"That brisket was melt in your mouth tender and the rub on it was so good! I topped my brisket with the non-spicy..."
Smokin' Barrel Texas-style BBQ
By: Mikaela Ian Pearman
As a Bermudian, I sure love going to a BBQ. I usually stuff my face with BBQ chicken, mac and cheese, burgers, potato salad and whatever else is on offer. We Bermudians sure love a BBQ, but I think it’s more of a social setting that actually barbecuing the meat correctly.
Because of that reason, when invited to sample food at an authentic Texas-style BBQ, I jumped at the chance. Then I saw the menu and began to salivate.
Smokin Barrel, the food truck near the ferry terminal on Front Street, decided to have a party to celebrate its fourth anniversary along with the fourth anniversary of Chef Dick Reno cooking up some of the best BBQ in Bermuda.
The event was held at Chewstick’s new Front Street location on Friday night. Tickets were $30 for all-you-can-eat, which is quite cheap for Bermuda. I arrived at 7pm with my dining companions, eager for a night of culinary bliss (I’m being corny, I know!).
The venue was quite dark with tea light candles on a long communal table which encouraged everyone to get to know each other while eating a glorious meal. I quite liked the concept, it was very Chewstick.
Now let’s talk food. The menu was as follows: 12-hour brisket, chicken, pulled pork, St. Louis ribs with two kinds of Dick Sauce, truffle mac and cheese, braised greens, jalapeno cheddar cornbread, pulled pork steamed buns, quinoa pico kale salad with various sauces and rolls.
There was tons of food and quite a few hungry people ready to get started. I don’t eat pork but I was anxious to try out the brisket and the chicken. On my first plate, I piled high the quinoa salad, cornbread, truffle mac and cheese (OMG), greens and brisket.
Unfortunately, there was an issue with the chicken and it wasn’t ready yet. Nevertheless, I dug in. My taste buds were ridiculously happy with everything I put into my mouth. I topped the quinoa salad with avocado lime jalapeno ranch dressing and the flavor combination was incredible – a hint of spice within a delicious, creamy sauce. The cornbread was absolutely perfect. The jalepno gave it a bit of a kick and it was packed with cheddar – probably the best cornbread I’ve ever eaten.
The greens were obviously cooked for a long time because they were tender and full of smoky flavor. I realized afterwards that there was probably pork in it but oh well! Now on to one of my top five favourite foods – mac and cheese! This truffle mac and cheese was beyond delicious. It was creamy and had tons of truffle flavor packed into it. The breadcrumbs on top added nice crunch, which of course added to the texture. My only grievance was that it wasn’t a baked mac and cheese, which I definitely prefer to stove top. But, it was outstanding so that didn’t bother me.
Now on to the meat. That brisket was melt in your mouth tender and the rub on it was so good! I topped my brisket with the non-spicy Dick Sauce and it was unbelievably good. Later into the night, the chicken appeared and I’m so glad I waited for it. It had been smoked for three to four hours then finished in the oven. It was some of the best chicken I have ever eaten and it didn’t even need BBQ sauce.
Dick Reno hit it out of the park with this Texas-style BBQ buffet. I’m still thinking about that food two days later and wanting another plate! If you’re looking for an amazing caterer with different, yet familiar food, check out Smokin Barrel. You won’t regret it and your guests will thank you.
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