I’ve gotten several emails lately that I should check out Firebox BBQ in Bedford, MA. It’s not your typical joint. Started by friends David Goldstone and Bryan McConnaughey, Firebox has all the greatest hits of BBQ (ribs, brisket, pulled pork), but they had their own twist on these (and the sides) from their extensive culinary backgrounds through the US and Europe (tried and true BBQ aficionados might be turned off by more upscale nature of the place, but then again, each and every joint has it’s own ‘flavor and character’).
I haven’t had the chance to get to New England lately, but from what I’ve heard, they’re doing a great job bringing BBQ to the neighborhood.
Here’s their menu
Once Rodney Muirhead opened Podhah’s Pit Barbecue in 2006, after smoking Texas Style BBQ in Portland, Oregon for 4 years prior, the accolades just flowed in. Here’s a clip that really shows the essence of their BBQ.
He and his pit crew are doing it right. Here’s the credo they follow:
•Getting up at 5:00 every morning to fire up the pit.
•Using honest oak hardwood in the firebox. His pit has never seen the likes of gas or electric heat of any kind.
•Using high quality, natural meats.
•Preparing the food fresh daily.
•Never precooking the meat. It’s all slow smoked right there in the pit.
•Only cooking as much meat as the smoker will comfortably hold, and that’s about 200 pounds a day.
•When the meat’s gone, it’s gone. Until tomorrow at lunch time that is.
•They love making honest, slow-smoked, Texas style barbecue for their patrons.
•And they love their patrons too. So much so that they even make Carolina style pulled-pork for them.
I know that Portland has become a foodie mecca, but now I have one more reason to make the trip.
Check out their menu here
One thing you definitely don’t see on a standard BBQ menu is Smoked Whole Ruby Trout (but makes sense being in the Pacific Northwest).
OK. Generally I come up with my own ideas for the Joint of the Week, but I can’t take credit for it this time. I was tuning into Greg Rempe’s show last night(BBQ Central) and Harry Soo from Slap Yo Daddy BBQ was on. Harry was telling a story about how he began his professional BBQ career and he mentioned that he took a road trip to QN4U BBQ House in Clovis, CA to sample their BBQ. It inspired him and by the looks of their menu and accolades I’m not surprised why. It seems that not only are Brent and Kim Walton bringing great BBQ every day, but they are living the BBQ lifestyle itself.
Here’s a great piece of video of Brent:
Here’s a map to their location:
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It does looks like they’re serving up real deal BBQ and the fact they put on BBQ classes makes this argument even stronger. They’re a 4 hour trip from my house so I do believe my own road trip is in order.
When people are talking about BBQ over a beer or some sweet tea (I prefer the unsweetened) they generally refer to the four corners of the BBQ world: North Carolina, Memphis, Texas, and Kansas City. The thing is, many other states stand proud to their BBQ tradition. One state in particular is Kentucky and when I bring up Kentucky it’s more often than not that people tell me I should try Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn in Owensboro. They say it’s a tradition to stop in during this first weekend of May during the Kentucky Derby festivities, but since that’s passed, you’re in luck as next weekend is the International Bar-B-Q Festival in Owensboro, Kentucky.
They slow cook their meats over hickory in their custom built pits, which isn’t completely original, but one thing they do cook that you don’t find everywhere is mutton:
Mut·ton (mut´’n) n. [ME. moton < OFr. moton, a ram, < ML. multo, sheep, prob. of Celt. orgin as in W. mollt, Ir. molt] 1. the flesh of a sheep, esp. a grown sheep, used as food 2. [Rare] a sheep — mut´ ton·y adj.
They also serve up an Owensboro’s specialty called burgoo which ‘is a hearty soup made from mutton, chicken, and a variety of vegetables. No two cooks prepare it the same way and most keep their recipes a closely guarded secret’.
The menu in general seems to cover everything you’d want from a BBQ joint and the great thing is they can ship a good number of their specialties to you from their website.
Trying to find a good barbecue joint in Los Angeles is a little hit or miss. There have been too many times that my anticipation heavily outweighed the final product. That is not the case with Spring Street Smoke House located in Chinatown, a stone’s throw from downtown Los Angeles.
Their menu is heavy on the greatest hits you’ll come to expect from a great eclectic bbq joint. I’m a huge fan of their brisket, pulled pork, ribs, beans, heck pretty much anything they serve. To top it off, I actually had them out to my parent’s house in November to cater a celebration and was more than happy to ‘accidentally’ order extra so I’d have a few more meals the following days.
Like any good joint in Los Angeles should, they’ve done a great job of crafting a beer menu to satisfy any discerning microbrew lover.
This week I chose a spot that I’ve been dying to go to for years now. The Joint in Bywater, New Orleans. Their menu looked incredible and every write-up I ever read about them gave rave reviews. Of course this little piece on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives didn’t hurt my desire to visit(and also made my non-meat eating wife interested in trying their salad where they smoke the tomatoes and onions for the dressing).