At Red Cow, Elliot Wolf, Owner of Coconuts and the Foxy Brown, Takes a Stab at Barbecue
The sweet perfume of molasses and slow-burning hickory wood punches you in the face when you step inside Elliot Wolf's new restaurant, Red Cow, near the impossible-to-navigate intersection of Sunrise Boulevard and Federal Highway.
CandaceWest.com Eat Meat 2 Meat Combo with Stacked Waygu Beef Ribs, Pepper Crusted Pork, Mac & Cheese & Tumbleweed Fried Onions.
As you take your seat in an apple-red chair, you don't realize that first shot was part of a one-two combination. If the mouthwatering scent of barbecue is a jab, the price of a plate of slow-cooked meat here is the uppercut. A fair 18 bucks gets you a heaping plate of shiny pork spareribs whose meat falls from the bone with little prodding. Every delicious bite contains a lavender-pink smoke ring and thin ribbons of rich fat.
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For $21, you can dive face first into an "Eat Meat Combo" with two kinds of meat and two sides. The stacked beef ribs -- hulking dinosaur-sized bones -- have the salty, smoky crust you expect from barbecue. And inside is meat tender and juicy, like a high-priced steak. A lick of pomegranate barbecue sauce is a touch too sweet but pairs well against the bold flavor of Wagyu beef. Even the torn pieces of off-white chicken thigh, pulled from one of the birds spinning in a rotisserie toward the back of the red-brick and corrugated-steel-wrapped restaurant, offers the decadent smoky richness of well-done 'cue.
Since the place opened May 20, Wolf, who also owns Coconuts, G&B Oyster Bar, and the Foxy Brown, said he and staff continue to think about, and struggle with, pricing.
"We think we're giving a pretty good deal," Wolf said in a telephone interview. "I don't want to scare people away, [but] if you look at Tom Jenkins' menu and other menus around town, you get what you pay for. They chop the beef and leave a huge fat cap."
There is no doubt the meats emerging from Red Cow's hulking diamond-plate smoker are worth every single penny. When it comes to the $20-plus Eat Meat combos, it's nearly impossible to finish every scrap of food that comes on the stainless-steel trays. It's equally hard to avoid licking fingers clean of sweet sauce and salty rub.
Briskets and pork ribs spend two days absorbing a dry rub before hitting the smoker for at least ten hours. The meat for a "Pork-Strami" sandwich (topped with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and spicy mustard) brines for more than ten days before going in.
"Nothing is done in a day's time," says Texas-born chef Steve Shockey.