For a lot of us in Wisconsin, the word Barbeque brings back a nostalgic memory of childhood. Kids running in the grass, smells of summertime and sausage and a vision of dad guarding his grill, armed with a beer and tongs.
Here at Smokey Ridge, BBQ is more like a religion; to be heavily debated, rooted in tradition, cloaked in mystery and sought after with a bloodlust fanaticism. Our BBQ faith closely mirrors that of Texas, where the meat is smoked over indirect wood heat, slow and low for hours. The time-honored Texan tradition is to serve meats with no sauce (or just rub). Albeit wonderful that way, we have come to find BBQ nirvana is achieved by a combination of sauce, rub and smoke in all right proportions. Together they create a symphony of food bliss that can only be found in “damn good” BBQ. There are many different ways to BBQ and we accept each for their validity and merit, but here at Smokey Ridge we have our own take on how to BBQ and we are happy to share it with you.
Ribs: We have done a great deal of research and could spend a month talking to you about ribs and the difference between The Spares, St. Louis and Baby Backs. The quality of the ribs is affected by the age of the Hog, the time of the year and even if the Hog was dehydrated. After countless experiments, we fell in love with the St. Louis ribs and we proudly serve them here. Did you know that St. Louis style ribs average about 2.5 pounds a rack while Baby Backs are only about 1.5?
Pulled Pork: Or as we affectionally call them “pig butts” (yes, we know they come from the shoulder). Butts are all about balance and should be pulled, not chopped; moist, but not soupy. When you pull the pork, it needs to be seasoned up a bit. We want the meat to be the "star" with the seasoning to be the supporting role; again, about balance. If there was a king of Pulled Pork, it would be from North Carolina! Our pulled pork will be served on the perfect bun with a vinegar-based BBQ sauce. The home-made sauce has a fair amount of tang that cuts through the fattiness of the pork and a slow burn that makes you crave more. Finally, top it off with our fresh and flavorful, home-made coleslaw.
Brisket: In the BBQ world, Brisket is the Holy Grail, and we don't call it that for nothing. The path to a perfect brisket is a quest with trials and tribulations. Dry, tough and flavorless are the enemies of a Brisket. Our brisket will be marbled with fat, have a strong beef flavor, a heavily seasoned crust and be moist and tender (but firm enough to hand slice). Brisket is best right off the cutting board and even the best brisket will dry out fairly quickly. If ordering carry out, you will need a little bit of our home-made dip to bring some of the moisture back.
Dip/Sauce: Sauce was originally designed to mask the flavor of poorly cooked meat. Not here! Our sauces compliment the meat and adds layers of flavor. When you eat our ribs, you should taste the sauce first, then the rub and finally, the smoke. The issue with sauce is how should it accent the meat; should it be sweet to offset the spicy or should it be salty to offset the sweet? Here at Smokey Ridge we wanted to let you decide and at the same time take you on a tour of BBQ country in the USA with our signature, hand crafted sauces:
SWEET Memphis - Molasses Based sauce: Sweet and thick
ZIPPY Kansas City – Ketchup Based sauce: Bold and Tangy
SASSY North Carolina - Vinegar Based sauce: Tangy with a slow burn
TANGY South Carolina – Mustard Based Sauce: Sweet and Tangy with spice that only mustard can provide
PEPPER – Our signature “Hot” sauce: Habanero, for an instant hot to the tongue, Black pepper for that whole mouth burn and Cayenne for the burn to the back of the throat.
Add A Flavor: In most restaurants these are called sides, but here we want you to add a “flavor". A mouth watering product that we put as much time, energy and passion into making as we did our smoked meats.
This brings us to our potato crisps. French fries are great, but a large part of our business will be carry out and we want to ensure that the highest, quality food reaches your tables at home. For that reason, we’ve left fries off the menu in favor of our house made Potato Crisps.
Final Thought: We really want to bring our customers something special and in order to that, we have sourced local meats, breads and cheeses to bring you the highest quality products and to support our community. We will be featuring Jones Artisan Sodas and creating the best home-made southern inspired sweet tea and lime-aid. We have worked hard to make sure that all of our meats and BBQ sauces are Gluten Free. Lastly, our food is fresh; never frozen!