While the search for great barbecue in our area continues, frustrated ‘cue-lovers often wish Sacramento could temporarily be transported to Texas, Tennessee, the Carolinas or Missouri. That’s how much the ‘cue-famished love beef, pork, fowl and sausages smoked over hardwood coals and dipped in tangy sauce, with fixins on the side. And they’re always on the lookout for it.
The about-to-open Fahrenheit 250 could be the new candidate for BBQ greatness. We went to the soft opening Thursday afternoon and found some very good stuff.
The spectacularly refurbished space is the former Bisla’s sports bar on Folsom Boulevard, which in other incarnations was Bojangles and the Library. Going back to the 1990s, it rocked Sacramento as the Cattle Club, a live-music hot spot that once hosted Nirvana and Pearl Jam.
Co-owners Ray Lettini and Gino Sardo bought the property last year, closing the sports bar a few months ago to begin the transition. Lettini owns Foreign Parts Specialists in East Sacramento, while Sardo has Gino’s Java Juice inside Capital Towers in Midtown. They have a unique concept: A ‘cue restaurant with professional table service and artisanal cocktails.
Here’s what we found at the soft opening and what ‘cue fans can expect:
Diners can load up on those tasty standards, but should not overlook the shrimp and sausage coins with grits cakes, sweet prawns wrapped in house-cured bacon, cheesy grits, corn-and-crawfish fritters, fried green tomatoes, red beans ‘n’ rice, sweet collard greens, excellent coleslaw, and a rich dip made from smoked Mt. Lassen red trout and artichoke, all of which we tasted and would gladly taste again. The spicy condiment piccalilli showed up as a garnish on some starters.
Vegans get a nod with four entries, including a marinated portobello mushroom on top of grits cakes (think polenta).
The 7,000-pond smoker burns oak and peach wood, and was hand-welded by the legendary Houston-based Klose company. Its guiding principle is “maintaining the integrity of the Old Western trail drive-style of cooking.”