Hotdogs, hamburgers and tacos on wheels.
And now there’s mobile barbecue.
I’ve spotted Barrel No. 51 BBQ, a mobile barbecue trailer, splitting time between Tacoma and Lakewood in recent weeks. The trailer is either at 2403 South Tacoma Way, or parked at American Lake Park near the boat lunch. You can find the day’s location by telephone, or by checking their Facebook or Twitter accounts. The barbecue trailer has been operating since spring.
The barbecue selection is limited, but the offerings are well done for the price – sandwiches are $6 each and come with a choice of slaw or fries.
The real specialties are pulled pork and sloppy joes. For a barbecue trailer, I was really expecting more in the form of barbecue. Pulled pork is the only true barbecue offering from the mobile restaurant.
The pulled pork sandwich ($6) was a generous pile of meat lightly kissed with mesquite, the smoke flavor so subtle I almost missed it. The sauce was dark and smoky, a sweet molasses sauce that I’m sure some palates will find too cloying. It needed a touch of vinegar or heat to even out the sweet. The sandwich came on a soft hamburger bun. The side of cole slaw came with a mayo-based dressing.
The sloppy Joe ($6), also on a hamburger bun, was a sloppy mess of a sandwich, but what else would you expect from a loose meat sandwich? The sauce is toted as their signature Lady J’s smoky chipotle sauce. It was smoky, but it lacked the heat that chipotle usually lends. This sauce was as mild as ketchup. We ordered the fries with the sloppy Joe and were rewarded with thinly cut crispy fries with an excellent smoky mayo fry sauce on the side. The crispy fries and smoky fry sauce are worth the trip to the barbecue trailer alone. They were good.
Licensing: The mobile permit from the Pierce County health department was displayed on the rear of the trailer, as it’s supposed to be.
Menu: Scroll down to see a picture of the menu.
YOUR TURN: Have you seen any other mobile food carts, trucks or trailers operating lately? I just spoke with a mobile ice cream vendor who operates his business on bikes with attached trailers. I’ll report more on him and his unusual ice cream bars later.
Barrel No. 51 BBQ
Where: 2403 South Tacoma Way; or American Lake Park. Call to check for location, or check the Facebook page for updates.
Here’s the menu at Barrel No. 51 BBQ: