PIECES OF VERMONT®
RES eCom, Inc.
PO Box 578
Jacksonville, VT 05342
Curtis Barbecue Pit
Curtis' All American Barbecue Pit "9th Wonder of the World"
Just off I-91, Exit 4, Putney, Vermont
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. How do we now? Because I've personally eaten at Curtis' Barbecue many times and I'm always amazed at three things; the amazing taste of the food, the relaxed "picnic table" environment, and the smoke! The smell of that wood-fired smoke is intoxicating.
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 Yankee magazine, my girlfriend 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 said.
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. We quickly got in line to place an order and then made our way over to the picnic table, passing the barbecue pit. I just had to meet the person responsible for what I've always dreamed about in terms of barbecuing - 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. I distinctly remember thinking, "What a great guy! Nice. Friendly."
We found a spot at a picnic table 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 Curtis' barbecue sauce was indeed delicious! We knew right away that this was going to become a "best barbecue sauce" for our private barbecue sauce stock. And it has so for years since. The sauce was everything everyone was saying it would be. As we finished our lunch I told my girlfriend, "We gotta take some Curtis' barbecue sauce home with us." She agreed, and we bought a case of six bottles, four of which we ended up giving to friends back home.
Over the years since this trip to Curtis' Barbecue Pit I have sampled a good number of other BBQ sauces and have boiled my choices down to a small selection, with Curtis' sauce certainly one of them. I use Curtis' spicy sauce when cooking baby back ribs. I have two maple barbecue sauces that I enjoy with a couple recipes. I use a spicy Key Lime sauce for shrimp and spiny lobster. And lastly, Maurice's for chicken. But I also like Curtis' sauce as the sauce for my gluten free homemade barbecue mushroom & onion pizza. I don't know when or if I'll ever get back to Curtis' BBQ Pit, but if you haven't been there yourself, I highly recommend the trip.
The next time you're in southern Vermont, if you you're looking for something fun to do and you like barbecue ribs and chicken, 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. Curtis' barbecue pit is on the right at the junction 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.