Crazy Good Eats’ New Restaurant Features Competition-Style BBQ

Crazy Good Eats’ New Restaurant Features Competition-Style BBQ

Pete Dulin‘s blog from FeastMagazine.com

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Before they opened the restaurant at the corner of 151st and Mur-len, they set up a tent in the parking lot and sold barbecue and smoked meats on a weekly basis. Customers began showing up early and forming lines to secure a sandwich or food to go. The sheer pounds of food that they prepared and sold continued to grow. They realized that it made sense to go whole hog and open a restaurant.

Back in the smokehouse, Isbell tends to the smoker fueled only by hickory wood. “I’ve tried apple wood, cherry wood, combinations of fruit and hickory, but hickory works best,” he says.

He slowly smokes brisket flats and points, slabs of baby-back ribs and other meats for five hours or more in a massive barrel-shaped rotisserie, removes some cuts, wraps them to seal in juices for tenderness, and returns them to the smoker to finish the process. Isbell takes burnt end trimmings and sears them on the grill to give them a desired crispy char.

Isbell shares a secret to the tenderness and moisture content of his smoked meats. He injects a scientifically developed phosphate brine into the meat that adds moisture but no additional flavor or seasoning. Besides smoke, the flavor on the meat results from an initial dry rub and a subsequent spice and herb rub “for color.”

When it comes time to chow down, orders of barbecue are served without sauce. The Crazy Good Eats team believes that the meat has ample flavor and leaves it to guests to add the amount of sauce they wish, if any. Current sauces include a sweet and tangy Competition Sauce and a Red Eye Hot Sauce soon to be followed by a thicker, sweeter Kansas City-style sauce in the works.

The new restaurant sells beer and wine for dine-in customers and will soon open a large patio for dining al fresco. Customers can also get quick service at the carry-out counter and a forthcoming drive-thru this fall for advance online and call-ahead orders.

When hunger for smoked meat and barbecue fires up, steer over to Crazy Good Eats. One of the restaurant’s signature dishes, the Steer Crazy Championship Plate, combines two ribs, brisket, dark-meat chicken and pulled pork on a platter. Not surprisingly, it’s crazy good.

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