Curtis Famous Barbecue

28 06 2008
  • Corner of Saginaw & CawoodCurtis Famous BBQ
  • Lansing, MI
  • (517) 333-9287
  • No Known Website
  • Menu

“You had the rest, now taste the best” and “taste tells the story” are two phrases you see a lot around the van that doubles as a BBQ shop that sits in the parking lot of American Print and Copy on Saginaw Highway.  Curtis is proud of his barbecue and with good reason.  I had seen a couple reviews for Curtis Famous Barbecue on the web, but I really wasn’t sure where it was.  I was driving on Saginaw Highway one day last week and started smelling it long before I saw it.

My girlfriend and I were being lazy and laying around watching TV one Saturday afternoon.  About one o’clock, she said something about being hungry and after seeing Curtis out cooking one day, I really wanted to try it.  I was able to find the intersection he usually sits at and put that in the GPS.  The thing about Curtis Famous Barbecue is it’s not a restaurant.  It’s an old delivery van that Curtis drives there each day and because it’s mobile, he can bring his smoker to fairs and festivals in the area. 

Curtis Famous BBQWhen we pulled into the parking lot, there were a couple people already in line which gave us a chance to look over the menu which includes all the BBQ favorites.  We both love pulled pork and decided jus to get that.  Once we got up to the window, we were greated by Curtis who wouldn’t take our order until he knew how we were doing.  After a little small talk, Curtis piled his pulled pork onto a couple of oversized hamburger buns, wrapped them in foil and bagged them up.  We also each got a can of pop.  Our total for two sandwiches and two drinks was $12.

Since there were no tables, we jumped back in the truck and drove to the Lansing City Market and parked the truck then headed to a picnic table along the river to eat our sandwiches.  It was terrible having to smell that delicious smoked pork and not being able to dive into it right away.  We got to the river and I dove right in.  I’m not sure if I even took the foil off.  I just wanted to get to the sandwich.  The pork was perfectly cooked and you could see the smoke ring in some of the outer pieces.  The bbq sauce was sweat and thin enough to come out of a squeeze bottle.  It was a very Carolina style sandwich which makes sense.  The town listed on the side of his trailer is in North Carolina.  The pork was pulled a little too thick for my girlfriends taste, but I loved it.  You could tell that this was hand pulled and recently done

Since we’ve been here, I’ve been asking people where the good BBQ joints are.  No one has given me an answer.   Back in Peoria, there were at least six local, neighborhood BBQ joints all the time.  Some of them would come and go, but someone else would jump in the same building and try their hand at it.  I’ve never lived in a place where you couldn’t get good BBQ, so I’m real glad to have found Curtis.  He’s only out there four days and week and when the food runs out, he has to pack up and go home, but at least there’s a place that does real BBQ in town!




11 responses

29 06 2008

Curtis is awesome…glad you liked it! It is the best we have found so far. I am going to try a place in Old Towne soon though…will let you know if it is worth checking out!

29 06 2008
Mid-Michigan Dining

The Soul Food place? That was the back-up yesterday in case Curtis was at a festival or something. You’re gonna beat me to another place.

30 06 2008

Glad to know you found a local BBQ place, a good one too. I’ve been looking for one around here also, Smokey Bones( a chain restaraunt in Eastwood Towne Center ) is the closest I’ve seen yet and it’s pretty good even though it is a chain.

30 06 2008
Mid-Michigan Dining

I just find it so hard to believe that there isn’t a local BBQ joint. I’ve never lived in a town that hasn’t had one. Lansing’s big enough you’d think there’d be a couple.

1 07 2008

There was a real local BBQ joint in Holt where Carlin’s Catch now is, and it was good with about 3 to 5 different types of smoked bbq meat daily including pulled pork. But it only was there for about a year( they didn’t have a website! ) . Also I forgot, there is Backyard BBQ in Okemos, but to me that is more of a sandwich shop, but their pulled pork is good.

22 01 2010
Rob Ennis

Hi…My name is Rob Ennis. I’m from Hickory, N. C., home of “Curtis’ Famous Bar B Q.” I found Curtis in a parking lot of a gas station south of Blowing Rock, N. C., years ago. That started a relationship that lasted for years. Actually, Curtis only lived about 4 blocks north of my condo (in Hickory, NC)and I always knew when he was cooking…I could smell it. When he moved to East Lansing, I was crushed. On Friday, January 22, 2010, I did a google search and found some of your posting on Curtis. If you still know where Curtis is, please tell him that Rob Ennis misses him. If he doesn’t recall my name, tell him that I am the tall, long haired, sun glass wearing SBI agent (state police) that lived down the street from him. Also, tell him to move his butt back to Hickory. People are always asking where he went.

My e-mail is and my cell number is 828-781-1229. Tell him to e-mail me or call me. Thanks…

Rob Ennis

8 03 2011

Im also from Hickory, NC, (used to live across the street from him) I’ve been wanting to know where Curtis is cooking now or a current phone number, I’ve been craving his BBQ sauce and pulled pork sandwiches for years!!!
He has the best BBQ!

6 08 2011

Is he still doing it in Lansing? I used to live just a couple blocks from his location at the print shop, and loved getting his rib tips meal!!! Or anything else he served, for that matter.

By far the best bbq in Lansing. (He once told me that the folks that worked at Smoky Bones used to stop by and get food from him on the way home.)

11 06 2012

Curtis moved back to Winston-Salem, NC a few years ago; don’t think he’s doing the food truck but I think he still occasionally makes his bbq sauce and sells it. I have his contact info; we’re good friends, I’ll have to pass along how many people remember him and loved his food! 🙂

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