Tasty Tuesday–Righteous Pig BBQ: The Cuban

I’m taking a break from talking about the amazing food at Beast Craft BBQ to talk about another Belleville BBQ location: Righteous Pig.

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Ryan and I recently tried their Cuban sandwich (pork belly pastrami, pulled pork, mustard, BBQ sauce, and pickles).

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The pastrami was amazing…sliced super thin (I was actually shocked by how thin…I was expecting chunks of meat, so this was a very pleasant surprise), and almost prosciutto-like. We both loved it. The pulled pork, however, was dry. Maybe it was just because we ordered near the end of the day, but it was not nearly as remarkable as the pastrami was, and not what we were expecting. The bun was good–an onion roll, it appeared. It did start to fall apart before the sandwich was gone, but the taste was good. The mustard and pickles on the sandwich both added to the flavor, and the BBQ sauce was good…I thought it had a bit of a kick, but Ryan found it to be pretty tame. Go figure.

We also tried the pit beans and the potato salad. Both were good. Ryan really liked the beans, and while he’s not much of a non-mustard potato salad person, he liked that, too. I thought the potato salad was excellent, and I could admit the beans were good, even though I’m not a huge baked beans fan.

Righteous Pig certainly won’t replace my favorite BBQ place, Beast, but it’s worth a try, for the pastrami alone, especially if you’re spending the day in downtown Belleville!

Tasty Tuesday–Beast Craft BBQ: Brisket Nachos

Did you know that Beast Craft BBQ makes brisket nachos? Now, I’ve done brisket nachos at home before…actually, I make them every year with our Fourth of July leftovers. But I may just have to give that up this year, because Beast’s are so much better!

What makes their brisket nachos great (you know, aside from the wonderful Beast brisket)? Let’s start with the…brussels sprouts?!? Yes, the nachos are topped with brussels sprouts, and being a huge fan of them, I love it (there is someone in this house that insisted on picking around the sprouts, however). But, there’s more than just brisket and brussels sprouts on Beast’s nachos. There are also tomatoes and jalapeños, smoked cheddar cheese, a lime sour cream (which is AMAZING), and of course, Beast’s fantastic BBQ sauce.

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The tortilla chips managed to hold up under the weight of all that pretty well…they did get pretty soggy by the end. But when I say all that weight, I really mean it. None of us could believe the amount of toppings on the nachos, and it was a full family effort to finish them.

As always, I’m impressed with the menu items Beast creates…they sound familiar, but they always have a unique Beast twist, which has made everything I’ve tried unlike anything else I’ve ever had before!

Tasty Tuesday–Beast Craft BBQ: Pastrami Hash

I’m mentioned Beast’s amazing pastrami before. Sucker that I am for pastrami, I had to try the pastrami hash when it appeared on the menu, and it didn’t disappoint!

The hash is made with pastrami and brussels sprouts (!!!), and served on top of fries on top of rye bread. The whole thing is then smothered in smoked hollandaise, with the standard Beast pickle slices in top:

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I loved this Beast creation just as much as you would expect. One word of warning, though…this was an extremely salty dish–make sure you have a beverage to go with it!

Tasty Tuesday–Beast Craft BBQ: Apple Bottom Pork Steak Sammich

Yesterday, the Beast Craft BBQ menu featured the Apple Bottom Pork Steak Sammich:

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This is a no frills creation…everything that is on the sammich is in the title. A whole pork steak, which is drenched in apple butter BBQ sauce. Other than the pickle slices (have I mentioned how it tickles me that they put them on top of the bun instead of inside?), that’s all there is to it.

I mentioned that when I tried the “Pig Daddy” that Beast turned me into a pork steak convert. Before tasting their rendition of this St. Louis staple, I was simply not interested. But once I discovered how good Beast’s pork steaks are, I knew I’d try this sammich eventually. I wasn’t disappointed…the pork steak was as good as I remembered from the first time I tried it. And the apple butter BBQ sauce…it seems fairly unassuming at first, but the more you eat of it, the more the heat builds…it definitely has a kick to it!

This was another great Beast creation, but it was way too much, even when sharing. I had no idea how big a whole pork steak is! I was also worried about reheating the leftovers, because I was afraid that doing so would result in the dry pork steak that I’m familiar with and dislike. Any tips on how to manage a good reheat in the future are welcome!

I’m looking forward to seeing what else Beast may do with that apple BBQ sauce in the future!

Tasty Tuesday–Beast Craft BBQ: A Look Inside

I have shared a lot about the delicious food at Belleville’s Beast Craft BBQ, but I realized that I have yet to write about the restaurant itself!

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Beast is in a very unassuming location between a gas station and a bowling alley, but don’t let that discourage you…the inside is well-decorated and clean.

I love the hand-written menus (and especially the occasional illustrations!)…the special is right there when you walk in the door, and the full menu is at the hostess’ station.

To the right is the bar area, which is also where you pick up carryout orders. There are TVs where you can catch the big game, and a few tables in addition to the bar seating:

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The beer wall is the focal point of this area…I love the local selections!

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If beer isn’t your thing, you also have a choice of local soft drinks, featuring Ski:

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In addition to the bar, there is a small dining room. From what I’ve seen, it fills up quickly, so come early, or be ready to wait. Beast doesn’t do reservations.

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Have I mentioned how much I love the Beast logo? It’s perfect in its straightforward simplicity!

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It doesn’t matter if you’re planning on sitting down to eat, or carrying out your food…just visit Beast as soon as possible…you won’t regret it!

Tasty Tuesday–Beast Craft BBQ: Kentucky Hot Brown

Yesterday, Beast had a new turkey creation on the menu…the Kentucky Hot Brown. As soon as I saw it, I started rearranging the dinner menu for the week, just so I could try it!

