Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Food, Glorious Food!

As an American, one of the few things I really miss here in NI is particular foods. Like real Mexican.. and proper barbecue. BBQ is NOT chucking some burgers and sausages on a backyard grill. I'm talking real smoked meats, so tender they fall off the bone. Meat, meat, and meat. So imagine my amazement, and slight trepidation, when I heard of a BBQ joint opening up in Belfast!

Called Bubbacue, this little gem is tucked away on Callener Street, next to M&S. Inside is nothing special. A window shows you tables where meat is being chopped and sides are being dished up by fresh-faced teens in skinny jeans and t-shirts. You order at the register, and grab your drink, a pickle (take a pickle, people!!) and a Budweiser can with a number. Take a seat at a table covered in red and white check, and drool over the 4 bottles of sauces. Yes, folks, this is a sauce-your-own place! Being sick of turkey, I went straight for the pulled pork. Now, I could have had just a sandwich (served with skinny fries), but I went whole-hog (sorry!) and got the platter.. complete with cornbread, slaw, a pickle and 2 sides. I opted for the fries and beans. And of course a mason jar of half-sweet iced tea.

My order came pretty quick, served up on an enameled metal tray lined with paper. A mess of chopped pulled pork and all my goodies. The slaw was good.. not mayonnaise-laden, but lacking in a bit of punch. The skinny fries came skin-on and not over-salted. Yum!! Beans.. swimming with bits of onion in a delightfully spicy sauce.. not that gloomy stuff you get out of a can!  The cornbread was, dammit, better than my own! And the meat.. oh man! I of course tried all the sauces. You have your standard smokey BBQ, a tangy Kansas City-inspired sauce, a sweeter Memphis-inspired one, and a kick-your-butt mustardy Carolina sauce. Only thing lacking was a proper hard cord North Carolina vinegary sauce, but I am not sure Belfast is quite ready for that. They were all good, and I ended up slathering my pork in a combo of the Carolina and Memphis-style sauces.  Topped it off with a crunchy pickle speak (not quite kosher dill, but close!), and my iced tea. Zero room left for dessert, but there is always next time.

So.. an ocean away from good barbecue I am no longer! Merely a train ride and a short walk. There is only one downside... Bubbacue is a pop-up. They are only open for 3 months!

If you're in Belfast, get your butts down to Bubbacue. But get there early (they open at noon), as the meat-hungry denizens of the city clean the place out of meat in a couple of hours!

I'd put up a picture, but I was too busy eating...