A new southern BBQ restaurant name Ozarks Famous BBQ recently opened in Langley. This is the first authentic BBQ restaurant in Langley, although Boonies BBQ & Soul Food sits right next door in the neighboring Cloverdale area. After waiting a few weeks for the restaurant to get past the typical problems that most restaurants experience in the first few weeks of operation, I decided to stop buy and give it a try.
I am a huge fan of real BBQ cooking and am happy to see that people are finally beginning to realize the difference between high heat grilling and low heat barbecuing. Ozarks is a true BBQ restaurant following the time honoured traditions of slowly smoking inexpensive, tough-yet-flavourful cuts of meat until they become delicious and tender. BBQ also happens to pair excellently with a number of beer styles from IPA to robust porter. This should come as no surprise seeing that many local brewpubs serve BBQ influenced dishes.
Ozarks is a locally owned family business with a number of years experience in BBQ. Prior to opening this restaurant, the owners mastered the art of southern BBQ by offering an award winning selection of BBQ meat and sauces at Ozarks Country Meats in White Rock. There years spent perfecting slow smoked BBQ cookery is very apparent. Every piece of meat I tasted, including pork riblets, BBQ chicken and beef brisket were all barbecued to perfection. Nothing was overly sauced nor was it too dry – it was moist and tender with a noticeable but not overpowering hardwood smoke flavour.
The BBQ was great- no complaints about the food, but the selection of beer was clearly not well thought out. Only one of the beers available even has a chance of standing up to the bold flavours of southern BBQ. The restaurant’s draught beer selection is exclusively Granville Island Brewing – including two light lagers, a mild pale ale and the newly release Brockton IPA. The IPA fared relatively well alongside BBQ pork riblets, but did nothing to complement the other dishes we ordered. The two light lagers and the one pale ale are far too mild to match the restaurants southern food. Porters, Southern Brown Ales, Smoked Ale and other full flavored beer would complement the food much more than light lager. Such a great opportunity to match great food with great beer and again the opportunity was missed – such a tragedy.
I would like to encourage all the craft breweries with BBQ appropriate beers to contact Ozarks Famous BBQ. Perhaps all the restaurant needs is a nudge in the right direction.
Overall, Ozarks’ food is good and it is without a doubt worth a visit. If more appropriate beer was made available I would certainly become a regular customer.