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Fast Food What's New

Arby’s Debuts New Real Country Style Rib Sandwich

Arby’s is saying it with their whole chest: “Forget sandwiches made with restructured boneless pork patty.” The obvious shots are volleyed in the direction of one popular fast food ‘rib’ sandwich. In response to said rib sandwich, Arby’s is setting the bar high with their new Real Country Style Rib Sandwich.

Arby’s has true BBQ lovers in mind for this new sandwich, as it is made with real, quality pork rib meat smoked low and slow for over eight hours over real hickory wood. It’s then topped with melted Gouda, crispy onions, and smoky BBQ sauce, making for one true BBQ sandwich.

The Real Country Style Rib Sandwich is available now, though for a limited time only, so act quick to get your fast BBQ fix.

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Restaurants

Viet-Tex And California BBQ Combine For A Special Pitmaster Collab

Photos courtesy of Khoi Barbecue.

If you’re in the Houston area, chances are you’ve heard of the Viet-Tex barbecue creations being spun by Khói Barbecue. Items like Brisket Phở and Bánh Xèo filled with smoked beef cheeks have made the pop-up a popular one in the area, with pitmasters/owners Don and Theo Nguyen drawing inspiration from their Vietnamese roots and imbuing it into central Texas-style barbecue.

They’re not the only pitmasters in the country that use their roots to give barbecue a twist, as Danny Castillo gives a California spin to his Central Texas-style meats over at Heritage Barbecue. The Southern California barbecue icon is known for high-quality meats, as well as spins that include fresh takes on their sides.

Castillo has mentioned that he would love to bring pitmasters from all over to come and collaborate at his spot, and the Nguyen brothers will be some of the first to do just that. On June 13th, they’ll be making the trek over from Houston and popping up at Heritage Barbecue for the day.

Expect to see items like the Brisket Phở and Bánh Xèo, along with Bò Lá Lốt Links, inspired by the Vietnamese dish consisting of spiced ground beef wrapped in lolot leaves (otherwise known as betel leaves).

Heritage and Khoi won’t be the only two barbecue joints represented at this collab, as Convenience West BBQ, run by pitmaster Mark Scott, will also join in on the fun. Located in Marfa, Texas, Convenience West is a spot that’s continually experimenting with new flavors. Their meat, however, is rooted in what they describe as “Far West Tex” style barbecue.

Scott’s style is a little more eclectic, so he’ll be bringing unique dishes to the party like Boudin Wraps and barbecue tacos.

The entire event isn’t ticketed, so you can just show up to Heritage, hop in line, and order any of the special collab items. It starts at 11 am on Sunday, June 13th, and will run until everything sells out.

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Restaurants

Heritage Barbecue Blends LEGIT Texas Barbecue With A California Twist

If you don’t live in Texas, it’s damn near impossible to find a legitimate Central Texas-style Barbecue.

Southern Californians, however, need look no further than Daniel Castillo’s own Heritage Barbecue based in San Juan Capistrano, CA.

Heritage Barbecue began as a pop-up at local breweries in SoCal, accruing a cult following over the years. Once a kitchen manager at Whole Foods, Castillo would smoke meats in his yard and bring them to the breweries.

After years of hosting pop-ups, Castilla finally opened, Castillo finally opened a brick-and-mortar location for Heritage.

Offering the classic staples of Texas barbecue, such as brisket, ribs, pulled pork, and sausages, Castillo also brings a bit of a California twist into his menu.

Items like clubs, burritos, and dips are featured on his menu pretty regularly.

Castillo also takes advantage of the rich ingredients the land has to offer, sourcing locations vegetables from local farms.

Still, what’s been drawing the crowds is what brings folks to any barbecue spot: the meat. Heritage boasts smoked beef that melts in your mouth like an ice cube on a hot skillet. Castillo has become a veritable master of his craft.

While the lines are long, it goes without saying how worthwhile a trip to Heritage could be—especially for Californians craving that Texas-style meat.

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Restaurants

Fogo De Chão Brings The Full Brazilian Steakhouse Experience Straight To Your Home

 

fogo de chao picanha

If there’s one thing that I’m a fiend for, it’s all you can eat meat. Whether it be devouring thinly sliced brisket by the plateful at a Korean BBQ joint or gulping down whole pieces of picanha at a Brazilian churrascaria, just know that I like to have my protein quotient fulfilled to its max.

But ever since the whole quarantine situation we’re all going through right now, fulfilling such dreams have been damn near impossible — that is until lauded all you can eat Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chão made their offerings available for takeout.

