Where they are: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin
How serious is Mission about its dedication to honoring servicemen and women, veterans, police, firefighters, and anyone else who risks their life for America? Very. This is a chain that opened its doors on September 11, 2011, donates to various service-minded charities, and stops service at noon every day for the National Anthem. It is essentially Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” in restaurant form. But there are no half measures here: The place takes its BBQ as seriously as its patriotism. Before opening in Baltimore, the owners hit up all the BBQ hubs of America to hone the craft. And while most chains that put multiple geographical locations on their menu do so flippantly, here it’s a badge of honor and actual commitment to flavor. That means everything from the NC-style pulled pork to Texas-inspired brisket are juicy and delicious, and wouldn’t be out of place in their states of origin. That’s kind of clutch, considering Mission has waged an aggressive campaign against BBQ deprivation nationwide, expanding to 80 locations and counting. That means their St. Louis ribs could soon be in actual St. Louis. The miracle is, they wouldn’t be out of place. Mission accomplished.