A year ago, the food cart Broken Top BBQ settled into its spot along NW Colorado, in the parking lot adjacent to Mountain Supply—just an easy three-block stroll from our offices. It was like Christmas in summertime: fall-off-the bone ribs, slow-roasted pork brisket, spicy barbecue chicken sandwiches.
Owner T.J. McNabb had recently relocated from Portland, where he operated Barbecue the Blues. He brought with him a wide array of recipes and spices; a full court press on southern-style barbecues. Over the summer, McNabb enjoyed moderate success, but the location is not necessarily central to many people besides our office, and we can only do so much to sustain a barbecue joint—and he made a bid to relocate to the well-trafficked The Lot.
Unfortunately, though, musical chair politics ultimately kept Broken Top BBQ from finding a spot at The Lot and, for most of this summer, the cart has largely been sidelined. That is, until early July, when Broken Top BBQ landed on its feet (wheels?) at Crux Fermentation Project.
It is a match made in hog heaven—top shelf barbecue alongside picnic tables and a lawn full of cornhole games, not to mention a selection of some of the best beer in town to cool down the barbecue burn.
Although the venue has changed, the menu is essentially the same, with the notable addition of succulent desserts. The Slow Hand is still there, a slow-smoked pulled pork sandwich with pineapple slaw and a pickle—a smokey spice sandwich wisely tempered by the slaw—and the Chicken Pickin', a succulent sandwich filled with bite-sized barbecue chicken nuggets. The Devil's Candy sliders are new to the menu. Similar to chicharones, the meat is from the top of the back of the pig, similar to bacon but thicker; slow cooked for 11 hours and cured for a week, and finished off with a spicy mayo and habanero sauce. Melt in your mouth delicious, they do call for a Crux beer to douse the fire. The meals are picnic-perfect, served with slices of watermelon, pickles, pineapple slaw, beans, spicy potato salad, or their signature buttermilk cornbread.
The most significant addition to the menu are two desserts—a banana pudding brûlée and a mousse-rich and creamy cherry chocolate cheesecake that is served in a small bowl. In a wonderful cross-pollination, the cheesecake is made with Crux's Double Cross beer, with residual liquid from the cherries used to make whipped cream for the topping. These are not large desserts, but modestly small-size tasters.
And, if two food carts can constitute a trend, Curb B Q is parked adjacent to the new Atlas Cider tasting room (and next door to what is soon to be Immersion Brewery), at 550 SW Industrial Way. Opened for the past three years, Curb B Q serves up approachable and tasty barbecue, from pork tips to tacos, and wraps to wings, with down home friendly service.