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See how they glisten.

Image: Alice Levitt

Dear Beans,

Whether they're syrupy, thin or just bland, I don't usually care for your kind. But from the moment you came out of the smoker box at OMG BBQ, I knew you were different. I initially didn't expect much. There isn't even a written menu at OMG, which is really nothing more than a smoker and a couple of tables in front of Mam's Snoballs on West Cavalcade. Had I not seen you being spooned into someone else's Styrofoam container, I might never have even known you were there.

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Slicing the brisket.

Image: Alice Levitt

But you were. Your voluptuous body, somewhere between baked and refried, revealed beefy secrets I never expected. Literally. While I usually expect lard to be the binding fat in any scoop of beans, you were different. Musky beef tallow and smoke give you a substantial flavor base, which you built ever higher with crusty chunks of brisket and burnt ends laced among your pintos.

I don't need anyone but you, but I certainly didn't mind sharing your company with a dollop of potato salad, tangy with mustard. A beef rib seemed like more than I could manage at the time, but freshly cut pork ribs and sturdy but tender brisket (unfortunately sliced with the grain) were made even more desirable with a warm bath of acidic, earthy sauce.

It may not be in our best interest to be a regular thing, but beans, I think I need you in my life.

Love,

Alice

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