Anyone living in the north metro is hereby officially encouraged to give Dixie Blue BBQ a try. It’s modest-looking from the outside—little more than a spic-and-span travel plaza with some beer signs in the midst of a new housing development—and inside doesn’t offer much than some friendly people behind a counter and clean tables. But such modest environs make for a very agreeable weeknight. Daily specials run in the $7-to-$9 range, and include options like an excellent barbecued chicken, tender and well smoked, or gooey, tasty rib-tips. Set those on the table alongside a gargantuan smoked beef-brisket sandwich, piled high with weighty, tender beef; add a couple beers; tell the kids to dig in; and call it dinner. Probably not worth the drive from Orono or Mankato, but if you’re in the neighborhood, Dixie Blue is on par with the sort of barbecue spots that dot the South. It’s good, it’s friendly, and it’s both cheaper and better than anything you’ll find at a fast-food chain. So if you live in Blaine, Andover, or Lino Lakes, tell your neighbors: there’s good barbecue to be had near you.
Dixie Blue, 2330 Cloud Dr., Blaine, 763-208-9394, dixiebluebbq.com