BBQ, smoked meats and a pitmasters journey at Naked BBQ

There’s a lot of BBQ joints in and around Phoenix with more on the way. It’s one of my favorite foods so it’s always good to see what’s what and who’s who in the BBQ world. More times than not the people are just as good as the food they serve, this is one pit masters journey into the world of BBQ and smoked meats.

I visited Naked BBQ to taste the meats and get the lowdown from Oren Hartman  at his Scottsdale location. His affordable smoked meats and friendly service & atmosphere have Oren thinking about expanding his “Eat Naked” philosophy. Not one for the competition circuit he prefers to spend his time at the restaurants or any number of catering events he does with his staff and customers.

He has many friends in the BBQ community in Arizona and from his travels and many come through for a taste.

Naked BBQ

Growing up in New York there wasn’t much BBQ but college in Madison WI. and living in Chicago helped open his eyes to smoked meats.

Corporate America had Oren travel the country most weeks and not a fan of steakhouse dinners he would visit BBQ pits in the south and mid-west. When a buyout of the company allowed Oren to retire early he knew BBQ was his next career.

After much research and development Oren opened Naked BBQ 4 years ago at Bell Rd. & 23rd  Ave. in north Phoenix and a Scottsdale location last year.

Brisket, ribs and pork shoulder in the smoker

Naked BBQ is named as one of the 100 restaurants by Arizona Republic food editor Dominic Armato in his recent article “The Ultimate Guide to Phoenix Restaurants”.

The meats at Naked BBQ

The aromas of the oak and pecan wood capture you right when you walk in the door as you make your way up to the counter and menu board. No surprises here brisket, pulled pork, ribs, sausage, smoked chicken and few sides are all you need. Smoked in a meat carousel for up to 16 hours meats are usually pulled sooner if they tasted the way they should.

Naked is the way your meats arrive with 4 sauces available if you choose to. My first tray arrives with strips of brisket that are moist and have a thin layer of fat and are well smoked. My St. Louis style pork ribs tender and cling to the bone just my bite to help fall off. A side of warm mixed beans have chunks of meat scraps and a tinge of heat. Not a big fan of potato salad only a bite or two and I’ll save the calories for the meats.

Tray two brought 2 kinds of smoked sausage, pulled pork, mac n cheese and creamy & Carolina style cole slaws. The pile of pulled pork was juicy and flavorful.

Naked BBQ
Tray 2

Sausage is low on my BBQ priority list so it was good to taste the sausage situation. A lingering spiced sausage and a herbed savory link set the bar for me as I’ll have to start to save room for the links. All three sides were emptied as who can’t resist mac & cheese and I’m always craving a good home cole slaw(s).

Friday and Saturday night specials Oren smokes up Prime Rib then Brontosaurus (beef) ribs respectively.

Sauce it up

If you prefer to dress you meats with sauce there are 4 styles to choose from. Sweet, spicy, a North Carolina vinegar and a rarely seen South Carolina mustard sauce will give you a look at regionally diverse sauces.

If you want more heat ask for the hot pepper paste to stir into your sauces. If you dare taste the paste naked with the meat. A few local beers are on tap to help tamper down the heat.

Scouting for other locations to open Naked BBQ, collaborations with other pitmasters & friends and playing around with a retail line of sauces and rubs Oren’s second career tastes better than his first.

The 2 locations of Naked BBQ are..

2340 W. Bell Rd Phoenix 85023 Lunch only Mon. – Fri. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. or til the meats gone. Fri. & Sat.  11a.m. 8 a.m.

10240 N. 90th St. Suite 105. Scottsdale 85258. Sun – Thurs 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Sat. & Sun. til 9 p.m.

 

 

Nothing’s better than BBQ, Bourbon & Beer at Mowry & Cotton

The Phoenician’s Mowry & Cotton restaurant is again hosting their signature BBQ, Bourbon & Beer Feast on Saturday October 27th. Chef de Cuisine Tandy Peterson cooks BBQ favorites smoked spare ribs and whole roasted pig paired with local beers and bourbon. Resort guests and locals are invited to this all-you-can-eat feast.

Guests will be able to sample beers from Four Peaks Brewing Co., Huss Brewing and Phoenix Ale House. Sip on bourbon from Buffalo Trace, Jim Beam and Woodford Reserve.

The 21 & over event offers guests the chance to mix & mingle as they sample food and drink on the patio and at stations inside the restaurant.

Seating is limited and tickets are $70 plus tax & gratuity and include unlimited food and 6 drink samples. The event goes from 1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. and reservations can be made by calling 480-423-2530 or by email. For more information visit their website.

