On April 8 I decided to spend the night in Craig, Colorado. After evaluating my options for dinner I ended up at JW Gulf Coast Snack Bar & Grill. I expected it to be more of a pub with food but it turned out to be more of a local casual food style restaurant (think TGI Fridays or Applebee’s but smaller and more unique with better food). That said, part of me wonders if the feel would’ve been different without COVID restrictions.
For an appetizer I got pork poppers. I am not sure I’ve seen these anyplace else. They were basically what I think most people would guess: deep fried battered pieces of pork. And as people that like pork and deep fried things would guess, they were amazing. If you ever find yourself in Craig and you eat pork, you must get them. You will not be disappointed!
The food genre at JW’s was predominately southern. I decided to go with the blackened catfish but it was a tough choice because a lot of the menu items looked good. I choose the catfish because I used to eat it often when I lived in Alabama but you really don’t see it in California much. The cook did a great job and I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t as good as the best catfish I ate in Alabama but it could hold its own in the South and it really hit the spot. The sides I got were dirty rice and baked beans. The dirty rice was okay but nothing to write home about. The baked beans, however, were pretty good and I’d get them again.
As far as the service, it was great. The server had good timing and I was never looking for her nor did I ever feel she was
trying to rush me out the door. She and the other staff were also friendly. My only real complaint was the beer selection wasn’t very good. They only had a couple of beers on tap and they were your typical American swill. The bottle selection wasn’t great
either but I did end up getting a decent IPA. I guess the moral of the story is to go here for the food and not the beer.
Location: Mobile (My visit was at the Marina Sunday Farmers’ Market, 215 Reservation Road, Marina, CA 93933)
Date of visit: 2021 March 7
On Sunday, March 7, 2021 I headed to the Marina Certified Farmers’ Market https://www.everyonesharvest.org/marina-certified-farmers-market/ that is held every Sunday from 10am to 2pm at 215 Reservation Road, Marina, CA. I didn’t go in search of a farmer or even produce (although I did pick up some vegetables) but I came in search of southern-style barbeque. The reason why I headed to the farmers’ market for barbeque was that Haley left a comment on a previous Ed’s Eats post that recommended it.
Before going on to the part about Blazin’ Bayou BBQ, a quick word on the Farmers’ Market. It was pretty small and there were only three actual farm stands. I assume they get a few more farmers in-season. The ones that were there though had a nice assortment of produce including some things you don’t find in a typical supermarket. ’I didn’t see any fresh meats for sale. There were a number of craft vendors and an assortment of food vendors including a taco truck, a sushi truck, kettle corn, and others food vendors. It probably isn’t worth the ride from a distance if you are just going there for vegetables but if you are in the area it is worth a quick stop.
Blazin’ Bayou BBQ specializes in southern-style BBQ. They had smoked pulled pork, smoked brisket, smoked ribs, and Louisiana Hot Links on the menu. They also had a crawfish boil special (at least I think it was a boil, I didn’t the special on camera so I may be wrong but I know it was crawfish because I almost got that instead of my sandwich because I haven’t had crawfish since moving away from Alabama).
Although all of the menu items were tempting, I decided to go with the pulled pork sandwich which is probably what I get most of the time when it is available from a BBQ place. The brisket really looked good though! The pulled pork was delicious. I’d say it was in the top 10% of pulled pork sandwiches I’ve had and I’ve been to a bunch of BBQ places. It was definitely the best pulled pork I’ve had in California. It was tender and flavorful. Blazin’ Bayou BBQ put a large amount of meat on their sandwiches which is nice but the sandwiches are not inexpensive. I think it was either twelve or thirteen dollars for the sandwich. The amount of meat made it worth it, but as I said it is not a cheap sandwich. As far as service goes, the staff were friendly and made my sandwich right away so no complaints there.
