Food & Drink » Dining Reviews

Smokin' J's BBQ takes it back to the basics

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GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
We finally hit Smokin’ J’s at the Acacia Park Community Market (Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., through Aug. 31), though that’s not a regular gig for the truck. Catching it proved tricky due to spotty updates on its Facebook page. When, and wherever, you find them, you’ll meet owner/pitmaster Justin Ware, perhaps a familiar face from his prior “big red BBQ trailer” venture that worked special events in recent years.

Ware breaks down his own proteins, smokes with applewood and makes his own dry rubs and a Texas-tuned chipotle-guava barbecue sauce. Which explains a notable tartness and earthy smokiness on the back end of our bites of J’s pulled pork sandwich ($10 includes choices of sides and drink). It’s a fine meat moistener on an overall solid sandwich, backed by basic but good potato salad and a more interesting slaw — crisp, tangy and not all creamed out, with a secret finishing zest (we’re guessing celery salt).

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