I was born in Kansas City. For the first eighteen years of my life, my blood was part barbecue sauce. I just can't get enough of it. Sure, I'm partial to my hometown's style, but since I've left, I'll eat just about any of it. Memphis, Carolina, Dallas - bring it all on. Barbecue transplants can't be so picky.
I was sitting inside Shotwell's, my regularly mentioned favorite bar, when one of the bartenders, Dean, mentioned that he was thinking about starting a food cart. Barbecue, he says. Pulled pork sandwiches to start, with slaw and a couple of different sauces.
I became entirely too excited. Way, way too excited. The barbecue options - good, solid sandwiches with pulled, well-smoked meat, drenched in sauce - are few and far between in my neck of the woods. There are a couple of restaurants on Mission that call themselves barbecue, and I certainly mean no offense to their establishments, but they haven't been what I was looking for. I wanted barbecue, and Dean was offering me my chance.
I was worried that we wouldn't end up seeing the fruits of this labor any time soon, but sure enough, I got to be a taste tester the very next Sunday. I fell in love and couldn't get the sandwich out of my head.
They've got a sort of floating campground setup. A crockpot to keep previously-smoked meat warm, and then they heat it up for you, along with lightly toasting the buns, on their electric griddle. There's a tomato-based spicy sauce and a mustard-based milder sauce that's more Carolina style.
They're frequenting bars in the Mission on a fairly regular schedule. I know they're at Shotwell's on Mondays (6-8), and I've heard rumors of them showing up at The Knockout and 500 Club. Stop by and introduce yourself. I'll let the photos speak for themselves. A sandwich with a generous portion of meat, your choice of sauce and a side of slaw will run you $6. You can track them on twitter at @leftcoastsmoke. Good guys, good food. And my answer to beer+barbecue in the Mission.
Edited to add: I ran into Dean and John last night. They're at The Knockout on Thursdays.