Restaurants & Bars 6

new 'cue on the central coast

toodie jane | Feb 6, 200810:10 AM

The other day, I found myself in Atascadero looking for a late lunch. Pulling into a strip mall north of Traffic way on El Camino, the lone parking spot was in front of Le Boeuf's Barbe-A- Que. Barbeque in Atascadero? I decided to investigate.

Le Beouf's is a friendly, tidy cafe featuring traditional Southern Barbeque. Their menu also includes standard cafe sandwiches, grilled sausages, soups, sides and desserts.

Using an in-house traditional smoker Le Boeuf's serves beef and pork rib, and chicken meals, and pulled pork, tri-tip, and BBQ chicken sandwiches. Among the available sides are beans, fresh fruit salad, sweet potato fries, potato salad, coleslaw.

Other sandwiches are a garden burger, meatball, angus burgers, and angus Philly cheese steak. Homemade desserts made by Mrs Le Boeuf include Texas fried pies, cheesecakes, and other sweets.

John was behind the counter, and on his recommendation I ordered a pulled pork sandwich (which comes with a soda and side of carrot/cabbage slaw) As I munched on the delicious rib-meat sandwich, we chatted about the who-what-where-when-why of barbeque in Atascadero.

John and his wife have been operating a hot dog cart, and based on that experience decided they'd like to open a sit-down restaurant. They chose Barbe-a-que (John pronounced it: barb-ah-kew-ay), as he had grown up on his parents' Texas/Louisiana Cajun home cooking. John smokes all his meats in what he says is true southern tradition, at a low heat and for a long time, till the bones can be pulled from the meat. Dry rub spices are applied before smoking and sauces both sweet and spicey are available at a self-serve condiment bar.

My sandwich was generously filled with chopped rib meat (not pork shoulder) and served in a locally made crusty and chewy French torpedo style roll. I thought the meat exceptionally well flavored (and it was juicy enough to drip) and the bun stood up to the juice without crumbling; it had a good solid fresh bread flavor. The cup of slaw was well balanced in flavor, but otherwise not particularly notable. It seemd heavy on the shredded carrots. I'd love to try a Le Boeuf family slaw recipe.

Le Beouf's has been open about 5 weeks, and John related that they're pleased enough with the community response that they plan to add a few more southern favorites to the menu like collard greens, brisket, and southern style potato salad.

I'll definitely be back to try the chicken and the ribs. Hubby has proposed a trip to the warbird museum in Paso with a lunch at Le Beouf's. Can't go wrong with that combo.

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