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He’s a pitmaster. He’s a people person. He’s Jim of Jim’s Joint BBQ. Jim Johnson and pitboss, Susan Johnson, began in the barbeque biz in Lansing back in ’97 and continue their own brand of “no rules, no region” smoky magic today at their Northern Michigan restaurant in downtown Honor.

Jim’s Joint BBQ | 10914 US 31 Honor | 231.227.1227

A giant hand-hewn wooden flag right inside the eatery’s door is emblazoned with the words “honor one another.” A motto Jim seems to live by as he welcomes his family of guests—parents with hungry teens, fishermen right off the river, locals on lunch break—with light teasing, an occasional hug and platters heavy with his succulent, excellent smoked brisket and pork.

Consider upping your football-season potluck game with meat by the pound (Jim’s rule of thumb: one pound of meat for every three people). The ribs—dry-rubbed and glazed—truly need no adornment but if you’re feeling saucy we recommend the Benzie Burn…just the right heat to remind you it’s good to be alive. The corncakes (a riff on the Midwestern delight that is Jiffy Corn Casserole) and potato salad are the stars of the sides.

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