Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox have been fixtures along the shoreline of Lake Bemidji since 1937. Below is the obligatory photo:
Paul Bunyan (L), Babe the Blue Ox (R)
Even though they’ve been in this spot for 73 years, seemingly enjoying the attention they’ve received, I wouldn’t be suprised if the dynamic duo followed their noses a block to the west. There sits the best kept secret in Bemidji and possibly in northern Minnesota: Backyard BBQ. On a recent visit to Bemidji which included taking the above photo, the smell from the Backyard BBQ began wafting our way. On this trip, I was accompanied by TV’s David Schwab. And in the interest of a blog and eating, we went there for a mid-afternoon lunch. This BBQ joint has been in business for a couple of years in downtown Bemidji and it is awesome. The inside is dark with a bar and many picnic tables with the classic red and white checkered table cloths. The place is old-school from top to bottom, without an ounce of pretentiousness. And best of all, they serve real BBQ. Ribs, chicken, brisket, pork…well, you get the picture. And they have their own commercial-sized smoker on the premises. I ordered a sampler platter which included ribs, shredded pork, and the best brisket I’ve ever had. It was unreal. It was the most tender BBQ I’ve ever eaten. And this was not my first rodeo. Schwab ate a shredded chicken sandwich and he didn’t speak for ten minutes so I assume he liked it. They also have about five or six different kinds of BBQ sauce which they also make. I’m having meat-sweats just thinking about it. As an added bonus, I had the best Arnold Palmer of the summer at the BYBBQ. I’ve spent the last few days trying to make up an excuse to go to Bemidji again.
Backyard BBQ, 119 3rd St. NW, Bemidji