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Asking people to pick their favorite barbecue place seems like a simple enough question, right?

It's not.

Maybe reader John Green sums things up best when it comes to rating who has the best barbecue in the Chattanooga area.

"It's really a question of taste and style of BBQ that you like. My personal favorite type of BBQ is Texas style, so I'll say Thatcher's in Ringgold. Their brisket is as close to Texas style as you get!"

Personal tastes in Q can be influenced by any number of factors, such as what part of the country you grew up in, what the barbecue joint closest to you serves and whether you like ribs, chicken, pork or beef.

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The pulled-pork sandwich at Charlie's Quick Stop on Main Street featured sides of potato salad, coleslaw and baked beans with the sandwich. / Photo by Susan Pierce

Then there is the issue of sauce. Should it be vinegar-based, spicy or sweet? Families have split up (or so we've heard) over whether you should even put sauce on your meat — and if so, when. Some argue the smoky flavor of a well-cooked piece of meat is all you need.

We haven't even talked about wood vs. charcoal vs. gas for the grill.

But for our recent online poll, the question was: "Where can we find the best barbecue in the Chattanooga area? More than 265 people responded to our poll and on social media.

Edley's got the most shout-outs, and Charlie's Quick Stop was right behind it in the number of people suggesting it as the best, but Shuford's, Sugar's and Old Plantation also are reader favorites.

Jerry Payne pointed out what most barbecue lovers believe, which is that you sometimes have to go to different restaurants for different types of barbecue.

"Charlie's BBQ can't be beat on ribs and brisket in Chattanooga. Hillbilly Willy's on pulled pork."

Bones, The Purple Daisy and Couch's were also highly recommended.

Next week's poll question: Where can you get the best cup of coffee in town?

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6354.

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