Back in April, I wrote about getting an awesome pulled-pork sandwich as Backyard BBQ in Enfield CT. I've been there a few times since then - most recently last night - and I think it's about time I offered a more extensive review of their offerings.
Grilled Chicken: Because Backyard BBQ uses real, hardwood charcoal to cook their chicken (and all their other entrees, for that matter) it shouldn't come as any surprise that their grilled chicken is second to none. Slow cooked over an actual fire, this was the first restaurant grilled chicken that I can say tasted as good as my own.
Beef Brisket - Meltingly tender, Backyard BBQ's brisket is excellent. I especially like the mild-yet-sharp tang of the homemade house sauce it's served with.
Pictured with the brisket is a side of BBQ Beans. For most of my life, I have pretty much hated barbecue beans. This is probably because the only ones I've ever had have been cheapo baked beans swimming in low-grade barbecue sauce. These are the beans which changed my mind. Loaded with chunks of pulled pork, dressed with sauce, and kicked up with a medium boost of spicy heat, these beans are almost a meal in themselves. I like them so much that I order at least one side of them every time I go in. Seriously, even if you hate baked beans, you should give them a try to see if their extreme awesomeness can win you over, too.
I'm happy to say that the Pulled Pork is every bit as excellent now as it was in April. This time, I got it as a dinner entree rather than a sandwich. It's still the best pulled pork you'll find outside the Carolinas.
Backyard BBQ's Garlic Mashed Potatoes deserve special mention as well. Thin-skinned new potatoes, roughly mashed with the skins on and spiked with roasted garlic and a touch of sour cream, they complimented the brisket and the pulled pork extremely well. Like the beans, the potatoes are good enough to buy all by themselves for the sake of eating potatoey goodness.
Corn Bread - Quite a unique recipe (and I mean that in a good way) - a nearly perfect balance between the sweet, moist Northern style and the dryer, not-very-sweet Southern style. Plus there are chewy little kernels of roasted corn distributed throughout.
Last, but certainly not least, are the St. Louis Style Spare Ribs. We bought a full rack and were glad we did. Backyard BBQ does 'em right: nice and slow over hardwood coals, using whole untrimmed sides that yield big and meaty ribs. They're tender and perfectly done - right to the point where the meat pulls off the bone but not quite to the overdone "fall off the bone" stage. The meat is dressed with homemade rib sauce for the last few turns over the fire, and then are cut into serving sizes ready to go. I can't recommend them highly enough.
I'm really glad that Backyard BBQ opened up in town. They're following through with their initial promise to bring an authentic and reasonably priced barbecue takeout to Enfield, and I'm looking forward to many more meals there.