Best Of 2019

Best Barbecue Paying Tribute to the Founding of Cincinnati: Lucius Q

Best Barbecue Paying Tribute to the Founding of Cincinnati

There’s a new pitmaster in Pendleton. And while the name of the barbecue joint may look like “luscious” — which isn’t a bad association — the restaurant is actually called Lucius Q (loo-shus q), a moniker taken from a Roman general with special ties to Cincinnati. The Roman association is pulled through in the branding, created by locals Keith Neltner and Tommy Sheehan: The restaurant logo is a Centurion riding a pig. But the Italian influence stops there. The menu is all about the meat; no pizza or pasta in sight — unless you count the macaroni and cheese waffle. Instead, it draws influence from regional barbecue specialties and the partners’ own backgrounds. Co-owner Aaron Sharpe, formerly of now-defunct, much-missed radio station WNKU, says they were inspired by the best regions in the country to make their Texas brisket, Carolina pulled pork and Memphis-style ribs with sausage from local Avril-Bleh. Everything is smoked in the smoker out back and the sauces — which range from Carolina-style Queen City Gold mustard sauce to Kansas City-style Luscious Lucius sweet and smoky sauce to the unique ‘Bama White mayonnaise-based sauce — are made in house. The only thing not made in house are the buns, which are sourced from Giminetti Baking Company in Walnut Hills. For vegetarians, there’s a mushroom sandwich with barbecue sauce and sides like coleslaw, grits and queso corn or the pie of the day. Drawing on Sharpe’s radio days, the restaurant also doubles as a live music venue. Lucius Q, 1131 Broadway St., Pendleton, luciusq.com.