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The Ring of Fire

3590 Carson Road, Camino, 916-223-1667,, @theringof_firebbq, @ringoffirebbq

Why is The Ring of Fire in Camino my top BBQ spot? I’ll tell you why! The husband-and-wife owners, Ken and Rebecca, have accomplished something not every smokehouse has: the perfect combination of superb Southern BBQ with a side of incredible customer service. Start with their Queso & Chips—fresh, crispy, white corn tortilla chips served with house-made green chili queso dip. I would eat it with a spoon, but I think I’d get a “bless your heart.” Another appetizer to try is The Hog Pile—a perfect name for a perfect plate. Crispy tater tots smothered in that same amazing queso with a generous portion of pulled pork that’s smoked low and slow. Next up? Meat! Brisket, pulled pork, chicken, tri tip, ribs, hot links…I know, it's hard to decide. Another decision looms after that one. What side(s) should you get? I recommend the Southern Style Potato Salad and Kicked Up Coleslaw. They also have fries, baked beans, mac & cheese, and salad. In the mood for meat and bread, aka, a sandwich? They have those, too! Don’t worry, they come with a side of your choosing. If y’all don’t mind sauce glazed over your face and hands, grab the crispy fried wings…and a few piles of napkins. I reckon you’ll need ’em.



Small, salty cylinders of pure potato bliss, tater tots will forever be crowd-pleasers. We rounded up the region’s best grown-up renditions of these fun foodie favorites.

Dirty Tater Tots (tater tots topped with melted cheddar, shaved jalapeños, chives, sour cream, and house-smoked corned beef) at 36 Handles, 1010 White Rock Road, Suite 100, El Dorado Hills, 916-941-3606,

Dirty Tater Tots


Truffle Tots (tater tots tossed in truffle oil and salt) at Timmy’s Brown Bag, 451 Main Street, Suite 10, Placerville, 530-303-3203,

Truffle Tots


Brisket Panchos (tater tots topped with BBQ brisket, warm queso, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and fresh jalapeños) at The Brass Tap, 5150 Commons Drive, Suite 101, Rocklin, 916-246-2729,

Brisket Panchos


Tater-Tada (tater tot and egg tortilla layered with cilantro-lime-spiked black bean spread, lettuce, salsa verde, cheddar-jack mix, pico, guacamole, jalapeños, sour cream, and lime) at BarnBurner, 4800 Granite Drive, Suite 1B, Rocklin, 916-259-1751,



Loaded Tater Tots (tater tots with chipotle nacho cheese blend, shredded cheddar and jack cheese, Goose Port’s orange birria-style salsa, chipotle crema, thick-cut bacon, and green onions) at Goose Port Public House, 316 Vernon Street, Roseville, 916-886-5080, 

Loaded Tater Tots


— by Bella Nolen

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