Tuesday, November 17, 2009

B.J.'s Mesquite Smokehouse BBQ & Grill - Satellite Shack

As I spend time riding my bike around the city of Baton Rouge, I am always surprised at the many small places around this city where you can find a good meal especially for lunch. I never know where I may stumble on these places, but most of the time I am pleasantly surprised by the good food that they offer. So recently as I was making my way toward downtown heading down Government, I caught a intoxicating scent of great BBQ smoke in the air. As I came across the railroad tracks at 14th street, I found out where the smell was coming from as I could see the smoke bellowing from this small shack that sit in the middle of an abandoned parking lot. I had to stop and see if this food was as good as it smelled.

The choices on the menu are pretty simple. You can get a sandwich or a plate. You can choose from three meats in brisket, chicken, or ribs. And you can pick from sides of mac & cheese, potato salad, and baked beans. So as mentioned in the past I have a tough time choosing what to eat, so getting them all was what I optioned for, three meat plate with two sides and some toast. First to talk about the sides, the only one I didn't try was the potato salad, but I guess I will just have to go back (Poor me). The baked beans had a nice smokey flavor but were a typical bean that I can find almost anywhere. The mac & cheese though was quite creamy and delicious, and made with the right noodle for any true mac & cheese, the elbow macaroni. Then came the meats. The chicken began the feast with a tender, smokey dark meat quarter. I love chicken thigh meat and this slow cooked piece had some great skin and flavor. Next on the meat feast came the ribs. These were a very tender version of a standard pork rib but were cooked to perfection. My pet peeves when eating ribs is going to short on the smoke or even going to long. If you go to short then the product will be tough chew and the meat will not pull away from the bone. Adversely, if you leave them on too long the meat will fall off before you can pick it up. While some people may be fine with that, I like the primal feel of eating it off the bone. B.J.'s ribs had exactly what I was looking for. The highlight for me, though, came in the form of some amazing wet brisket. When I say wet brisket I am referring to the fact that the brisket had a good piece of the fat cap that coats the meat as opposed to the leaner pieces which I call dry brisket. The meat and fat were slow smoked to an amazing "melt in your mouth" texture and bursting with juicy flavor. All the meats were coated in their homemade BBQ sauce which had a nice blend of tangy, sweet and peppery notes. I was more than happy to used the simple pieces of buttered, thick cut toast to scoop up every drop.

 B.J.'s Mesquite Smokehouse BBQ & Grill apparently has a home in North Baton Rouge, but I thank them for coming downtown so I can sample their delicious product. I will be sure to keep you posted on any others that I cycle upon, but please let me know if you have any ideas. Peace and chicken grease.
BJ's Mesquite Smokehouse BBQ - Satellite Shack on Urbanspoon

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