At first, the primitive appeal of fire and meat may have been enough to whet our appetites for barbecued foods, but as our culinary sophistication levels have grown, so too have our ideas about barbecue. Regional differences abound, flavorful sauce recipes evolve, and so do interpretations of the casual and contemporary barbecue experience.
At the Rotunda in the Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia, guests can create their own barbecue skewers every Wednesday evening, with the staff culinary team doing the actual grilling. Prices per skewer begin at $7 and range to $11 for a "triple." Stylish sandwiches are another way to promote barbecue, such as the barbecue beef brisket sandwich with fried onions on chef Tom Harkins’s menu at Circa in Philadelphia. On our recipe pages, look for more barbecue sandwich suggestions, including a Vietnamese barbecue sub, as well as a barbecue portabella sandwich and innovative burger ideas.
Executive chef Tony Watson of the NASCAR Cafes says his customers enjoy barbecue foods several ways, but that ribs are the most popular item, followed by the Pit Pig Sandwich. Sauce is always served on the side. The sandwich sauce, for instance, is a blend of prepared golden barbecue sauce and hot-and-spicy sauce. On our recipe pages, look for other recipes to heat up summer menus, including red chili raspberry barbecue shrimp, and guava barbecue ribs.