Overall, I was quite pleased and I will definitely get food from them again. Besides the Sunday farmers’ market in Marina according to the website, as of this writing, Blazin’ Bayou BBQ also goes to Moss Landing near Power Plant Coffee on the weekends. However, as with all mobile food vendors, it is always good to check with them to be sure before driving there. Thanks for the recommendation Haley!
On Thursday December 17, 2020 I order takeout food By the Bay BBQ in Seaside, CA. This is a new restaurant located where the Fishwife was in Seaside on the corner of Fremont and Trinity. I am a little confused as to what is going on but it looks like there are now two restaurants in one place: By the Bay BBQ and Seaside Seafood & Market. The Seaside Seafood & Market has a message on their website as of this writing that says “In addition to our Seaside Seafood & Market, we our debuting out By the Bay BBQ menu for your Southern Food needs.” It appears to be the same business but with two separate online presences and completely different menus, however, I am not 100% sure what the true connection is. Anyway, the BBQ portion is new and I only found out about it because I was browsing Yelp! in search of a new place to try and it popped up.
Some of the menu items are named after famous Alabama barbecue places. If you are going to name one of your dishes “Dreamland” Pork Spare Rib Plate you obviously think very highly of your BBQ skills or are delusional (maybe both?). I lived in Tuscaloosa, Alabama so I know Dreamland Bar-B-Que. When I was considering my order I thought to myself if they are even half as good as Dreamland they will do good here.
Another thing that stands out on the menu is that they seem to specialize in Alabama White BBQ sauce. I general I do not like white sauces of any type and I definitely do not like white BBQ sauce. It is an evil trick to get you to eat mayonnaise. Yuck! While they added a container of the sauce to my order I refused to partake in even a small sample so I can’t tell you how well they made it. If you like mayonnaise, however, you should give it a try because I hear mayo lovers say it’s good, especially with chicken. They did not put in any regular BBQ sauce so I will need to ask for that next time (assuming they have it).
I ordered the Choice of 2 Smoked Meat Platter. I chose the ribs and brisket for my meats and for my 2 sides I ordered the molasses baked beans w/ pork belly and collards w/ smoked ham hock. They also threw in some of their “B+B’s” signature bread & butter pickles.
Let’s start with the three sides. There were all amazing. I. think I liked the collards a little more than the baked beans but both were delicious. The pickles were also extremely tasty. Definitely don’t just buy the meat if you go to By the Bay! I look forward to trying some of their other sides in the future.
As I mentioned earlier if you are going to be Dreamland on your BBQ menu you better have top notch BBQ. I will say the flavor of both the brisket and the ribs were quite good but, as expected, they were not Dreamland tasty. While I enjoyed the flavor I felt that both the of meats I tried were not as tender as I’d like. I wonder if maybe they had a huge rush on orders and I ended up getting something, while cooked through, was not cooked as long as it should’ve been to be fall off the bone or fall apart tender. I say this in part because some Yelp! reviews had high praise and one even mentioned “fall apart brisket” which is not how I’d describe what I ate. That said, they were still good and I should add that the ribs were very meaty. Based on the reviews I think I might have not got their best product as far as the meat tenderness goes so I will give them another chance (and regardless of the meat, I need more of those collards). I’ll update my review or put something in the comments after I go back. Next time I’ll probably try the pulled pork but I’d also like to give the ribs another chance.
When I was placing the order I thought they were a bit overpriced. After tax my order came out to just over $30.00. Once I picked up my food, however, I changed my mind. The portions are very generous so you get what you pay for (at least on the Monterey/California curve where everything is expensive). So if you look at the menu and think the prices are too high, remember that they do not skimp on what they give you. My meal was probably enough for two people although I might order an extra side if I was ordering for two adults.
We are in COVID lockdown here in Monterey County so I got the food for takeout. As with my last post, I really can’t say much about the service but the person that gave me my order was friendly and the food was ready on time so no complaints. I’ll definitely try By the Bay BBQ again and I also plan on trying their other restaurant, Seaside Seafood & Market, in the future.