Chef Rob Bechtold's "barebones and bootstrap" operation/heatmap addition NOLA Smokehouse has been open for a couple months in the Lower Garden District, and this week critic Ian McNulty turns magical brisket-bard after sampling Bechtold's many specialties. While New Orleans has its own signature type of barbecue, one that's usually doused in sauce and has little smokiness, Bechtold's version is different perfectly smoked, with various "beguiling" amber-hued sauces formed by a base of Steen's Cane Syrup and vinegar, and served with cole slaw that's dressed to order, so it stays crunchys and fairly emblematic of the "golden age" of barbecue that's taking over the city right now.
Here are McNulty's best descriptions of Rob Bechtold's barbecue, or more importantly, eight reasons why you should visit Nola Smokehouse now.
· "the rosy tangles of pulled pork"
· "the gushing wads of fat over pork belly chunks"
· "In the craggy, meteor-black surface of burnt ends... those irregular, ugly and irresistibly flavorful nubs from the long-smoked brisket."
· "Eat the twice-smoked Cajun sausage and your mouth glows with red spice"
· "Eat the ribs at lunch and your hands will carry a smoky aroma into dinnertime"
· "Choose the fatty brisket over the lean and your teeth will squeak as you move your mouth"
· "The place always reminds me of the rural butcher shops that dot Cajun country."
· "Then there are the smokehouse sideshows not quite sides, not really entrees like pulled pork baklava with smoked apple butter between the phyllo sheets, oily, loose chili or yaka mein made with bits of brisket."
· At a new barbecue outpost, a smoker fed with New Orleans flair [Advocate]
· All NOLA Smokehouse Coverage [-ENOLA-]