This El Paso favorite has often reached the finals in this category, but the top prize would disappear in a puff of smoke. Not this year. For decades now, The State Line, tucked away at the point where Texas and New Mexico meet, has been offering up their brand of BBQ favorites. Choose from a selection of smoked meats, including brisket, beef ribs, chicken and sausage, all slathered in their signature sauce. Don’t forget to order a loaf of homemade bread – whole wheat, white or half and half – to mop up the drippings. Sandwiches are also on offer for those looking for lighter fare. The picturesque patio is the perfect spot to sip on a drink while catching the restaurant’s yearly free music series. 1222 Sunland Park Dr., 915-581-3371, countyline.com/StateLine.html.

Runner up: Famous Dave’s – 1360 George Dieter Dr., 915-849-8400; 7501 N. Mesa., 915-760-5355; and additional locations, famousdaves.com

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