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.

 

 

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/

 

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/

Rosh Hashanah dinner & Yom Kippur “Break the Fast” at Chompie’s Deli

When the sun goes down on Wednesday September 20th Jews around the world will celebrate the start of Rosh Hashanah, the highest of holidays on the Jewish calendar celebrating the new year, 5777. Like many holidays spending time with family in the kitchen and around the dinner table is a mainstay of the celebration.

Family owned Chompie’s Delicatessen is celebrating by serving a traditional Rosh Hashanah dinner followed nine nights later for Yom Kippur with a “Break the Fast” take out available at sundown on September 30th.

Rosh Hashanah dinner

A traditional 4-course Rosh Hashanah dinner is available to dine-in or take-out from Chompie’s. The menu includes a starter or Chopped Liver or Gefilte Fish, soup, an entrée choice of a half roasted chicken, braised brisket, salmon, or roasted breast of turkey. Entrees come with a choice of potato or vegetable and assorted holiday cakes are available for dessert.

Guests can order items a la carte or family meals that serve 8 people for $249.95 or 4 people for $129.95

Old World Tzimmi

Yom Kippur “Break the Fast”

After we’ve spent the 24 hour period from sundown on the 29th to sundown on the 30th atoning for our sins by fasting, all we can think about is when and what we can eat.

Chompie’s will be preparing take-out dinner to “Break the Fast” which includes gourmet smoked fish, deli salads along with gluten-free desserts and more.

Rosh HashanahNew challah at Chompie’s

Available for the first time at Chompie’s are two new challah loafs. The Jerusalem challah is found in the markets of the holy city and are topped with poppy, sunflower, black sesame and pumpkin seeds. The sweet Maripan challah has almond paste spread throughout the soft, fluffy inside with slice almonds adorning the outside of the bread.

The Borenstein’s found theses new loafs this year when they visited Israel and are the first in Arizona to serve this authentic bread. Each loaf is $6.99 and is made fresh daily.

24 our notice is needed o place an order and to find a Chompie’s Deli near you go to their website .

Traditional Passover dinner available at Chompie’s delicatessens

With the Jewish holiday Passover less than a month away Chompie’s Deli’s are getting ready to serve the traditional holiday dinner from April 10th – 18th.  The dine-in menu will be available the first 2 nights of April 10th & 11th with take away meals available for all 8 nights.

What is Passover?

The 8 night festival of Passover celebrates the Israelites release from slavery in ancient Egypt. “Coming together for the Passover meal is an important tradition for us at Chompie’s,” says Chompie’s founder Lovey Borenstein. “This is our 29th year providing this special dinner and each year, and we’re so happy to be able to offer it to our friends and family.”

Passover dinner

Dinner for adults is $32.95 and $14.95  for children and the menu is as follows.

  • Choice of Housemade Chopped Liver OR Gefilte Fish with Beet Horseradish
  • Choice of Chicken Soup with Matzo Ball OR Sweet and Sour Cabbage
  • Entrée Choice of:
    • Half roasted chicken with savory Passover Stuffing
    • Braised Brisket of Beef with Gravy
    • Steelhead Salmon Filet
    • Roasted Turkey Breast with Passover Stuffing and Gravy
  • Potato Latke with Applesauce OR Roasted Potatoes
  • String Beans OR Old World Tzimmis
  • Assortment of Holiday Cakes

Dinner will be served from 5 p.m. til closing and a “To Go” menu will be available for those that want to celebrate the holiday at home with the traditional dinner. Reservations are strongly recommended and dinner will be served at all 5 Chompie’s Phoenix area locations.

Scottsdale:          9301 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale 85260. 480-860-0475

Tempe:                 1160  E. University, Tempe 85281.  480-557-0700

Phoenix:              4550-324 E. Cactus Rd., Phoenix 85032. 602-710-2910

Chandler:            3481 W. Frye Rd., Chandler 85226. 480-398-3008

Glendale:            7700 W. Arrowhead Towne Center #1145. 623-344-3104

For more information go to http://www.chompies.com/