecue pit.
I just had to meet the person responsible for what I've always dreamed about in terms of barbecueing - smoke!
Lots of smoke! Oh, I have matured over the years. I used to gage my grilling success by the amount of fire.
I got the attention of the guy working the pit by saying, "Are you the famous Curtis?"
The gentleman turned and much to my surprise walked right over to shake my hand and say, "Well, I don't know how famous I am, but I am Curtis."
We then chatted for several minutes before he had to return to tending the chicken and ribs. By this time
Susan had our order and we made our way to the picnic tables thinking, "What a great guy! Nice. Friendly."
We found a spot in the shade and... "OK, lets try this stuff out!" Well I gotta tell you folks, I don't
eat a lot of meat as a rule and can't remember the last time I ordered ribs, but this was the best tasting
lunch I'd had in while. The meat just fell off the bone and the barbecue sauce
was delicious! We knew right away that this was going to become a "best barbecue sauce" for our private barbecue sauce stock.
It was everything everyone was saying it would be. As we finished our lunch I told Susan, "We gotta take some of his barbecue sauce
home with us." She agreed.
So the next time you're in southern Vermont, if you like barbecue, make a point to hang a right at
Exit 4 off Interstate 91 (the Putney
exit, 10 miles north of Brattleboro). Head towards Rte. 5, Putney. The barbecue pit is on the right at the juction
of Rte. 5, 1 mile from the Interstate. They're open, "'til sundown." We think you'll agree that the chicken and ribs
found here are made with the best barbecue sauce around.
If you can't make it to Vermont, but you'd like to try Curtis' All American Spicy Southern Style Bar-B-Q Sauce,
Ingredients: Ketchup (tomato concentrate, distilled vinegar, high fluctose corn syrup, salt, onion powder),
Cider Vinegar, Water, Cayenne Pepper Sauce (aged cayenne pepper, vinegar, salt, garlic), Tabasco Sauce (vinegar,
red pepper, salt), Salad Mustard (white distilled vinegar, water, mustard seed, salt, turmeric, spices), Liquid
Hickory Smoke, Herbs & Spices.