Hog Wild BBQ. With Raisins.

First, a simple statement.  BBQ is an amazing thing.  It’s such a simple concept – heat, wood and meat – but it has different origins in different cultures and has a different process everywhere you go. Changing the smallest details result in different flavors and textures. My preference is keeping it basic – allow the wood to flavor a quality piece of meat and leave the sauce out of it. My choice of meat? Pork.  Enough so that I have a butcher map of a pig tattooed on my arm in an ode to whole hog BBQ.

With that being said, I’m not your typical BBQ snob. I think the basic cook should always remain the same, heat and wood, but after that as long as you’re not drowning the meat in sauce I’m always up for whatever. The first concept that comes to mind is Ricewood BBQ in Ann Arbor — where they wood smoke various meats, serve them over rice topped with scallion, tomato and a spicy-sour Chamorro sauce. It’s something so basic – again: heat, wood and meat, but shows how BBQ is done in the Western Pacific. It’s a reminder that BBQ is not just an American classic. Meat heated slowly over wood is the most basic form of cooking and is done differently in every state and country around the world.

I’ll admit that’s one of the deeper things I’ve written and is an odd opening to a “review” of a BBQ truck. I just love BBQ, that’s all. So when I found out that someone had a BBQ truck directly across the street from my job — no electric, no gas,.  Just wood and heat — I showed up with money. Two days in a row. Check this place out:

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Here’s where I love maintaining this site as less of a “food blog” and more of a “here’s some great food with an interesting story behind it” site. Hog Wild BBQ was opened by Dave Price, who was an air conditioning repair man as early as 2012. After doing some back yard pig roasts his friends encouraged him to open a commercial BBQ business. He now owns two BBQ trucks, a restaurant and a catering business.

Upon my first visit, I was told that the pork had been on the smoker since about 2AM and was just being taken off for pulling. Even better, they hadn’t made the cole slaw yet so it was made while I was waiting. They packed it up in a styrofoam container and sent me on me on my way

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The pork is served naked in sandwich form topped with your spice of regular or sweet/spicy and topped with slaw. Upon opening my styrofoam container, I found something that shocked me. Raisins. This was the first time I have ever seen raisins included as part of BBQ. I wasn’t sure what to think. It adds a little bit of sweetness to the sandwich and a random chewyness to each bite. The pork falls apart, like all good BBQ should and the raisin adds a little chew.  Past that, the spicy sauce tastes like it’s hoisin based — which is typically used as a glaze or stir fry sauce in Chinese cuisine.  #interesting.

Tying this in with my long intro aka John’s ode to BBQ, this is the beauty of BBQ. Someone obviously experimented with different flavors and ingredients and tied in the age old practice of smoked meat with different flavors — even adding dried grapes to the equation. I have to say it works. Adding a dried fruit and an ingredient from a country’s cuisine that is not typically associated with USA BBQ makes this place both delicious and interesting. It’s an ingredient combination you probably won’t find many other places.

Hog Wild BBQ sets up shop at the BP right off the Grand River exit on 96 in Brighton. Check it out.

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