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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cheap Eats: Bone Lick BBQ

NAW DAWG: Bacon-wrapped sausage, melted cheese, onion, and jalapeños
  • James Camp
  • NAW DAWG: Bacon-wrapped sausage, melted cheese, onion, and jalapeños

My favorite thing about Bone Lick BBQ is its origin story. Over the past few years, chef Mike LaSage built a small legion of fans for his once-a-week barbecue nights at P'cheen in the Old Fourth Ward, garnering a number of accolades in the process. Clearly he was on to something, but P'cheen wasn't the right place to go full smoke ahead with an all-out barbecue menu. Thus, the idea for Bone Lick BBQ was born and LaSage, along with his P'cheen partners, scouted out a location on the Westside.

Open since August, Bone Lick is like the quirky sitcom character who got his own spin-off show. He's eager to establish his own identity, but also hopes to draw the crowds who tuned in to watch his oddball antics on the original show ("Joey," anyone?). For Bone Lick, the antics that have carried over and expanded include adventures in flavor that you aren't likely to find on more traditional barbecue menus, but also a slate of straightforward smoked meats. Crazy concoctions like the Naw Dawg (more on that later) or the inclusion of crispy fried onions on a brisket sandwich speak to Bone Lick's penchant for keeping it strange.

Quirky also captures the feel of Bone Lick, which clearly isn't trying to stick to the typical barbecue-shack motif. There's skee-ball, a row of video games, local craft beers on tap, and enough whiskey to make Elijah Craig blush. While P'cheen always felt like a rowdy bar that got kudos for its surprisingly good barbecue, Bone Lick feels like a barbecue joint that's out to earn kudos for its surprisingly fun, bar-like atmosphere.

Read the full story by Brad Kaplan here.

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