Archive for the ‘barbeque’ Tag

Almost Home Cooking   2 comments

frontrangebbq

Beef brisket is one of the toughest cuts of meat around. In the right hands, it’s rendered fork-tender and full of flavor. Of course, it takes several hours to get that way, but Front Range Barbeque has both the touch and the time to get the right results.

frontrangehouse

The restaurant, in a modified bungalow in Old Colorado City, has several small, crowded rooms and a large outdoor dining area. The latter is enclosed and heated for year-round seating. It’s a comfortable setting for live music. Front Range is homey, busy and is a place to make friends with the people at nearby tables – because these are such cramped quarters. Servers maneuver through the small maze of diners, and everyone keeps their elbows close.

Once the food arrives, it’s easy to forget the jam-packed conditions and enjoy the meal. Besides the fall-apart-beef, Front Range knows how to do sides. The baked beans are thick with molasses and bits of shredded pork. Coleslaw is creamy, but not excessively so. The platters also feature mini-cornbread muffins and thinly-sliced onion rings.

The cooked-to-perfection meat takes center stage with its charred coat. It’s served dry, but three sauces, made in-house, provide the opportunity to enhance the taste. There’s Original Tangy, Sweet n’ Spicy, Mustard Wine. The latter is an unusual combination of Dijon mustard and white wine. It complemented the French fries better than it did the meat. The tangy has too much vinegar, while the sweet and spicy is just the right yin-yang combination.

Front Range Barbeque

Almost-Four Plates

2330 W. Colorado Ave.

Colorado Springs, CO

More Than a Saturday Market   Leave a comment

The Handy Market is just that: conveniently located and, despite its compact size, well-stocked with fresh produce, an impressive meat counter and a decent selection of wine and beer. And there’s the Saturday barbecue.

Every Saturday the industrial grills are loaded with a variety of meats cooked to fork-tender perfection. The aroma alone is hypnotizing. People stand in line – often a block long – to order ribs, chicken and tri-tip, but the bonus is the aroma emanating from the ballooning smoke of the grills.

A Santa Maria-like style is used: meats are cooked over a hot, hot bed of slow burning fuel, such as mesquite. Tri-tip is a lean roast with one fatty side from which the juices flow into the meat during the cooking process.

A recent visit to LA netted a trip to the Handy Market. We arrived later in the afternoon and the line was only about ten people deep. A wipe board identifies the meats, and orders are placed at the window of a trailer. The grills are set up next to it in the market’s parking lot. We ordered the trip-tip and chicken. With just the right amount of salty, smoky flavors, and optional tangy sauce, the Tri-tip is the meat of choice.

Grilled corn and salads, ordered at the meat counter, are offered. Once the meats, which are sold by the pound, are wrapped in heavy duty foil there’s the option of having them slathered in a thick, rich barbecue sauce. Go for it.

The Handy Market
Four-and-a-half Plates
2514 W. Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank, Calif.

Tangy and Tender   1 comment

A few years ago, my family and I embarked on a barbecue quest. Our (ongoing) charge was to find
the best place for BBQ in Colorado Springs. We’ve also sampled in California, Wyoming, Denver,
Flagstaff and other locales – including New York City. While we aren’t ready to name a champ-
ion, we all agree that Bird Dog BBQ is among the top three anywhere – not just our hometown.

Our criteria were simple. We wanted the best in flavor, sides, and tender meats. Bird Dog scores
high in everything. Brisket, pulled or sliced, practically falls apart by just looking at it. Bursting
with smokiness that only comes from a low and slow technique, this is the kind of meat to dis-
suade anyone from becoming a vegetarian. Three in-house sauces are made daily. One has a sweet
and sour tanginess, while the other is an upgrade to spicy and tart. Taking it up a notch is one made
with Wasabi, but to be honest I like combing the two traditional sauces. Rumor has it there an ultra-
hot blend kept behind the counter.

Pulled Pork, Pork Sausage, Ribs and Chicken complete the meat offerings. The Pork is fork tender and
moist. Barbecue is nothing without Baked Beans, and the sweetened beans do not disappoint. Potato
Salad and Cole Slaw are other winners.

The decor is another reason Bird Dog scores high with my family. There are lots of photos, brought
in by diners, of dogs of all kinds. We keep meaning to take in a picture of ours: so we’ll get to return.

Bird Dog BBQ
Four Plates
5984 Stetson Hills Blvd. and 1645 Briargate Pkwy.
Colorado Springs
(Another location at 6965 Mesa Ridge
Fountain, CO., has not been visited)