Wednesday, March 23, 2011

There is No flash in this boys pan......... SmoQe BBQ

After a long day doing my thing for the new winery SKOV all I wanted was BBQ . So we braved the storm and drove to Aptos from Scotts Valley for a meal worth the wait and drive.......Smoqe a relatively new kid on the culinary block with BBQ, Smoker, pizza ovens a flame and nothing to prove but a good meal and a comfortable space. Before we tucker into all things meaty and grand lets talk about BBQ and what really does that mean and where did  this word come from?


The origins of both the activity of BBQ Barbecue-BBQ cooking (GRILLING AND SMOKING) and the word itself are somewhat obscure. In Jamaica the people made a shallow pit using it to both smoke and grill their food. They would make a GRILL SMOKER with the native wood pinion that they would burn down to char-coal. They then used green sticks to place over the burned pinion wood to make a grate.

They would then cut their meat in strips and place spices of the meat and smoke grill those strips making jerk. The jerk was then finished drying on the hot rocks. Therefore the meat was preserved by grilling smoking and spicing the meat.

They then carried the Jerk meat strips in a pouch they made. THIS GRILLED SMOKED MEAT WAS CALLED IT BARABICA or BAR-B-CUE.

The word translates as sacred fire pit and is also spelled barbicoa or bar-b-que. The word (BBQ) describes a grill for cooking meat consisting of a wooden platform resting on sticks.

Most etymologists believe that BBQ Barbecue-BBQ derives ultimately from the word barabicu found in the language of the Taíno people of the Caribbean. There is ample evidence that the both the word and cooking technique migrated out of the Caribbean and into other cultures and languages, with the word moving from Caribbean dialects into Spanish, then French and English in the Americas.

The word evolved into its modern English spelling of BBQ Barbecue-BBQ and may also be found spelled as bar-b-que, bar-b-q or BBQ.

In the south eastern United States, the word BBQ Barbecue-BBQ is used predominantly as a noun referring to roast pork, while in the southwestern states cuts of beef are often cooked. The word BBQ Barbecue-BBQ has attracted two inaccurate origins from folk etymology:

An often-repeated claim is that the word is derived from the French language. The story goes that French visitors to the Caribbean saw a pig being cooked whole and described the method as barbe à queue, meaning from beard to tail. The French influence of the word BBQ Barbecue-BBQ is spelled barbeque and the "beard to tail" explanation is regarded as false by most language experts. The only merit is that it relies on the similar sound of the words, a feature common in folk etymology explanations."barbeque"

Another claim states that the word BBQ came from the time when roadhouses and beer joints with pool tables advertised Bar, Beer and Cues. According to this tale, the phrase was shortened over time to BBCue, then BBQ

OK either way you get the  idea. Back to the Boy and his brisket.....Soooo we run in from the rain to be greeted with the familiar smells of a good time promised and a happy face behind the counter with the menu displayed behind and the cooks busy with each task at hand (feeding me)I always love seeing the kitchen in action its the best advertisement not trickery or tom foolery here , plain and simple it is made for your inspection.
I stared at the menu for as long as the guy behind me in line would allow....Do I get a wedge salad, oysters,Ribs or a pizza hhmmmm  or do I go to the place a good BBQ better not fuck up or the rest is all in vain. BRISKET. Nom Nom Nom. Ahhh the good ole Brisket.WTF is it? Well it is one of the 8 prime cuts from either Veal or Beef. The Brisket is found under the breast and lower chest of the cow. The deep pectorals are included . Think about this....A cow doesn't have a collar bone so the "brisket"hold almost 60% of the cows weight. One tough sucka. A peasant cut that has risen to culinary stardom. But ya gotta cook cook cook slow and low with moisture, smoke or without smoke like Corned Beef. The big fat cap on top helps the monster cut have pure flavour through out. I ordered the Brisket fries with tangy slaw and Boy Racer had a classic Brisket sammy with hand cut Crisps and two big PBRs ......
We sat down with our suds at a comfortable table and watched the dining space fill up on a wet dreary Saturday eve. Sweet young girls wizzing around helping the dining room flow refilling BBQ sauce,napkins and bringing food out in a timely manner. Sodas were serve your self so the kitchen can concentrate on more important matters plus very family friendly, yet not annoying to us without littles.
Ahhh food here, quarter sheet pans with parchment is used instead of plates. The BBQ industrial vibe works. My huge pile o Carbohydrate love in the form of a sweet potato(kinda think it was yam)then brisket, then slaw was a nod to the Black Hills of Kentucky me happy tummy full could go back for more if I ate till it hurt I restrained.
Boy racers sammy was big drippy and full of brisket n slaw between two crusty slices(local made?) ready to soak up the juices that were sure to flow. The hand cut crisps were a nice spicy touch with good potato texture and crunch. We were glad cause last visit there was a lack of snap to the crisps and were left on the tray sad and soggy. Our stewardess for our  BBQ flight offered us both a selection of a vinegar based "mop" spicy or mild BBQ sauces. we said YES to all three dipped our forkfulls in each or two at a time. Mop won. I love the vinegary balance it brings to the BBQ smoke table. This food is thoughtful, well executed nonspecific regional BBQ. Aaron wether you started at Daddys side slicing apples or have been cooking professionally your whole adult life it works. The food the vibe(ahh do not pass up the big locally made cookies on the counter)Next time Boy racer and I will venture deeper into the smoQe jungle. If the brisket is done  righ they will come. And come they the time we left at seven pm on a very stormy night the placed was packed with happy people knowing they were in on a great local secret that is smoQe.
10110 Soquel Drve
Aptos Ca
Tues-Sun 11-9pm  Fri-Sun 11-10pm

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