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Friday, October 2, 2009

Voodoo BBQ

Today I got picked up and taken to lunch by two gorgeous ladies (and fantastic people as well), Laura Gerdes and Natalie Manda.  We were driving out of downtown towards LSU, trying to decide where to eat lunch, and Laura suggested that we could go to Voodoo BBQ and Grill's newest location on Nicholson at the North Gates of campus.  Natalie and I thought that was a fantastic idea so we cruised on over.  Voodoo started in New Orleans in 2002 and quickly opened a location in Baton Rouge near Jefferson and Drusilla.  Their Nicholson Drive location is relatively new and I had never been there before, so I was pretty excited. 

Voodoo is not quite the traditional barbeque experience and atmosphere that is found all over Texas, but I applaud them for not trying to be something that they are not.  Genuine is best when it comes to barbeque, so I'm all about what Voodoo is trying to do.  They have a pretty good brand image which can be seen by the logo on their cup:



For lunch I decided on the Graveyard Platter which offers a choice of two meats from their selection of brisket, pulled pork, jerk chicken, BBQ chicken, and sausage as well as two sides and slice of toast.  I would have gotten the pulled pork but Laura got some and agreed to share it with me so I went with the brisket and sausage.  For sides I chose the rattlesnake beans to see how they compare to all the other baked beans I've had in my day, and then I went the girls' suggestion and stayed pretty simple with the french fries.  Good decision, thanks ladies!




Overall I was pretty happy with the platter.  The fries were fresh, well seasoned, and spot on.  That was definitely a good call.  It turns out that when you really think about it, it is easy to screw up a french fry.  I usually do not get them as a side item when I have the option unless I know they're good.  These were that good, and I'm happy I got them over the mac n' cheese, potato salad, or cole slaw.  The rattlesnake beans were good but I've have had comparable or better baked beans many times.  The toast was a little questionable.  It tasted like it came out of the freezer.  It may not have, I'm an amatuer, not an expert, but it sure had that frozen Texas Toast vibe all over it.  I would have preferred several slices of white bread to sop up the sauces (more on that in a second)! 

The sausage was moist, properly sliced, and flavorful.  It did not have much heat to it, but the essense of a good sausage was there.  The brisket was also a nice meat.  Slow-smoked and tender, the brisket was better than average and about as good as I've had at a restaurant in Baton Rouge.  Also on the money was the pulled pork that I sampled from Laura's plate.  I really should have gotten my own, but I'm glad I got to try all three.

But the true mark of any good BBQ joint is in the sauce.  Voodoo had three to choose from, although only one was a traditional barbeque sauce.  Their signature Mojo sauce has the sweet and smooth flavors that you usually find in a good sauce.  They also featured a Mango Crystal sauce that was a watered-down, flavored version of Crystal brand hot sauce.  Not bad, but not what I think about adding to my barbeque.  The third sauce had some real potential.  It is a vinegar and cane sugar sauce that belongs on a pulled pork sandwich or right on top of your french fries.  I was very glad to be able to taste it with some of Laura's pulled pork... man, that was good.  The vinegar and cane sugar sauce was very runny, as most vinegar sauces like that are.  It was difficult to use it as a dipping sauce for the fries, so the best method of attack was right on top!

It is great to find some good barbeque in Baton Rouge.  I've known Voodoo was there, but I hadn't been since the first location opened.  There are a few other barbeque places in town, but it doesn't seem like any of them get much love.  Maybe they should.  Or maybe we we should just do a little Third Row style barbeque at FFT before the Florida game!  Yeah, I think we'll do that.

VooDoo BBQ & Grill on Urbanspoon

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