The quality of the meat at most BBQ places is what @TonyC refers to as being from “downer cattle,” or something like that. That makes the quality of Maple Block’s meat really stand out.
BBQ seems to have very humble roots, so I guess one could expect that of the quality of the meat as well - BBQ wasn’t a food of the well-to-dos.
The Maple Block example is tantamount to immigrant food. Most arriving here are modest people. They struggle with finances both personally as well as with their businesses. The ingredients at their eateries tend to be modest, but their abilities to apply mastered techniques will hopefully compensate for that and result in something at least above acceptable and affordable. When a Wes Avila, David Chang or Aaron Franklin comes along, elevates a once-humble food and gets it out to a more well-heeled audience in one way or another, it’s a collective wow-moment.
Maple Block also smokes their food with peach wood. I don’t know if they exclusively use this wood in the smoking, but one definitely senses that they are not only catering to a different crowd, but they do things differently.
They were one of the early embracers of Mary’s chicken - their smoked chicken is really good. One friend still raves of it as he was very skeptical of finding a BBQ place that had exceptional bird.