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In case you’re unfamiliar with the Kentucky Hot Brown, the Beast version stays fairly true to the original, with turkey, pork belly (instead of plain old bacon), tomatoes, cucumbers, and Mornay sauce, which I discovered is a Béchamel sauce with grated cheese added in. The sandwich is served open-faced, which was a first for me at Beast.

This was another amazing addition to the Beast menu, and totally worth changing our dinner plans for the next few days so I could fit it in. I have to admit, as much as I love the burnt ends, I think the turkey might be my favorite item from Beast…it has been amazing every way I’ve tried it, and even plain it’s delicious. But who knows? Maybe Beast will come up with another burnt end speciality that will have me changing my mind about my favorite yet again!

Tasty Tuesday–Beast Craft BBQ: Big Country

Beast had me at asparagus fries…

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The Big Country is another amazing creation from Beast…it’s currently tied with the Beefcake for my favorite beef-based sammich. Brisket and burnt ends, smoked bacon, plus brisket gravy (yeah, they do that!), and asparagus fries, which, as far as I could tell, was really just pan-fried asparagus, similar to how I cook it, and was delicious!

I think I’ve made it clear by now that I absolutely love Beast’s burnt ends, and the brisket is also amazing. The brisket gravy was new to me, and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Let me just say, it’s delicious. I have to admit that I let the sammich get a bit cold while I was taking pictures of it and doing a few other things, and I think the gravy would have been even better if I had gotten to it before it cooled off, but even at room temperature, it was great. And the asparagus was a great contribution…a nice little taste of spring, plus, you know, it makes the sammich healthy!

As always, I will be anxiously awaiting Beast’s next creation…I don’t how they keep coming up with interesting and unexpected combos that work so well, but they really do!

Tasty Tuesday–Beast Craft BBQ: The Krispy Daddy

If you’re tired of hearing about Belleville’s newest BBQ place…well, too bad. I’m really enjoying being able to support them in whatever small way I can, because they have great food and a great commitment to local products and freshness!

Today we’ll be looking at the Krispy Daddy:

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Kielbasa, pulled pork, and candied bacon, drizzled with Beast’s signature BBQ sauce, and sandwiched between…two Krispy Kreme donuts?!?

I’ll admit, I was reluctant to try this one. I’m from Belleville, so I’m familiar with “Baseball’s Best Burger,” served at Gateway Grizzlies games, also sandwiched between donuts, and frankly, the idea has always grossed me out. But I was thinking about this new creation, and I figured that the concept isn’t too far off from a Monte Cristo sandwich, which I do like, so it was worth trying.

I’ve had the pulled pork and candied bacon on another sandwich, and I already knew they were good. I hadn’t tried the kielbasa yet, and to be honest, I couldn’t remember if I even liked kielbasa (although I was pretty sure I had tried it at some point before). Well, Beast’s kielbasa is just as good as everything else I’ve tried, and I would totally eat it again!

It took me and all five children to put a dent in this monster sandwich, and even then, we had some pulled pork leftover. Not a bad way to feed a group, though, and they all liked it!

To be honest, I probably won’t order this again, just because the combination of the bacon and the “bun” was a little too sweet for me. I’m just not much for mixing sweet and savory in a main course, I guess. Plus, I really, really love the buns Beast uses, so I missed that part of the sandwich. It was good though, and as always, I look forward to seeing what other unique specials Beast comes up with!

Tasty Tuesday–Beast Craft BBQ: The Beefcake

Another Tuesday, another chance to support a local small business!

I’d been wanting to try the “Beefcake Sammich” ever since I first saw it on the menu, but I missed it the first few times around. The good people at Beast were kind enough to make me one, even when it wasn’t an advertised item, since they had the ingredients available and they’re awesome like that.

I already knew Beast’s brisket is great, and the burnt ends are amazing, so there were no surprises as far as the meat part of the sandwich. I also knew the white BBQ sauce is awesome (still want to know what’s in that stuff!), but I wanted to see how it paired with beef instead of chicken. The other ingredients were grilled jalapeños, pickles, and tobacco onions (also known to me as onion straws)…and I have a major weakness for onion straws!

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Again, Beast did not disappoint. I’ll have to admit to being a jalapeño wuss…I only ate the first one before my sinuses surrendered. They definitely do add a pleasing kick to the sandwich, though! The onion straws were as amazing as I had hoped…I could eat a whole plate of just those!

It really was just like I imagined it would be, which, in short, was delicious. I especially enjoyed the way the standard BBQ sauce on the burnt ends mixed with the white sauce. As always, there’s just no way you can finish this in one sitting (at least I couldn’t!), but I love that I had leftovers to look forward to the next day. I think this sandwich is now tied for first place with the “Jive Turkey Sammich.” I might say this is the best one yet, but the two sandwiches are so different, it’s easier to just call it even, rather than try to compare them!

Tasty Tuesday–Beast Craft BBQ: The Big NY

Last Tuesday was one of my favorite holidays…St. Patrick’s Day. You can imagine how thrilled I was, then, when I learned that Beast had a special “Big Sammich” in honor of the day…the Big NY!

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Pastrami brisket, fries (on the sandwich!), pastrami burnt ends (yes, that’s apparently a thing!), swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and an amazing beer mustard, all on rye bread. It was kind of like a Reuben, and kind of like something else…whatever it was, it was DELICIOUS. I’m a sucker for pastrami in the first place, and beer mustard, and Reuben sandwiches, and Beast for that matter, so it was almost guaranteed that I would like it. That didn’t make me appreciate it any less, though!

Here’s hoping pastrami makes its way onto Beast’s menu again, because they did it right!