 

 

Keeler Hospitality Group lets Liberty Station take over sister restaurant

Paul Keeler, President & Chief Operating Officer of Keeler Hospitality Group announced that Liberty Station will take the space of Market Street Kitchen. Both restaurants are owned by Keeler Hospitality Group and this will be the 2nd location of the popular smokehouse and tavern. The original Liberty Station is in north Scottsdale in Terravita Marketplace just south of Carefree. The new location is at Market Street at DC Ranch and will open on October 1st.

.“We are delighted to bring this level of traditional BBQ favorites combined with American comfort style dishes to DC Ranch diners,” says Keeler.

The new location will keep popular dishes from Market Street Kitchen and the beverage program. Liberty Station will offer smoked meats and regional dishes from Keller’s travels in the hospitality industry. Guest will enjoy Pan Seared Crab Cakes, Shrimp Po’ Boy, house made meatloaf and more.

The specialty of Liberty Station is smoked meats from the 500 custom-made Camelback Smoker. BBQ fans will enjoy Texas style brisket, St. Louis spare ribs and Carolina pork shoulder. Customers can order  traditional side dishes of Boston baked beans, cole slaw and green chile mac n cheese to accompany entree’s.

Guest won’t notice much difference inside as the interior will stay the same.

Guests can celebrate the transition the new location will offer Buy 1 Get 1 Free lunch entree’s from October 1st-7th. During opening week guests can also get penny draft beers or house wine with a purchase of a BBQ entrée.

October 11th brings a Hawaiian BBQ and Tiki night starting at 5 p.m. Members of the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce will be on hand for a ribbon cutting ceremony on October 15th at 11:30 a.m.

Liberty Station in DC Ranch is be at 20825 N. Pima Rd. Scottsdale 85255. http://libertystationtavern.com/

 

Trapp Haus BBQ offers new specials for it’s 6 month anniversary

Trapp Haus BBQ owner Phil Johnson celebrates his 6th month anniversary with a party tonight and is offering new specials. Johnson who is also the pitmaster throws a party tonight as the popular First Friday Artwalk happens. Guests celebrate with an all-you-can-eat whole hog roast for $10/adults & $5 for kids. The party with live music starts at 5 p.m. and goes until 10 or when there is no more hog to eat.Trapp Haus

Johnson will be taking his recipes on the road later this month when he heads to Kansas City to compete in the American Royal World Series of Barbecue. From there he heads to Milwaukee show what he knows about BBQ with a cooking demonstration and class at the Journal Sentinel Wine & Food Experience.

New specials and offerings are now available until further notice.

Slab Saturday’s– Every Saturday $25 St. Louis Ribs all day long.

Free local Delivery– On-line orders in the downtown Phoenix area from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Tuesday Friday.

Weekday Sammitch Specials-$2.00 off any Sammaitch Tuesday – Friday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Beats, Beer & Q- On Fridays

Trapp Haus BBQ is at 511 E. Roosevelt Phoenix 85004. 602-466-5462. For more information check their website.

 

Wrigley Mansion fire’s up Sunday BBQ Brunch in September

People are closing down their smokers as summer comes to an end but Wrigley Mansion executive chef Christopher Gross is firing his up. Beginning September 9th chef Gross will be pit master as he offers a weekly Sunday BBQ Brunch through mid-October.

Smoked pulled pork and Sorghum glazed beef brisket will be served from chef manned stations along with cole slaw, fresh baked rolls and tortillas. Guests will invited to build their own salads from a variety of fresh vegetables, greens, grains, fruits and cheeses.

Wrigley Mansion
View of downtown Phoenix

Made to order omelettes, eggs and waffles will be available with sides of bacon, sausage and fresh fruit.

Enjoy beautiful views of downtown Phoenix and Camelback Mountain from the hilltop mansion as you sip Mimosas and sparkling wine included in the $45 price.

The limited time Sunday BBQ Brunch replaces their Signature Brunch for the next month.

Reservations can be made by calling 602-955-4079 or by visiting http://www.wrigleymansion.com/

The famed Wrigley Mansion is at 2501 E. Telewa Trail Phoenix 85016.

Famous Dave’s BBQ offers “Quick Que” lunch at Mesa Riverview location

With the rise of the “fast casual” dining concept full service restaurants need to adapt to the customer on the go. Famous Dave’s BBQ recently debuted their “Quick Que” lunch option at their Mesa Riverview location giving customers the option to if in a hurry. Don’t worry customers in no hurry can still enjoy a full service experience they’ve come to expect.

“We’re thrilled to now be offering another means to serve our guests premium-quality, succulent BBQ right out of the pit,” said local franchisee John Erlandson. “Meet the Pitmasters while they hand carve the meat right in front of you and experience the difference at Dave’s. We’ll have made from scratch sides on the line as well as coolers of beer, sodas, homemade lemonade and waters to wash it down, pay for your meal and get in and out easily.”

