Soda (not so) secret
It takes a lot to distinguish oneself in the barbecue world, which is full of regional rubs and sauces but otherwise features fairly conventional approaches to brisket, ribs and the like.
Richard Kennedy believes he's hit on several elements that elevate Fat Daddy's Louisiana BBQ (6995 Lexington Drive, 598-7102), open since late June in the former Firehouse BBQ spot attached to the Hub Car Wash. Firstly, coining a Louisiana style in the face of so many Carolina, Texas, Memphis and Kansas City joints grabs some attention, and Kennedy, now 50, spent 43 years in that state where he grew up. He says he first got behind the grill at age 10 with his dad, a former cook in the Army (and Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient).
A garlic powder, sea salt and parsley blend makes up the base for his own line of rubs, with up to 15 more ingredients added. For some of his sauces, A&W Root Beer lends the sugar. A newly developed Bronco sauce actually begins with Crush orange soda and orange juice. "I've even made a Red Bull sauce before," he says. "If there's a soda you like, I can tweak it."
Kennedy, after moving here as a Sherwin-Williams exec seven years ago, ran a Fat Daddy's BBQ trailer on U.S. Highway 24 in Falcon for a stint; he's also sold his rubs at the local flea market. He says he's continuing to experiment with special cuts from his meat purveyors ahead of national barbecue competitions he plans to enter. He only smokes with hickory, and says many friends, customers and even critics have used the word "best" to describe his handiwork.
À la carte
• The second annual Carne Diem chili cook-off will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 4, on the west lawn of the Pioneers Museum (215 S. Tejon St., tiny.cc/fpt9kx). Entry costs $10 and earns guests three full bowls of chili to choose from among 31 amateur entrants and nine restaurant contenders. (You can sample prior to committing and also vote on your favorites.) Proceeds raised will go to Project COPE and the Pioneers Museum.
• A Bar Louie (barlouieamerica.com) location should be open within the next 90 days at 3255 Cinema Point, inside First & Main Town Center, confirms Fred Veitch of Nor'wood Development Group. The national chain boasts more than 80 locations, leading with a menu that ranges from Mac & Cheese to ahi tuna to sliders and a lengthy cocktail list.
• First & Main Town Center (firstandmaintowncenter.com) will also host its own cook-off among its 10 member restaurants from 2 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 20. Entry and samples are free, and the public will vote to determine the winner.