Traveling through Dallas, Lousiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, he discovered amazing ribs, brisket and barbecue. After honing his craft for a few years in his backyard, Fernandez got his bbq mop wet at the Cotati Farm Market this summer and took a runner-up ribbon for his brisket at the Wine Country BBQ (against some steep competition).
In October 2011, the 29-year-old opened a small storefront on Santa Rosa Avenue that’s quickly becoming a lunch-time go-to for meat lovers who’ve followed their noses to the under-the-radar rib joint. BiteClub (and company) mowed through the “Small Feast”, a half-rack of ribs, four pieces of chicken, a pound of brisket, four sides and four slices of cornbread for $40 without hesitation. Our Little Riblet declared the St. Louis style ribs to be the best she’d ever had.
Brisket’s a top contender — though to really ring my bell, I’d like to see a little more fat and bark (I’m a Southern girl at heart). The ribs, cooked in a brown sugar rub, get the flavor dead right, if not always the texture. On two occasions, they were a little chewy, rather than fall-off-the-bone tender. The chicken and pulled pork are solid second-fiddles and the sides sparkle with crispy coleslaw, skin-on fries, top-shelf sweet and tender baked beans (with a hint of green pepper) and sheet-pan cornbread that’s a nice sauce-sopper.
Channeling Man vs. Food? The Legend is a half rack of ribs, four pieces of chicken, a pound of brisket, a pound of pulled pork, a large order of fries, two sides and two pieces of cornbread. If you can eat it all in one sitting, it’s free. If not, it’s $$38.75. DINE IN ONLY.
The BBQ Spot, 3448 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa, 585-2616. thebbqspot.net