Lured by the promise of authentic Texas barbecue cuisine coupled with classic sides of the American South, Amsterdammers have been flocking to Graceland BBQ since it opened in 2013. Set in De Marktkantine in the city's newly gentrified Oud-West neighborhood, minutes from popular De Hallen, the joint immerses folks in down-home country ambiance and the smoky aromas of long, slow Southern cooking. Were it not for the cyclists streaming by the street-side terrace (and the weather), you might think you've arrived in Nashville.
The American born and bred staff speaks only English and can move as slowly as the sweetener in Graceland's North Carolina-influenced honey-blackberry glaze. If you want to be entertained while you wait, come on a Sunday, when country and bluegrass groups serenade diners on the outdoor patio, and beer and kick-ass cocktails flow.
Combos for two or more feature brisket, flank steak, spareribs, crab cakes and blackened catfish, plus grilled veggies for the non-carnivores. All are accompanied by tangy coleslaw, house pickles and cornbread. Classic Southern sides include braised collard greens, succotash, mac 'n cheese, hush puppies, baked beans and sweet potato fries. The star of the show is Black Betty, a heavy-duty Texas smoker that tips the scales at 1,400 kilos. Used to smoke meat, fish, cheese, oysters and veggies for up to 16 hours, the steel beast holds up to 200 kilos of fresh meat—plenty to satisfy the hungriest cowboy posse.