Restaurants & Bars

Tried Rogue Estate BBQ in Ferndale, MI...

boagman | Nov 26, 201511:33 PM

Well, well! Hello there! A New Contender Has Entered The Arena...

Okay, so maybe it isn't in the upper echelon like Slows or Lazybones or Union Woodshop, but for what's basically a food truck (now a trailer), I was quite happy with what I was served, and the price I paid for it.

They had a limited menu on Wednesday (the day I went), probably for a couple of reasons: 1. It was the day before Thanksgiving, and 2. It was the first day they had their trailer. As such, they didn't have all of their mains and sides, though they certainly had enough for me to get a really good feel for the basics, and for the way they come across. Suffice it to say that they made a very good first impression.

It's a two-person operation, the main guy/smoker (whose name escapes me at the moment), and the window operator, Angie, who is very nice and easy-going. Great smile and attitude, and helpful with questions. The main guy is next to her, but more "in the back" (by about a foot) making the actual food. He's into what he's doing in an enthusiastic way, but that doesn't mean that he can't get excited when his favorite Judas Priest song comes on the radio. That puts him in a good mood! So service was good in terms of attitude and such. Locals seems to love him, too...directly behind me in line was a Pleasant Ridge police officer who was really into the grub!

They were supposedly out of BBQ brisket (it was crossed out on the menu board) at $9 for a half pound of it with 1 side, which seemed quite reasonable to me, with beef being rather expensive these days. However, I'm not the biggest BBQ brisket fan you'll ever meet, and my standard-bearer for BBQ is *always* going to be pulled pork, whether sandwich or entree. So I ordered up a $7 half pound BBQ pulled pork sandwich with a side included, which again seems like a pretty decent price these days.

Big Time Bonus: they had *just* gotten done with smoking some brisket, and the person or two in front of me were inquiring about it, and guess what? They were able to order it, and Angie came out and rewrote the white board menu to include brisket again. I asked for, and received, one bite of brisket along with my pulled pork sandwich, which allowed me to sample that as well.

Okay, first order of business: this place will *never* be confused with Kirks BBQ. What a *very* generous portion of pork on my sandwich. It was far, far bigger than could ever have been reasonably expected to stay inside the bun, and that bothers me NOT ONE BIT. Half a pound, my eye...I have every reason to believe that it was probably around 10 ounces or so. Portion size was right up my alley.

And it was darned good, too! While it's certainly different from many others out there, I certainly liked it. Understand that the pulled pork has quite a bit of onion smoked in there with it, but I like onion, and it didn't take away from the flavor of the pork at all. It does come unsauced *AS IT SHOULD*, and you can add your own from the three they offer, but when you taste the different sauces, it's pretty clear which is designed for what meat. The other notable thing about the pulled pork was the fact that it was pretty "wet", but not saucy wet, since as I said, it came without sauce. It was pretty wet, though, and it made the bun pretty damp, but not damp enough to ruin it. Even if it had ruined the bun, though, I wouldn't have cared. The pulled pork was very nice, and an ample portion for my $7 (no tax, by the way).

The BBQ beef brisket surprised the crap out of me. I only had one bite, but I sure liked it, which is very rare for me. I tend to only like my brisket corned, and not much else. Again, this was served unsauced, but I may end up parting with $9 of mine in the future in order to have some of this stuff. If, in fact, the "first bite's free" in order to get me hooked, they may just very well have made a smart investment. I liked that quite a bit.

For my side, I had their mustard slaw, which was good, but nothing that'll set your tongue a-wagging or anything. It seemed like the one I would like best out of the three that were offered that day (baked beans and something else), and it was good. It went well with the pulled pork, and I'd get it again, unless something else drew my attention.

I'll be going back, that's for darned sure. This place is less than a mile from my parents' house, and it's my idea of what a roadside food source should be. I can take it back to my folks' place, enjoy some much-better-than-average BBQ at my own pace, and choose my own beverages, for cheap. Done and done.


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