Famous Dave's BBQ
Famous Dave’s ribs

The “Quick Que” lunch is available from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m Monday – Friday  and lets customers head up to the “Quick Que Station” where the can choose from the menu board above. Traditional Famous Dave’s dishes along with daily specials that can include tri-tip sliced beef and Wagyu beef ribs.

Famous Dave’s BBQ at Mesa Riverview is on Dobson Rd. off Loop 101. For other valley location and information head to  http://www.famousdavesbbq.com/

Backyard BBQ at The Porch with Arcadia Meat Market & Huss Brewing Co.

Memorial Day weekend brings thoughts of cold beers and finger licking BBQ and The Porch will be the place to be on Saturday May 26th for it’s first Backyard BBQ. The Porch partners with their neighbors across the street Arcadia Meat Market for its meats and Tempe’s Huss Brewing Co. beers.

The dog friendly restaurant(on the patio) will offer an a la carte menu from 1-5 p.m. where chef Paul Lindsey will be grilling up a special menu just for the BBQ.

A DJ will be there spinning tunes and backyard games will be played with prizes available.

The Porch Backyard BBQ menu

Guest can pick and choose from grass fed beef burgers and pork sausages & brats made with beers as one of the ingredients. The menu is as follows.The brunch food & drink menu will also be available.

“Porky’s 21” $7                                                                                                             Pork bathed in Orange Blossom ale, smoked and pulled, napa spicy & sweet slaw, beer BBQ sauce, Porch pickled veg

Blondes and Brats $7                                                                                                Huss Brewing “Scottsdale Blonde” meets Arcadia’s sweet Italian Stallion sausage, peppers, onions, dash of chili flake

Husstler American Ale Grass Fed Grass Finished Burger $7                                                                                                                                           O.G. Buddies backyard style, LTO, ‘Merica cheese, BBQ aioli

AZ Green Chili Burger GF+GF bun $9                                                      Porky’s smoked Orange Blossom Ale pork, burger, roasted green chili, smoked cheddar, carm onions (cooked down with Scottsdale Blonde) sriracha aioli

Sides (choice 1 per above)                                                                                   House BBQ Chips                                                                                                       Grilled Local Veggies                                                                                                    Lisa’s Famous Potato Salad

Huss Brewing Co. Menu                                                                                                   Orange Blossom, vanilla mandarin wheat ale                                                       Scottsdale Blonde, German style kolsch                                                                  The HUSSTLER American Lager

The Porch is at 4017 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix 85018. http://www.porcharcadia.com/

 

 

Great American Barbecue & Beer Festival returns to Chandler

Good times return to downtown Chandler on Saturday March 24th as the 9th annual Great American Barbecue & Beer Festival opens its gates at noon.  The festival will be serving up slow cooked foods, cold adult beverages, live entertainment and more til 10 p.m.

Barbecue, Beer and more.

Over 20 BBQ aficionados will be smoking and cooking up finger licking ribs, chicken, pulled pork and many more not BBQ dishes. Local craft beer brewers including SanTan Brewing Company along with national beers and spirits will be poured to cool you and your palate down as a lot of the foods will be bringing the heat. Below is a list of a few of those slow cooking your favorites.

Farmboy Smokehaus – brisket, pulled pork, who hog spit, andoullie sausage, baby back ribs, chicken, chili and Johnny cakes

Harris’ Smokehouse – BBQ pork, beef, chicken, ribs, hot dogs, beans, coleslaw, & corn

Jamburritos – pulled pork, brisket, hot links, jambalaya

JJ’s Louisiana BBQ – ribs, chicken, pulled pork, brisket, rib tips, hot links, turkey legs, beans & potato salad

Mr. Wonderful’s Chicken & Waffles – waffle and chicken wings, po boys, chicken dirty fries, banana pudding, & cheesecake

Pearson’s Catering – catfish, bayou chicken, gator bites, frog legs, jambalaya & po boys

Sally’s BBQ – loaded ribbon fries with pulled pork, sausage, & corn

SanTan Brewing – chopped brisket or pulled pork sandwich & mac & cheese

BBQ festival
All photos courtesy of Jen Pruett of HDE Agency

Live music, tickets and more.

Country music superstar Rodney Atkins headlines the music for the festival  along with food cooking demos, a mechanical bull riding competition. There’s plenty of fun for the whole family with a kids zone.

Tickets and more information can be found at https://www.chandlerbbq.com/

General Admission

$20 Online Presale                                                                      $25 Day of Walk Up Pricing                                                         $10 Veterans & Military Discount Online Presale & Walk Up Pricing $10 Presale at any valley Bashas’ Locations                            *Kids 12 and under receive free general admission                          *General admission includes entry into the festival, access to all entertainment, zones, vendors, interactive experience and activities. Food and beverages are not included with admission.

