- Posted February 2, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
100 places to eat like a local
100 Places to Eat Like a Local
There's one place I can't live without on a weekly basis and sometimes it is more than once! If you want to feel and eat like a local then Bryan's Black Mountain
Barbecue in Cave Creek, Arizona is for you. Of course the horse, boots and hat are optional but don't be surprised if that's what you see when you drive up. Get your swagger on and saunter on up for some of the best barbecue in the west and he has the honors to prove it.
In April of 2009 Bryan's Black Mountain Barbecue came to Cave Creek in Arizona. An American legend was added to Western history, a chef with a passion for Barbecue and the enduring feel for the preservation of the old west. Chef Bryan Dooley brought his own brand of new west style barbecue to a town that preserves the heart and soul of the cowboy, and Dooley does it with culinary flair.
The life of the chef and the life of the cowboy are very similar - it’s a hard one with two roundups. For the cowboy it was the annual spring and fall drives. For the chef it’s lunch and dinner, serving a packed house of hungry friends, cueing up for some of the best barbecue that will drive even the tamest wild.
The enticing aroma of pecan wood wafts through the air and you know you are getting close to a great meal at Bryan’s Barbecue. Chef/Owner Bryan Dooley and his wife Donna rode into town with the secret recipe to successful barbecue. Take a heaping helping from your CIA, NY training, add it to 13 years of experience at the Fairmont Resort in Scottsdale, mix in your business knowledge and top it off with an enormous serving of down home friendship.
Chef Bryan Dooley is no stranger to the art of good barbecue. Growing up on a horse ranch in Illinois, Bryan watched his grandparents collect Hickory from the woods around their house. The smoke from that Hickory turned out some of the best slow smoked pork ribs in a red brick barbecue pit.
According to Dooley, “ My Grandmother would be in the kitchen creating her signature barbecue sauce with a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Those were great days, and my ‘Award Winning’ recipes are a result of what she taught me – simple, bold flavors, lightly sauced so the meat stands out.”
Bryan Dooley didn’t stop there, after completing his degree in photography and not quite sure what to do, he headed back to the farm for a while. After working a while it wasn’t enough to satisfy his passion for creativity. Urged on by friends he signed up for the CIA in Hyde Park where he honed his skills and developed what would turn into the passion of his life.
Like any good cowboy he headed west, stopping in Galveston, Texas where he met his wife Donna. From there it was on to Houston but the call back to Arizona was in his blood and he went on to the Fairmont, Scottsdale.
It was fate that brought him to open his restaurant when a broken leg sidelined him. By that point, his wife Donna said this was his chance to start his own restaurant. Now over three years ago the quest for the right spot began. With the concept of the Barbecue in his mind he hit the trails for just the right spot. Cave Creek, what better place than the place that embodies the western feel. Two years in the making, the Dooley’s began to put together their world famous recipes.
Dooley remembers, “ We wanted to fit the cowboy west into the feel of Cave Creek but with a clean modern look – we like to call it “clean cowboy”. Much of the atmosphere and style inside is the work of Bryan and Donna, form the more modern feel of the seating to the acid washed metal walls and huge round wood center table. With the growth of the restaurant came the newest addition of a round bar outdoor seating around a huge Saguaro. The patio welcomes guest who want to sit back, kick up their boots and greet old and new friends.
Step back inside and on any night you can watch old black and white Cowboy movies on a big screen, pull the guitar off the wall and play a few tunes. Bryan has been known to play a few for the crowds himself.
The Barbecue Goodness…
From the moment you come through the door the smells from the smoker beckon you in to the best barbecue in Arizona. Your mouth will start to water at the thought of ½ slab Pork Ribs, Beef Brisket, Barbecue Chicken, Pulled Pork and even Vegetarian ‘Pulled Squash’. Be sure to ask for the side of a Fried Egg on the Squash, you will want the whole experience!
Try the sides too like Romaine Ribs and vinaigrette. Everything has Dooley take from Bryan’s own Baked Potato Salad, Olive Coleslaw and ‘Six-Pack’ Cowboy Beans (a six-pack of beer in every batch) to his homemade Ice Cream Sandwich or Sarsaparilla Float.
For the Daring…
The cool taste of the romaine lettuce is a great escape after you have tried the famous ‘Firebird Chicken’. After trying this addicting heat of the orange-honey, habanera glazed chicken your will need something because it may feel like your socks are smokin’ in a good way! Don’t stop there, how about ‘The Big Pig’, we even offer to wheel you out after this one. Start with a layer of fries, top that with pulled pork, a layer of BBQ Sauce, six-pack Cowboy Beans, Sliced Bread & Butter Jalapeños, Scallion and top with Sour Cream.
Each change of season brings a great new dish! Gotta love the fact that spring is around the corner and Dooley is cooking up his Lamb Shank with Ginger Beer Barbecue Sauce. Nothing like picking up a huge lamb shank and digging in - getting the sauce running down your arm is half the fun.
Legends were born in the old west, and Bryan’s Barbecue is one for the history books. Bryan’s Barbecue, located at 6130 E. Cave Creek Road in Cave Creek, AZ.
|This iReport is part of an assignment that we created with Travel + Leisure: 100 places to eat like a local|