You will laugh at me (us).
A buddy of mine at work that shares my taste for great food, both at home and on the road, told/reminded me of this BBQ joint in Portland, Matt’s BBQ.
So we did what two professionals would do on a Friday, we drove down to Portland, just for lunch, and drove back. No joke.
It was worth it.
Matt’s has been featured on Triple D, and probably a bunch of other food shows. There is certainly nothing classy about the beat up trailer they served the food in nor are the smokers super fancy. But like most legit BBQ spots, none of it needs to be fancy, it just has to work.
These guys have it down.
I think it is important to make a note about something that Portland has that is pretty unique. They have food truck “courts” around the city. Essentially old parking lots converted into (semi) permanent food trucks. Multiple options in the court. Matt’s was placed around a few other spots. I think a Mexican spot, Thai spot, Vietnamese joint, coffee and bar, and maybe a couple others. When it was lunch time, it all opened up and we sat at big communal picnic tables and began to feast.
We ordered a “sampler” (although probably called something hipper than that, “Shebang” I think) so we could try it all. I personally am a big brisket fan and feel a BBQ spot worth anything would get that right. I have made a lot of pulled pork too (and consumed) and believe it should be able to stand on its own when competing with beef. Ribs, of course (both beef and pork although feel pork is a touch better, probably the sweet tooth in me and good pork ribs tend to have a sticky sweetness to them I dig). They had smoked pork belly (one of the best things I have ever eaten anywhere), and smoked jalapeño cheddar hot links.
You come for the meat. You stay for the sides. Matt’s does homemade pickles and onions (awesome), probably one of the best bean dishes I have have ever had, great slaw and spud salad, side of tortillas (they also have a taco truck – superb) and the menagerie of homespun sauces win.
You simply must go. Whether for lunch coming from Seattle, or any other time.