People who know me and love my food would think that I’m all about sandwiches, which I am. But I’m also a huge barbecue fan.
However, I can only think of a couple of times when I went out to eat barbecue. I love my barbecue, and I have some friends who are just great when it comes to smoking meat and cooking barbecue, but I can’t go to their homes each time I want barbecue.
But I can go to BBQ West. I have been into BBQ West at least a half dozen times and I’ve never left with anything other than a smile on my face and a very full belly. So when I decided to use BBQ West to cater Blake D. Hines’ No Lost Time Safety Banquet, I knew we were in for a treat.
I wanted to keep the menu simple and to the point, but still get all my favorite dishes to eat. We went with brisket, beef ribs, barbecue chicken, baked beans and dirty rice. One of the women from work had her husband make the potato salad (btw, best potato salad ever).
Whenever you have food made at an off-site location, there’s always a concern about how the food will travel; whether there are going to be spills; whether the food will get cold, etc. When I showed up to pick up the food 45 minutes before the banquet started, I was a little concerned that everything was already boxed and ready to transport. This made me nervous because I wasn’t sure how long it had already been sitting there and whether it was going to stay warm.
The attention to detail in the way BBQ West packages food was the key. The way it was packaged made it so easy to move I never even worried about spills. The aluminum containers the food was in slid into cardboard boxes made specifically for the trays to fit in. This not only helped with spill prevention, but also kept the food nice and warm.
BBQ West provided all the serving utensils, plates, cups, napkins, toothpicks, etc., as well as six gallons of sweet and un-sweetened tea. Needless to say, I was pretty impressed at this point. But we still had to see how the food was going to travel.
The brisket, as always, was tender and full of smoky flavor. It just melted in your mouth.
BBQ West sent a half gallon of its homemade sauce to dip the food in, and I love dips!
The ribs were cooked to perfection. The test for that is simple: stick the rib in your mouth and bite down and pull the bone. If all the meat just slides off, then you have a perfect rib.
I could eat chicken five days a week, so I’d say I’m a big fan. All BBQ West did was make my love of chicken even greater. The meat was cooked perfectly. With the sauce cooked into the meat so well, it took a lot for me not to just eat the chicken and bypass all the other choices. But doing so would have made it hard to write this article.
The baked beans were cooked down for a long time, which married all the ingredients together nicely.
Last but not least, there was the dirty rice. Some people I know cook the rice separately from the meat and when both are combined, the rice never gets all the flavors because it isn’t absorbing as much liquid as it would otherwise since it’s already cooked. But when you cook the rice with the meat and it’s done right like this was, it’s real hard to beat the flavor.
Well, before we even took the first cover off of the food, I realized I’d been given a incorrect guest count and I knew we wouldn’t have enough. I called BBQ West and told them my situation and said that I needed to feed a additional 20 people. I was only 15 minutes from starting to feed the guests, so time wasn’t something I had a lot of.
BBQ West had everything ready to go as soon as my driver arrived, and he made it back just in time.
The next day, I received a call from the owner to follow up and see how our event went. Was I happy with my service? My answer was more than yes because they treated me so well and were there for me when I thought I wasn’t going to have enough food.
BBQ West knows customer service and they know barbecue. So do yourself and your family a good deed and take them for some good home-cooked barbecue.
BBQ West • 2618 Derek Drive • Lake Charles • 337-564-5000 • www.bbqwest.com