Hallelujah!! Brothers and Sisters, welcome to the new Portland Church of BBQ!
Campbell's, Reo's, Big Daddy's, Cannon's, Clay's...ya'll better start ordering less meat, because you're about to lose a sizeable number of folks to the new boys on the block.
The steady stream of customers that were coming and going as I waited for my small BBQ sampler order was extremely encouraging for a new business who doesn't do any advertising and doesn't have any storefront signage. I had the fortunate opportunity to meet Jill-O, Dimsumdiva and her charming husband Bob last night, as well as Jim from realgoodfood.com. Sorry I couldn't hang out long enough to meet the rest of the portlandfood.org crew, but I had a date with 5 lbs of smoked meat and a sweet, young gal from Texas.
Now that I've ranted and raved after a general fashion, I want to talk about the food for just a moment. In all honesty this is the best BBQ I've had outside of Dixie. In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say that with a tiny bit of tweaking, these boys could open up a place worthy of Luling, Lockhart or Elgin, TX and I'm day-um sure that they would roll over the competition at the Pike's Place BBQ Competition later this month in Seattle. The side dishes were straight from a Fourth of July picnic thrown by the New Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Huntsville, TX. Mustard potato salad that was extra fluffy and mustardy. Cole slaw that was sweet, but not too sweet and of a fine, crisp texture...and not drowning in mayo. And finally, smokey, tender pinto beans that were cooked to perfection. I am truly looking forward to the addition of more fat to the sausage because although it was fabulously flavorful, it was a tad dry and I like my links to be dripping. The flavor of the hot links was oddly familiar and reminded me a great deal of the Alsatian Christmas sausages I made this past year, but with the heat factor cranked up a few notches. The pork ribs were falling off the bone perfect. The pulled pork was HEAVENLY, esp w/ the secret vinegar sauce. This is the first time I've ever had lamb ribs and although I'm really not the biggest lamb fan, those tender, smoky, salty ribs may have converted me to at least a lamb rib lover. Now onto the one piece of meat, that for me, truly defines the art of fine BBQ...beef brisket. LOW BBQ's brisket is damn good. Smokey, tender and a nice balance of fat and muscle. I do, however, have a few characteristics I prefer to see/taste when I have brisket though that LOW BBQs brisket didn't have last night. I like some "bark" on my brisket. Something about that chewy/crispy, charred layer of meat that really makes the brisket seem "done". This is just a personal preference. Now I can't speak for other batches of brisket last night, because in Nick's photos the brisket doesn't look as over-tender as mine was. But my pound of meat was falling apart just a bit too much for my liking...now don't misunderstand me, the flavor and quality of this brisket was exceptional. However, due to the extremely tender texture I would've rather made chopped brisket sandwiches out of it....and that's exactly what I'll be having for lunch today.
4741 SW Hawthorne Blvd.
Monday Nights 5pm - 10pm