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Barefoot BBQ: Southern Street Food

14 June 2010 8,601 views Add a Comment

My awareness of street food came on gradually. The first time I can remember actually buying food from a street vendor was when I lived in Boston. I would occasionally take the long way to work, and as I made my way from the Green Line station at Boston Common down to Fort Point Channel, I’d pass a pretzel cart downtown, right in front of the Jordan Marsh department store. It was my first “real” pretzel – soft, salty and slathered in mustard.

Over the years, I got a little deeper: crèpes with Grand Marnier on the streets of Paris, Yucatecan grilled chicken, marinated in bitter orange and chilies on the side of a road in Mexico. Asia was an entirely immersive experience – roasted goose in Hong Kong, anything and everything in Thailand…

Growing up and living in the South, though, has been a bit different. There is the occasional boiled peanut stand or the itinerant smoker that will pop up in a parking lot on a weekend, but rarely do we have a reliable street food culture.

So I was a bit surprised on a recent trip to the Florida panhandle to find vibrant little grouping of vendors in downtown Seaside, of all places. Seaside is a carefully planned and organized community. As beautiful as it is, I always have a creepy feeling that I’m being watched”. (Remember The Truman Show? This is where it was filmed…). Admittedly, the vendors do come off a bit regimented – a precise row of Airstreams laid out along the North side of 30A, a screened in, and clearly labeled “Smokehouse” tucked behind the white picket fence – this is a long way from the land of push carts.

But the real test was the food, and what little I had a chance to try was outstanding (big words coming from a barbecue snob like myself). We tried the BBQ slides, 3 not so small sandwiches, overstuffed with moist and flavorful pulled pork.  A variety of sauces (spicy, sweet, mustard -  and I believe a fruit-based sauce – sorry, forgot to take pictures), and even a shaker of their dry rub are offered at the table so you can experiment – mixing and matching to find one you like.

More of our pictures of the street food vendors in Seaside (and information about the street food movement in Atlanta) can be seen on the Atlanta Food Carts blog!


Barefoot BBQ
2235 E County Hwy 30A
Seaside, Florida
32459

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Submitted by: BuHi

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