Dubbed Fogo To-Go, it is a new menu from the mansion of meat that lets folks indulge on two ready-to-grill feasts and one read-to-eat bundle to help enhance your next family meal. Here’s all the juicy details for the three meals bundles:

  • The Full Churrasco Home Experience: Bring the Fogo experience home with this all-in-one assortment of ready-to-grill meats – including Picanha (top sirloin), Fraldinha (bottom sirloin), chicken legs, lamb steak, and Brazilian sausage – plus a variety of Brazilian sides, Pao de Queijo (cheese bread) and the steakhouse’s iconic red and green service coasters. Guests can add a Dry-Aged Tomahawk Ribeye or Wagyu New York Strip a la carte, as well. This complete package starts at $95 and feeds six or more people.
  • Date Night Grilling: A romantic meal for two, this date night package includes a choice of any two of Fogo’s ready-to-grill premium steaks or entrees – such as Ribeye, Filet Mignon or Atlantic Salmon – plus salads, fresh vegetables for cooking and Pao de Queijo to enjoy over a bottle of exclusive Fogo Tribute wine, as well as two signature desserts. This cook-at-home package starts at $98 and even includes heart-shaped red and green service coasters.
  • Celebration Pack: Perfect for any special occasion, this fully cooked and ready-to-eat meal for four brings the celebration home with an assortment of Fogo’s most popular cuts (Picanha, Fraldinha and marinated chicken breast), Brazilian sides, salads, Pao de Queijo and signature Chocolate Brigadeiro cake. This complete package starts at $75, feeds four and even includes a pack of candles for the cake.

But the fun doesn’t stop there, as the Fogo To-Go menu also features a variety of individual entrees, freshly butchered and ready-to-grill cuts of the restaurant’s signature meats, fresh produce, and even pantry staples. Fogo To-Go orders can be placed online at Fogo.com or by calling the restaurant directly for contactless, curbside pick-up at Fogo locations nationwide or delivery by a Fogo team member.

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Cravings

Come Get This Unbelievably Tender Wagyu Brisket At Upcoming Queen Mary Cook-Off

As a barbecue enthusiast, the quality of the meat you choose is essential to a proper beef brisket. If you’re using any kind of inferior meat, you better be a master of the smoke because you’re pretty much in an uphill battle. Now I’ve had briskets made with amazing cuts of beef before, but I’ve yet to see one that’s smoked with Wagyu meat.

For the unfamiliar, Wagyu beef is widely regarded as ultra-premium quality beef that’s of the utmost level of tender. And Wagyu beef brisket is exactly what The Q Joint BBQ is bringing to the world of barbecue.

Slicing up USDA Prime Wagyu Brisket, The Q Joint is an Irvine, California-based barbecue company that offers a plethora of smoked and grilled meats. This includes smoked, deboned chicken thighs, St. Louis-style ribs, and their 12-hour hickory-smoked brisket.

All their items come together in what they call The Judge’s Box which boasts: 1 chicken, 2 ribs, pulled pork, 2 slices of brisket, and 2 burnt ends.

This incredible platter of smoked delights can be found at The Queen Mary’s Waterfront Cook-Off. The annual event will be held on May 11 from 12PM to 5PM. There will be two competitions held during that day, one that pits BBQ masters together in a smokey cook-off. The other brings together some of the country’s best chili cooks to see who can craft the most delicious bowl of chili.

Sounds like heaven on earth.

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#foodbeast Adventures Culture Features FOODBEAST Video

Is Kansas City The Barbecue Capital Of The World?

The regionality of barbecue in the U.S. is but another wrinkle in the textured history of the cuisine’s rich contribution to the canon of American cooking. You’ve got four distinct kingdoms of ‘cue that are fierce in their respective representation. Think of it as a friendly yet spirited feud between dynastic families or noble houses.

With House Carolinas you have a fine affinity for pork. Their whole hog obsessions and expertise make for a destined pairing with their trademark vinegar-based sauces. House Memphis flies the banner of pit-smoked, dry-rubbed ribs coated in a thin, tangy sauce. For House Texas, their juicy brisket cooked low and slow is their pride and joy. Fun fact: when folks use the term “Texas barbecue” it more than likely refers to the Central Texas-style. But no matter what, beef is their main course. Finally, you have House Kansas City, where slow-smoked meats rubbed in a complex formula of spices and slathered in their signature, gloriously gloppy, tomato-based sauces are their bastion for barbecue braggadocio. Oh and they also happen to be the loudest of the bunch to tout themselves as the barbecue capital of the world.

Bold claim, sure, but the likes of Anthony Bourdain, Barack Obama, and even (oddly enough) John Madden co-signing hold merit. As they say, where there’s smoke, there’s fire — or in this case, succulent, soul-stirring ribs that put the concept of an otherworldly kind of goodness on a pedestal.

And it’s there where I trailed the lead, curious about this barbecue capital of the world and finding out whether such a crown is too heavy for Kansas City to wear or just the right fit. Along the way we put this assertion of barbecue dominance to the test, whether it be through conversations with a barbecue historian to attending the world’s largest barbecue competition to even finding out the preferred choice of pork brand for these lauded bbq pit-masters (pro-tip: it’s Smithfield).

 

Editor’s Note: Pitmaster Tuffy Stone of Cool Smoke Barbecue
Categories
Culture Humor Video

4th Of July Video Captures Food And Fireworks Exploding In Beautiful Slow-Motion

July 4th is nearly upon us and, while it’s locked in the middle of the workweek, it doesn’t mean we can’t get weird and fun with the national holiday.

