Everyone knows that good brisket draws a crowd, but side dishes — long pegged as the also-ran at the barbecue table — finally are getting their due. With a growing number of barbecue restaurants in the city, there's never been a better time for smoked meats and creative accompaniments. Here are some of New Orleans' best barbecue sides and specials.
• Central City BBQ
1201 S. Rampart St., (504) 558-4276; www.centralcitybbq.com
Sides and specials: Sweet corn spoonbread, umami pickles, chicken- fried pimiento cheese.
• The Joint
701 Mazant St., (504) 949-3232; www.alwayssmokin.com
Sides and specials: Salad with smoked tomato and onion dressing, smoked pastrami, peanut butter pie.
• Frey Smoked Meat Co.
4141 Bienville St., Suite 110, (504) 488-7427; www.freysmokedmeat.com
Sides and specials: Spicy grilled cabbage, pimiento mac 'n' cheese, Coffee & Donuts milkshake.
• Smoke BBQ
1005 N. Collins Blvd., Covington, (985) 302-5307; www.smokebb-qcovington.com
Sides and specials: Smoke fries, cheddar cheese grits, smoked chicken wings.
• Blue Oak BBQ
900 N. Carrollton Ave., (504) 822-2583; www.blueoakbbq.com
Sides and specials: Barbecue nachos, Brussels sprouts, roasted garlic macaroni and cheese.
• Black Label Icehouse
3000 Dryades St., (504) 875-2876; www.blacklabelbbq.com
Sides and specials: Bacon-wrapped cream cheese jalapeno poppers, apple hand pies.
• McClure's Barbecue
NOLA Brewery, 3001 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 301-2367; www.mccluresbarbecue.com
Sides and specials: Molasses-stewed collard greens, barbecue poutine, barbecue jambalaya.
• Brugger's Barbecue
St. Roch Market, 2381 St. Claude Ave., (504) 609-3813; www.facebook.com/bruggersbarbecue
Sides and specials: Chili bowls, duck fat grilled cheese, German- style potato salad.