something about summer

Nuanced and spiced, barbecue of any kind is the taste of the season
by Jenny Elig

Deluxe spud, Johnson’s BBQ Shack
82 S. Baldwin St., Bargersville, and 100 Byrd Way, Greenwood. (317) 458-4660,

Although you won’t find something particularly exotic here, you will find lots of experience, which pays off in slow and low heat smoked meats, enhanced with a local shag bark hickory wood and apple wood rub. Those years of experience are evident in the pulled pork, the beef brisket, the chicken and the boneless pork chop. Or try a full or half-rack of ribs. Our pick? The deluxe spud, that is, a baked potato topped with butter, sour cream, jalapenos, green onions, tomatoes, cheese and 1/3 pound of either pulled pork or chicken.

Sliced brisket sandwich, Jib’s BBQ & Catering
38 S. Crowell St., Franklin. (317) 294-6178, on Facebook @JibsBBQ.

Straightforward and uncomplicated, this family-owned and operated Franklin takeout venue and catering service offers hardwood-smoked meats, including ribs and pulled meats, along with classic barbecue sides such as macaroni and cheese and baked beans. We’re definitely going to make friends with the sliced brisket sandwich, which is cooked to perfection and served with two of the aforementioned sides.

Kalbi or bulgogi, Sisters Korean Restaurant
916 E. Main St., Suite 210, Greenwood. (317) 300-1741,

Although not the Southern experience most westerners expect when they think of barbecue, Korean barbecue is an experience everyone should have. The grill comes to you, right at your table. You cook your meats as you go along. At Sisters Korean Restaurant, which was opened by three friends who met at a grocery store, you can have an authentic experience without leaving Johnson County. Our first barbecue pick? The kalbi, aka marinated beef short ribs, or the bulgogi, thin-sliced marinated ribeye.

Crispy pork belly street tacos, Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill
780 U.S. 31, Greenwood. (317) 859-6499,

Fiery tastes await you at the Greenwood location of this national chain. Start off with the fried pickles or wings, then move on to burgers or barbecue combos of hand-pulled pork, Texas-style beef brisket or grilled bourbon chicken barbecue street tacos, loaded nachos or fried green tomatoes. Personally, we’re eyeing the barbecue street tacos, specifically the pork belly tacos. You’ll get three crispy pork bellies in a soft flour tortilla with spicy Korean barbecue sauce served street style with onion, salsa, cilantro and pickled red onions. Wash it all down with a signature cocktail, such as the smooth bourbon blackberry lemonade or the smoked maple old-fashioned.

Barbecue squid, Sushi Club
8028 S. Emerson Ave., Suite BB, Indianapolis. (317) 497-8097,

You might head to Sushi Club for a three-page, all-you-can-eat (sushi, rolls and appetizers) menu or the hard-to-find rolls that make their appearances on the weekend — like the dancing yellowtail roll and black pepper tuna. We’re heading here for those, too, but the summertime calls for a cephalopod or two, and we’re hitting Sushi Club for the barbecue squid. Additionally, beer and wine are served, and takeout service is available, so you can have your squid in house or take it home and eat it on the porch.