You may remember director David Ma from his many food series such as Superhero Hands and Jeff’s Table.

As a tribute to Independence Day, the director celebrates July 4th in what he feels is the most “AMERICA way possible” — combining food and fireworks.

Watch as traditional 4th of July picnic foods like hot dogs, watermelon, and Jell-O explode to the National Anthem.

Ma told Foodbeast:

“This was a personal project and ode to my favorite 4th of July foods with fireworks I was never allowed to play with as a kid.”

The director revealed that the foods chosen were not only iconic to Independence Day picnics, but items that would also yield to beautiful explosions in slow motion.

“I had a small but brilliant team who made all this happen. Brett Long was our food stylist who worked in tandem with Mike Quattrocchi (our fireworks technician) to attach M80 and mortar fireworks to watermelons, potato salad, Jell-O molds and hot dogs for precision in our blasts. For the set decoration and propping, Chuck Willis and Melissa Stammer brought to life my vision for the tabletops, which was a kitschy Americana ’80s feel.”


Remember kids, DO NOT try this at home. As this behind-the-scenes pic shows, the explosions were very real.

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#foodbeast Cravings Culture Features FOODBEAST

What I Learned: Santa Maria-Style Barbecue

santa-maria-bbq

Photo: Peter Pham

I have always been fascinated with barbecue culture. Waking up at the first light of dawn to tend to the fires, choosing from an assortment of wood to burn to enhance the flavor, and the plump and tender reward that comes from hours of manning the smoker.

There have been so many different styles of barbecue, each specific to a region, that always leaves me salivating for details. Every time I visit a new barbecue joint, I find my inquisitiveness for the details just as powerful as my hunger for the ‘cue.

Here I am, just a dude who loves barbecue ready to seek out pitmasters from all over to see what’s the story and techniques behind these different types of barbecue styles.

First up on my barbecue tour of knowledge is Santa Maria-style.

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This Central California-based type of barbecue is the lifeblood of pitmaster Jason Espiritu’s Stoked! concept. Found at Smorgasburg Los Angeles, Espiritu runs the Stoked booth with fellow pitmaster Mario Dolete where the team serve hungry barbecue fans Santa Maria staples like tri-tip, garlic bread, and pinquito beans.

I spoke to Espiritu, eager to learn more about his craft and where his barbecue comes from.


So what’s Santa Maria Barbecue?

santa-maria-bbq

Photo: Peter Pham

According to the pitmaster, the Santa Maria style barbecue tradition began in the 1800s when California was still a part of Mexico. A region ripe with cattle, Mexican ranchers known as “vaqueros” were the gatekeepers to the supply of beef.

The vaqueros would throw huge barbecues for the community a few times each year, bringing everyone together for a feast. I’d like to picture it as a meat-filled House Party prequel, complete with an 1800s Kid ‘n Play.

A few cows would be chosen to be butchered and all the cuts would be cooked over a large pit dug into the ground. The meats would then be seasoned with a simple rub and whole logs of red oak thrown into the fire, letting the wood burn beneath the meat for hours.

Espiritu recalls:

“During the summers every weekend there would be 10-20 barbecue pits set up all up and down our main street in Santa Maria called Broadway. The smoke would literally fill the air making it where we had to drive a little slower. This almost served as a surefire way to bring everyone together.”

Style of Cooking

In Santa Maria, meat is smoked directly over fire in an open pit grill. Traditional cuts of beef such as tri-tip, top sirloin, and ribeye are most commonly used.

A cooking grate is used to lower or raise the meat in order to control the temperature over the course of the smoking process via a crank and pulley system.

Red oak wood, a local wood to the Central Valley of California, is deemed the King of Oak Wood. The wood burns strong, but the smoke doesn’t overpower the taste and texture of the beef.

A typical Santa Maria dry rub consists of salt, pepper, and garlic salt. The idea is to focus more on bringing out the natural beefy flavor of the barbecue.

On The Menu

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Tri-tip

-Tri-tip is typically red oak-smoked and simply dry rubbed.

-It is cut both thin or thick against the grain and served medium rare.

Garlic French Bread

-Garlic butter on French bread toasted over a wood-fired pit.

Pinquito Beans

-A bean local to Santa Maria that’s smaller than the pinto.

-Originated in Mexico, the crop was brought to California where it flourished.

Salsa

-Santa Maria-style barbecue doesn’t use barbecue sauce. Instead, the meat is served with salsa.

Local Central Valley Wine

-Because the Central Valley of California is a well-known wine region, barbecue is sometimes served with wine.

-The robust profile of the wine pairs nicely with the barbecue.


Jason concludes his crash course into the richness of Santa Maria barbecue by reiterating that Santa Maria-style isn’t complete unless it’s shared with others. Seriously, no one wants to eat barbecue alone.

Anyone curious to try the authentic Santa Maria tri-tip smoked with red oak and served with garlic bread may want to check out Stoked! at Smorgasburg LA every Sunday. Currently, they are working to open a brick-and-mortar location in Los Angeles.