Brooks' House of Bar-B-Que in Oneonta New York

I enjoy looking for unique restaurants while I travel. But my favorite eatery is here in my hometown of Oneonta, New York: Brook's House of Bar-B-Que, a family business that began as a poultry farm.

From there, it developed into a concession stand, and then grew into one of the largest open-pit barbecues in the Northeast. I love the spare ribs, and my husband raves about the barbecued chicken. With your order, you get an extra bucket to throw the bones in, along with plenty of wet wipes — you're going to need 'em!

Be sure to leave room for their exceptional pies; my favorite is pecan. Take-out service is available, and Brook's sells its homemade barbecue sauces by the bottle.

Oneonta is on State Highway 7, just north of I-88 and about 65 miles northeast of Binghamton (home to the Broome County carousels). Brook's (5560 State Highway 7) is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

For details, call 1-860-536-3354.

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