This was a hard article to write for all the right reasons. How to get across the level of food and how this place is everything that encompasses what I do this for.
Oink and Moo has been on my radar for a while.I was told by BBQ people that this place was the real deal, that kind of word of mouth goes a long way. The only road block for me was the location, Fallbrook.
Not my normal stomping grounds by any means. I’m glad with some coaxing I made the trip. At the end of this I will talk about Fallbrook a bit because there is a lot to like and it has changed in my 20 year absence.
Owners Jonathan and Jennifer Arbel opened oink and Moo about 2 ½ years ago. They repurposed an old house, that’s not all they repurposed. I would say 80 plus percent of everything is repurposed. The place is cute (yes I as a grown man can use the word cute)
Also it it screams BBQ.
Told you “Cute”
If you go do yourself a favor take some time and look around. The art is perfect from a Katchina painting on a saw blade to their Che Pig (which is so up my alley you have no idea). I was told Jennifer is responsible for the art and hats off to her.
I’m going to get to the food but trust me a restaurant is a lot more than food. First off it is attitude and customer service. I was lucky enough to get there prior to opening and sit in on a staff meeting. Oink and Moo’s attitude towards customer service is to be commended. Between Jonathan and Jenifer every table will be touched by an owner. I have been doing this long enough and logged so many hours in restaurants I can tell the real deal a mile away and they impressed me. I have also been around enough staffs (both as a manager myself and as a customer) and I know when people are proud to be a part of something.
Staff meeting. People are taking notes 10,000 points right there:)
So, food. I do a lot of research prior to visiting anyplace so I knew the food was going to be good….what I was not prepared for was the best BBQ I have had in SO. Cal. and it sucks because I know quite a few BBQ people and I love them but I kind of have to be honest. This is a place I would (and plan) to bring Chefs here just because they will get it within 10 seconds.. These guys are not playing.
So enough of me talking about stuff I’ll get into the food with the pictures.
Mac and Cheese Fritter wrapped in bacon with pom Sauce.
This was perfectly executed…a lot of times the breading gets into the filling and makes it more doughy. Not in this case. Also the sauce was great as well (this comes from a half Italian)
Case in point perfectly deep-fried.
Fries ~ Sweet potato and truffle.
Again both perfectly executed. I’m a sucker for sweet potato fries, Truffle fries are a harder sell for me and these were perfect. Truffle is a strong flavor and a lot of Chefs want to make sure you know it’s there. These, honestly are the best version of truffle fries I have had, just a hint…and that garlic mayo sauce you see in the background…criminal.
BBQ Pork Lettuce Wraps w/nuts ~This is a dish I would order every time
This is just a smart dish..from flavor profile to design. The pulled pork has depth of flavor without being overly sweet, the lettuce wrap is a smart way to lighten the dish and the chili sauce brings in sweetness and some heat. (personally I would love a hotter sauce but I’m a 10 on the Thai scale so I understand)
So it was at this point I realized they were trying to kill me. Death by meat.
Forefront is their Bronco Beef Ribs ~ These are the best thing on the menu and there is a lot to love on the menu but these were the head spinner. This is why I can honestly say these guys do the best BBQ I have had in a long while.
Behind that you have St. Louis Pork and Baby Back Ribs.
Sides house made coleslaw and the biscuits which are insane. Ok this is where I break it down the coleslaw. Honestly this is a throw away side normally …stick with me…you can buy it by the bag from Sysco. If you take the time (like they do) to shred your cabbage carrots and make your dressing from scratch for a side …that tells a lot about your commitment and philosophy towards food.
I know it seems like I’m gushing but you have no Idea…stuff you can not experience through a website.
The Burger ~ They grind their own meat daily, they also do game burgers. The night I was there they had Elk and Buffalo, people after my own heart,
So I did not eat this because by this time I needed to stand up and walk around a bit.
Mac and Cheese ~ I really do not need to say anything.
Beans ~ When the side dishes are of this caliber it just speaks to everything. (BTW hidden porky goodness in there.)
I have not been this into a place since I met Davin Waite of Wrench and Rodent. I know tons of talented Chefs and people and then there are those. I would put Jonathan in the same place as Davin Waite, Beau Bonham, Ian Smith and others. Just go try their food.
Let me know if you go…more than happy to ride shotgun.
I have some great wine coming to me this is where I want to drink it…Big Reds an BBQ done.
So on top of this all I want to mention their suppliers. A Chef is only as good as their product and I’m all about local, local, local.
Oink and Moo
121 N Pico Ave
Fallbrook, CA 92028