Most times, we only identify a terrible barbecue restaurant only when our stomach has started acting up when we’re done with a piece or two. But it is quite difficult to recognize one when we’ve only sat down or made an order and yet to be served. That’s next-level sorcery, right?

Well, it’s very possible to do so. Don’t worry we’d take you through some simple signs to warn you about an appalling barbecue restaurant the moment you step into one. The tips are courtesy of the leading Montreal barbecue restaurant, Jarry Smoked Meat Montreal.

#1: You can’t see or even smell the smoker

There should be at least a smell of that wonderful aroma coming from smoking meats or wood burning a block away. If you don’t see any one of these, then there’s every chance that you’re being fooled. Also, if they’re not running the pits in your presence, then it’s another indication that they may not be cooking fresh every day.

#2: The menu highlights the wrong things

Watch out for menus that focus on too many regional barbecue styles. It could be a clear sign that the barbecue joint is a terrible one. Again, take note of joints serving so many varieties of other things such as beverages. Simply confirm if it’s a barbecue joint that serves beverages or a bar serving a little barbecue.

#3:  There’s sauce everywhere

Every great barbecue is accompanied by a great sauce. This does not imply that it should be in excess. When there is excess, then there could be something fishy. It could mean that they are trying to mask a taste or simply cover up something. The barbecue should not be swimming in the sauce. All should be in moderate quantity to provide you with the perfect taste.

#4: The restaurant uses flowery language

Good restaurants don’t have to use words like smoked or barbecue in the description. It should have other brief descriptions. However, you should steer clear from joints that say things like ‘to eat our barbecue, you don’t need teeth’ or ‘fall off the bone.’ They are signs that you could be in the wrong place and about to have a bad experience.

#5: The menu ignores certain dishes straight-up

For any great barbecue joint, classic barbecue dishes and sides are also served. No doubt that some restaurants may have their specialty or probably known for a particular thing; however, it doesn’t mean that every other thing should be ignored. There should be basic barbecue items like potato salad, coleslaw, beans, chicken, pulled pork, etc.