Pulled Pork Tug-of-War: Honey Bear's Bar-B-Q vs Stacey's Smokehouse

happy bbq.jpg
Summer is on its way out yet the sunshine is still plentiful. Sounds like perfect timing for a barbecue to us. Would you agree?

Just think. Pulled pork. Slowly cooked and slowly smoked over a low heat for hours until the meat is tender enough to softly pull apart. Are you in or are you in?!

Enter our battle of the dishes: Honey Bear's Bar-B-Q in Phoenix off Central Avenue vs Stacy's Smokehouse on Indian School Road in Phoenix.

Join the battle after the jump.

In One Corner: Honey Bear's Bar-B-Q
2824 N. Central Ave. 602.279.7911

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Nicole Whittington

The Set Up: Wrapped up in tin foil (or is it aluminum foil?) you'll find a mound of pulled pork loaded with Honey Bear's special sauce. It's set between a soft white bun, reminiscent of the Wonder bread some of us grew up on.
Pros: The meat was juicy with a present smokiness. The sauce had a little tang with all the spice black pepper could offer. The combination is the reason people return time after time.
Cons: Maybe the "wonder bun" was a bit too soft. The bun was completely soaked through, making it almost impossible to pick up about halfway through. If you can finish this sandwich in three bites or less, then maybe the soggy bun won't be an issue.

In the Other Corner: Stacy's Smokehouse
1650 E. Indian School Rd. 602.230.6724

stacy's pork.jpg
Nicole Whittington

The Set Up: The staff is friendly, down to earth, not hesitant to start random conversations about Tom Robbins' "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" and tattoos. Your lunch is served in a red basket with wax paper. The sandwich is simple, almost naked, accompanied with a squeeze bottle of BBQ sauce.

Pros: With full control over the BBQ sauce bottle, this sandwich can quickly turn into a pulled pork sloppy joe. It may require two hands and possibly a fork, but we're not complaining. Definitely go with the lunch special and try one of a dozen options. We couldn't deny the greens; as good as granny used to make.

Cons: Is it possible all the well-smoked meat was saved for the Scottsdale location? Because our sandwich came up a bit short. Some bites were packed full of dry meat and some were...not so dry. Definitely enough to make the experience slightly less enjoyable.

The Verdict: By what other standard does one judge a pork sandwich other than by the pork? Honey Bear's takes the win for this battle. The BBQ sauce is also important, but we'll leave the sauciness up to you. Go ahead! Leave your comments below and share with us all.

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The key at Honey Bears is to order the sauce on the side. Especially for take out orders.

Joe Distort
Joe Distort

i know everyone is dying for my opinion but, i GREATLY prefer Stacys. not just for the meat but most of the dishes there are top notch.cant complain, it is pretty nice to work by Honey Bears and live by Stacys though!


Anyone that says honey bears is good bbq is a bbq neophyte at best, or has never eaten bbq outside of AZ. Whether you a fan of memphis style, texas style or any other style of BBQ you know better then to eat at honey Bears. Sometimes a piece of meat has a bad day but the fact that Stacy's is proud enough of their smoke to put it on a plate without drowing it in sauce makes it the automatic winner in my book. BBQ is about the meat not the gallons of sauce you can dunk it in ala Honey Bears.


Honey Bears will always have my vote.  When I worked in a building at Thomas and Central I had a number of fine dining establishments around me, and I tried them all (xcept BurgerKing..not fine).  But of them all Honey Bears took the prize.. the very best BBQ and the sides were great!  The gentleman from Ohio and his son (who runs the central ave location) are great people, they always hooked me up with piles of their BBQ cuisine and great conversation!


I'll give Honeybears credit for being one of the first to bring 'Que to Phoenix. That being said, about once a year I go to one of their locations hoping the food won't disappoint, sadly, it always does.

As a "sauce" guy, I'm a fan of sauces to compliment well done 'Que but they don't even get that right. I've had runny Mac n cheese, soggy bread, overcooked meats and Blaise service. (I even wrote a yelp review specifically listing what I thought of a previous meal which they had removed citing I had a "conflict of interest."

I am a fan of Stacy's Smokehouse though. If you happen to be looking for "down home" no frills 'Que, you can usually count on Stacy to bring it!.

calling Dr. Kevorkian
calling Dr. Kevorkian

  You're so sad, White. Let me guess: In between short sessions of rubbing yourself to under 18 web porn on a public library PC, you browse blog sites searching for subject matter you can chime in on with your inbred intellect. Turds like you live and die anonymously. And stupidity such as yours deserves no better.

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