VIP Pass (21+ over only)

$175 Online Presale Only – now through 3/23/18 OR when tickets are sold out                                                                                        Includes: six beers, unlimited soft drinks and water, catered food throughout the day, front stage access/view, private air-conditioned restrooms, private seating, shaded area, entry into the festival and access to all entertainment, zones, vendors, interactive experience and activities.

 Corral Pass (21+ over only)

 $75 Online Presale Only – SOLD OUT

 

Famous 48 opens in November in downtown Scottsdale

Update: With a month under their belt Famous 48 will start serving brunch on Sat. & Sun’s possibly starting this weekend Dec. 2 & 3rd.

Square One Concepts wasted no time in filling the space left vacant by Crab & Mermaid earlier this year. Realizing people in old town Scottsdale prefer tavern style regional American fare the restaurant group will be opening Famous 48 on Monday November 6th.

Famous 48
Half roasted chicken and other photos courtesy of J. Martin Harris Photography.

Once opened Famous 48 will have an ambience that balances both casual and fine dining and will celebrate the regional cuisine of the lower 48 states of the United States including BBQ, seafood, pizza and other American classic comfort foods. The tavern themed menu will serve food cooked with fresh and high quality ingredients using an artisanal approach to cooking.

Signature cocktails, craft beers from Arizona and wines will compliment the regional cuisine.

Famous 48 hours

The restaurant will serve lunch, dinner and brunch on the weekends in the leather booth line dining room and on the patio. Happy Hour starts early at 3p.m. til 6p.m. Mon.-Fri. and will include tasty bites to eat, premium cocktails and house wines.

Famous 48
Miso salmon

The open air patio will include fire pits and couches that will offer diners a more intimate experience.

Hours for Famous 48 will be Mon.- Fri. 11 a.m. -close, Sat. & Sun. 8a.m.- close. and weekend brunch 8a.m.- 2 p.m.

Famous 48 is at 4218 N. Scottsdale Rd. 85251 480-758-4994. To see the full menu got their website. Famous 48 is owned by Square One Concepts.

 

Bobby Q’s brings tasty BBQ to the Camelback Corridor

Restaurateur Bob Sikora knows a thing or two about opening successful restaurants having opened Bobby Mcgee’s nightclubs growing it to 24 locations around the country and founding Mr. Lucky’s country bar with Willie Nelson. After traveling the country for years searching out and learning about BBQ he opened his first Bobby Q’s Great Steaks & Real BBQ in north Phoenix in 2005 before the BBQ trend started here in Phoenix.

On Monday October 2nd he opens his third Bobby Q’s at Camelback Rd. & 32nd St. I had the opportunity to visit the restaurant to preview it.

The dark & brick walled the restaurant has a cozy atmosphere with the exhibition kitchen just inside the front door. Two almond/mesquite wood smoker and rotisserie are situated inside the kitchen smoking BBQ favorites brisket, pork & beef ribs, sausage links and more. The aroma will sure get people’s attention as people wander the its strip mall location.

Tastes of BBQ

My guest and I sampled a few dishes on our visit courtesy of Bob and his team. Executive chef  Mark Hittle and his kitchen team hand run all the meats with their signature rub before they are slow cooked.

We started with the Cajun Shrimp appetizer that are sautéed with Cajun spices and served with garlic bread to mop up the juices. The 6 shrimp were a  good size, had nice seasoning and disappeared pretty quickly.

If you know me you then you know I’m a rib man and went with the Baby Back Ribs that were fall off the bone tender and made me a happy man. The brisket we sampled had the right amount of fat and bark to put up against any brisket around town.

On the side we had the Pecan Cole Slaw which was shredded thin, not to creamy as many can be and topped with crushed pecan adding a nice twist and texture. The side of Mac & Cheese won’t disappoint fans of the cheesy favorite.

We were given a bag of warm mini donuts from the donut machine and are free to all guests who dine at restaurant.

The full menu includes steak, fish, burgers, salads and rotisserie chicken that can be seen on Bobby Q’s website. I can see why Bobby Q’s has garnered many accolades from Yelp!, Open Table and Trip Advisor.

Hand crafted cocktails

In-house mixologist Chris Ortega has created a cocktail menu with his take on classic cocktails that include an Old Fashioned that I enjoyed prepared with rye whiskey and barrel smoked maple syrup. Other cocktails include the refreshing Watermelon Cooler and Bobby Q’s version of the classic Mule cocktail. All cocktails are prepared with premium spirits, fresh fruits and house made syrups.

Old Fashioned. All photos courtesy of Bobby Q’s

The Camelback location will serve lunch and dinner 7 days a week at 11 a.m. and will stay open until 2 a.m. Tues. – Sat. serving a late night menu. Sun. & Mon. they will be open until 10 p.m.

Bobby Q’s Great Steaks and Real BBQ is at 3154 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix 85016