broke the news
about Barabicu Smokehouse
back in July, when we detailed owners Jon Ashton and Danny Cassano’s plans to open a casual, largely carry-out smokehouse in Parma, near the intersection of Ridge and Snow roads. Today we learned that opening day will be Wednesday October 19.
The building at 5767 Ridge Road (216-856-3154) features a trailer-mounted Southern Pride offset smoker fueled by a mix of hickory, mesquite and fruitwood. From that smoker will come a variety of barbecue meats and styles that the owners picked up while traveling the country.
“When we did the ‘Great Food Truck Race,’ the whole line of the show went down along the southern part of the United States,” says Ashton, who at the time was part of the Let There Be Bacon team. “We were fortunate to stop in Austin, Oklahoma City, and St. Louis, so we got exposed to a whole bunch of different barbecue in different places really fast.”
Starting next Wednesday, customers can look forward to meaty baby back ribs with a sticky-sweet sauce; Texas-style beef brisket with burnt ends; Southern-style pulled pork. Whole smoked, jerk-style chickens will be on the menu, as will a variety of sausages filled with lamb, pork, beef or chicken, depending on the day.
Guests can also look forward to special “competition-style” chicken thighs, a labor-intensive procedure that involves deboning the meat, defatting the skin, and blasting the finished product with a blowtorch to crisp it up. Known on the circuit as “cupcake chicken,” these bun-shaped morsels are something special.
“It’s kind of like picking up a piece of chicken candy,” Ashton says.
As for the name, Ashton says, “Barabicu is the Taino word for secret fire pit. They [indigenous people of the Caribbean] were the first to barbecue. When they came over and met the Seminole Indians for the first time, I imagine they had one hell of a party.”