Let’s talk about meatEat This! Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016
Let’s talk about meat. Succulent meat. Smokey pink meat.
Of course I’m talking about barbecue, a centuries old method of “low and slow” cooking which involves a large slab of protein, low heat, plenty of smoke and lots of time. How low and slow can you go? Christian, the friendly and informative busser at Grand Ole BBQ y Asado (GOByA), told me the beef brisket takes 14 hours to prepare, which means they start cooking at 4 a.m.
“Butch” said he had some news to share and told me about potential employment opportunities while we stood in a short line waiting to order. He seemed conflicted about whether or not he’d want to relocate to Portland. GOByA serves sodas and waters, but does not object if you bring your own. Thorn Street Brewery is around the corner and you can grab a growler, or you can run across the street and purchase an adult beverage of your choice. Butch went off to fetch a couple of cold beers while I placed our requests.
There’s nothing pretentious about GOByA, a metal and wood plank clad building set back behind a small parking lot. Long rows of picnic tables for seating. Canvas shades and a string of lights overhead. But nobody is here for the ambience. GOByA is all about BBQ.
Meats are sold by the pound and served on a brown paper lined tray. We ordered 1/4 lb. each of beef brisket (2 thick slices) and pulled pork (a good-sized mound), and 3/4 lb. of pork spare ribs (4 bones). The tender brisket satisfies with a thin peppery crust and a mild smokey flavor. The pulled pork is very moist and melts in your mouth. The lovely pink rib meat slides right off the bone. A meat-lovers nirvana.
Our sides included Peruvian White Beans, Dr. Dicky’s Famous Potato Salad and traditional slaw. The earthy beans are buttery and simply seasoned with onion, salt and mild pepper. So good. The hearty potato salad is a classic medley of spuds, onions and celery lightly tossed in mayonnaise with a hint of mustard. Apple cider vinegar dresses the chopped cabbage slaw. The sides are huge and handily feed two people per serving.
The condiments include sweet bread and butter pickles, vinegary pickled red onions and fiery jalapeños. What is BBQ without sauce? There are two varieties for your enjoyment: sweet and spicy. The sweet tomato-based sauce is really sweet, almost to the point of cloying. In addition to brown sugar and molasses, I suspect the sauce has a fruit component – like raisin paste or figs – but the establishment was reluctant to share their secret ingredients and would not confirm my suspicion. The spicy sauce, which Butch and I preferred, has a vinegar tang and a mild heat; the chili is present but not overpowering.
We washed everything down with Butch’s selection, an Apocalypse IPA. “I thought it was appropriate in light of the recent election,” he said. The deep golden-orange 6.8 percent alcohol by volume medium-bodied India Pale Ale, bottled by 10 Barrel Brewery out of Bend, Ore., has a citrusy fruity aroma with a hint of pine resin, toasty malts on the tongue and a crisp dry finish.
Owner Andy Harris uses only USDA organic and certified humane meats. You owe it to yourself to find out why his amazing white oak smoked Texas-style BBQ sells out quickly. Eat this, hungry readers, but don’t tarry – when it’s gone, it’s gone.
Grand Ole BBQ y Asado
3302 32nd Street
Wed.-Sat. 12 p.m. – sellout; 6 p.m. – sellout
Sun. 12 p.m.-sellout
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