Carena Ives of Carena's Jamaican Grille Photo by Steve Hedberg
For a vegan alternative to the traditional pulled pork sandwich, head to Ipanema Café. The vegetarian restaurant on West Grace Street serves a mean barbecue sandwich made from brined jackfruit that's been saturated in a molasses-and-brown-sugar sauce. Served atop a fresh focaccia roll and paired with Ipanema's vegan coleslaw, the sweet and savory sandwich will satisfy any herbivore's barbecue craving. 917 W. Grace St, 213-0190 or ipanemaveg.com
We used to say in Honolulu that the Chinese would eat all of the pig but the squeal. The best part of the pig at Queen's Dim Sum is its deep-fried, spicy spareribs. These juicy morsels of pork are irresistible, with a crispy, salty coating that has just a hint of five-spice powder. 7801 W. Broad St., 672-8989 or queensdimsum.com
In Jamaica, barbecue simply means food cooked on a grill. Jamaican alleyways are filled with impromptu barbecues perfumed by burning allspice wood roasting slabs of meat. At Carena's Jamaican Grille, the jerk chicken wings are fired in a custom-built, 1,000-degree charcoal oven with a griddle in its belly. The chicken is rubbed with jerk seasoning, chockablock with allspice and scotch bonnets, and so hot that the oven will seem cool in comparison. 7102 Midlothian Turnpike, 422-5375 or 422jerk.com .
Korea knows barbecue. Korean galbi consists of beef short ribs cut across the bone, marinated in a harmonious blend of dark sesame oil, ginger, garlic and soy sauce with a touch of brown sugar and then grilled to tender perfection. No one in Richmond does that better than Korean Garden on Midlothian Turnpike. 6827 Midlothian Turnpike, 675-0511 or koreangardenva.com