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Our picks for the sometimes less obvious winners.
Best Barbecue (2012)
401 Lighthouse Ave., Monterey
Henry’s got prime pork in the pit and superb sauce on the spare ribs every day in New Monterey. This relative newcomer to the Peninsula food scene is making it clear who’s the king of the Q for the second straight year. The poetic blend of venue and vittles is the typical takeaway from any Henry’s visit, where the old Victorian dining atmosphere complements the made-from-scratch taste nicely. Hawaiian-style pulled pork, seasoned tri-tip or boneless pork loin complete plates ladled with homemade potato or macaroni salads, or perhaps bacon-cheese bread or beef-and-bean chili – any number of comfort-food combinations can be had, with similarly stuffed outcomes. Six beers on tap with a weekday happy hour (3-6pm) means getting here early is OK, as is a collared sidekick given the pooch-friendly patio.