Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Thing About BBQ Is...

When Mr. CB and I first moved to Santa Fe, two years ago, we road tripped it from New York City through the south. We'd been living in Brooklyn for a year and were craving some wide open space. If the concrete jungle taught us anything, though, it was how to eat and plan your meals carefully. You can't get a table without calling ahead, you can't cook at home without first devising which way you'll walk from the subway to ensure you pass a grocery store, and you can't eat well unless you look at reviews first. 

BBQ Menu Inspiration Board from Snippet & Ink

Thus, on our road trip, I carefully mapped out which restaurants we should stop at along our route out West. In Staunton, Virginia, we took a break at Mrs. Rowe's Restaurant for sweet tea and bread pudding. Later, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, our travels led us to Dreamland BBQ for nothing but ribs, ribs, and, well, ribs. (Okay, we're kind of foodies. Can you tell?). In New Orleans, you can't eat anything but pulled-pork po' boy sandwiches and especially if you're at the New Orlean's Jazz Fest. From there it was off to Salt Lick in Austin, Texas. Then, in a town called Ozona, Texas, we ate chicken fried steak at the Hitchin' Post in the heaviest rain storm ever. You get the idea--the Cowboy Boots started to develop a palette for some delicious, Southern barbecue. 

Cut to: October 2008. The CBs find their venue and learn that a BBQ menu is available--and are pleasantly surprised since they have to go with their venue as their caterer. (Okay, I'll stop talking in third person now). Most couples who get married at Devil's Thumb Ranch opt for the barbecue buffet for their rehearsal dinner and more upscale plated dishes (like bacon-glazed salmon or a seasonal tasting menu for their wedding). The Ranch has an outdoor, BBQ space complete with picnic tables for rehearsal dinners (or, for wedding budgets on a tighter dime). We considered this option for our wedding, but it wasn't available in October as it's too cold but, lucky for us, October is when they cut their prices in half for low-season, which made the barn affordable for us.

Last week, between hair and make-up trials, I sat down with our ever-organized wedding guru at the Ranch and sussed out what we think will be out menu. The only downside of this whole process is that we didn't get to have a tasting because they just don't do them. That said, I've eaten about eight meals (at least) at the Ranch and trust that our wedding meal will be equally as delicious. 

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

Post-Ceremony Cocktail Hour
After the ceremony, we plan to utilize the deck that extends from the barn (where our reception will be) for a cocktail hour overlooking the mountains. Here's we'll have everything from our bar (more below) and a few passed appetizers that will serve as a good introduction to our BBQ.

- Fried White Truffle Macaroni and Cheese
- Spiced Beef & Blue Cheese on a Toasted Point

The BBQ dinner will be served buffet style, but we'll still put menus at each person's seat (these are actually provided by the Ranch). The menu we started with was their sample Pig Roast, which we've tweaked a little below.

-Fennel & Coriander Crusted Pork Shoulder
-BBQ Ribs (these are amazing)
-BBQ Chicken Legs (instead of Steamship Round of Pork)
-Baked Beans
-Rosemary Roasted Potatoes (instead of Braised Collard Greens)
-Field Green Salad
-Garlic broccoli or some other veggie (instead of Corn on the Cob)

Our Bar
While I'd had hopes of serving five local brews in quarter kegs as I so optimistically blogged about here, I found out there are only two beer taps in the room. Thus, we chose Odell Brewing Company's light and refreshing Easy Street Wheat Beer alongside Grand Lake Brewing Company's darker yet smooth Wooly Booger Nut Brown Ale. A signature cocktail? Check. To add a little New Mexican flavor to the meal, we're thinking about the simple margarita with a good tequila and homemade sour mix. Yum. If we decide to serve two, we're considering some concoction of San Pellegreno Limonata or Aranciata (lemon or orange soda) and vodka or maybe bellinis (peach nectar and champagne). We haven't chosen our wines, yet. And, alongside the above items, we'll offer a cash bar for hard liquor or champagne drinks.

And for dessert? Well, we'll save that for another post. All I can tell you is that Mr. CB and I just aren't into cake (except I love mint chocolate chip ice cream cake with chocolate cake, but that's more of a birthday thing). I'll fill you in soon. Promise.

What inspired your menu? Do you have any suggestions for us in terms of a good veggie to go along with BBQ as well as your opinion on our signature cocktail?

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