Strip centers are seldom homey, but the first thing you’ll notice at Top 5 is a sense of community. Kendon Greene greets every customer with “It’s a smoking good day!” and the staff is equally friendly and chatty. They’re good people, and they produce great, highly distinctive ’cue, thanks largely to a dry rub consisting of, among other things, turmeric, cumin, curry powder, and smoked paprika. Greene calls it his universal rub—“because I put it on everything”—and you’ll taste it most clearly on the tender pork ribs. More traditional, the flawlessly smoked, heartier brisket and beef ribs were rapper Jay Z’s favorite during a recent visit to Texas. Note also the sides and desserts, all scratch-made by Greene’s wife, Davetta. The collard greens and mac and cheese are standouts, as is the peach cobbler.
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