A Barbecue Success Story

Here is a feel-good story, at least it is to us. For our November issue our cover story was about our search for the best barbecue in town. Sara Roahen, an accomplished food writer, received the assignment to, over a several month period, eat barbecue and tell us her choices. We gave her no list of favorites. The choices were up to her.

I have to admit to being surprised when I read her story and saw that her top choice wasn’t an established barbecue restaurant but something called NOLA Smokehouse, one of those pop-up places seen around town – this one operating from the patio at the PJ’s Coffee on Magazine Street.

Roahen wrote of the chef/owner’s science: “Bechtold uses an offset smoker filled with hickory mixed with peach, cherry or apple wood. The fruitwoods, he says, cause a chemical reaction that gives the meat a deeper smoke ring, and better smoke flavor.”

That was an interesting though quirky pick, I thought, but that’s the magazine biz. Well, lo and behold, the pop-up is popping into its own place. Owner Rob Bechtold contacted Roahen and told her that because of the endorsement from the article, he was able to obtain financing to open his own restaurant. So here it comes, a barbecue restaurant already carrying the credentials of being ranked No. 1, even before it opens.

According to Bechtold, the place, still to be called NOLA Smokehouse, will be located at 719 Jackson Ave. It opens Feb. 1 and at first will only operate Fridays through Sundays from noon until “sold out.” He hopes to expand the days eventually.

“I’m sticking with small batch artisan barbecue,” he says. “I won’t compromise my meat for more dollars. If it isn’t perfect it isn’t right. … I’m not changing now that I have a roof. It will just solidify my passion for barbecue perfection.”

This column is usually about a theme within its current issue, so here I’m writing about a topic two issues old, but the story fits in with our Tops of the Town cover story. New people doing new and creative things in the city are part of the story of contemporary New Orleans. That sort of spirit could be tops in any town.

You Might Also Like

10 Things to Do in New Orleans This Weekend

Our top picks for events happening in the weekend of July 25-27.

Renaissance Publishing Wins Big at Press Club Awards

The company won eight first place awards and multiple second and third place awards at the Press Club of New Orleans' Excellence in Journalism Awards.

Cool Drinks to Enjoy This Summer

Creative spins on the daiquiri and other cool drinks to try when it's hot.

6 Things To Do in New Orleans This Weekend

Our top picks for this weekend's events.

Renaissance Publishing to Launch Business Monthly Magazine

Add your comment:

Latest Posts

I’m So NOLA I Bought a House

I am so New Orleans that I can never even think about living somewhere else. And that’s not a slogan or a social media gimmick. It’s just the truth.

10 Things to Do in New Orleans This Weekend

Our top picks for events happening in the weekend of July 25-27.

News You Can Use and Booze

A mish-mash of dining and drinking news

Flower Power

Use blooms in your rooms to brighten the décor and the day.

Seasonally Sipping

Three cocktails that meet the summertime cool-and-refreshing criteria, with fresh ingredients and a different spirit for each recipe.