Pulled pork is a form of BBQ in which pork is cooked at low temperatures for extended times, allowing the meat to become so tender that it can literally be “pulled” apart with little to no resistance. There are different methods and preparations for pulled pork all around the world. In California, pulled pork is more often than not cooked in a smoker and served with a sweet or spicy BBQ sauce. The slow cooking method makes the pork so tender it seems to melt in your mouth, which is why it is a difficult dish to prepare and a highly sought after meal when prepared with patience.
Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen
Sacramento Area, CA
Where is Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen? That’s as good a question as any when looking for a place to dine. Drewski’s could be anywhere or it could be right next door. Check out the Facebook page to get a feel for their beat and make a request, they may just show up. Once you’ve located them, if you really want the Hot Rod experience, order the Hemi: a grilled cheese, pulled pork, mac n’ cheese taste sensation. It’s a sandwich like no other and it will have you chasing the truck all around town. Don’t worry, you won’t be the only one.
8101 Elder Creek Road
Sacramento, CA 95824
MacQue’s, known as “Sacramento’s best BBQ secret,” is a more casual atmosphere dedicated to messy deliciousness. Not only do they serve individual portions in their establishment, but they are also highly lauded as large caterers. All of MacQue’s food is known for its tenderness, the high mark of any BBQ, and its prices are affordable. It’s no surprise to any previous patron that their trademark BBQ sauce will soon be available for purchase on their website.
Texas West BBQ
1600 Fulton Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95825
Texas West BBQ was easily the popular choice for the best of any BBQ in the Sacramento area. According to their website the establishment claims a “fiercely loyal clientele” with its “hand rubbed spices and culinary greatness.” Home to several experienced BBQ chefs and a dedication to slow cooking, the pulled pork at Texas West has no equal. Stop in once, return for a lifetime.
3750 Taylor Road
Loomis, CA 95650
According to Carol Sue, professional restaurateur, when she visits the High Hand Conservatory (which is often) she orders the pulled pork. “I order it every time. It’s the only thing I ever order,” she explains. The High Hand serves only “hand crafted cuisine,” including vegetables from their own garden and locally sourced ingredients, proving they know how to take their time with food preparation. The lovely rustic environment can only add to the flavor of the food. The other dishes are probably lovely as well, not that Carol Sue would know.
Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que
6628 Lonetree Blvd.
Rocklin, CA 95765
Walking into Lucille’s is like walking into another universe. The noise level skyrockets and the sights and smells exist in utter contrast to the world left in the parking lot. Everything is fragrant, bubbling, smoking, and singing. Seated at your table with a gigantic 10-page menu and mammoth biscuits you could be tempted to stuff yourself. Well hold off, if you can, because everything on the menu is both exceptional and exceptionally large. The pulled pork sandwich, or any other BBQ dish, is served with three choices of BBQ sauce, a hot, sweet, or mild. Why choose when all three are right there? The meat is tender, all three sauces contribute something unique, and there’s always enough for leftovers.
Laurel Hanson is a freelance writer uncovering Sacramento’s healthy food secrets in local restaurants, locavore havens, and even local foraging. Her work can be found on Examiner.com