A road trip through the south sparked a pit fire for Rob Fernandez, owner of Santa Rosa’s smokin’ new que, The BBQ Spot.
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.
Bottom line: Smoke rings don’t lie — The BBQ spot is the real deal and a welcome addition to what looks to be return to serious Southern flavors in Santa Rosa.
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