Food Truck Bite of the Week: Smoking Out at 4505 Meats
Our weekly bite explores the city's food trucks, one at a time, highlighting our favorite mobile dishes and snacks.
Lou Bustamante A sampler platter
The Truck: 4505 Meats' First Tuesday BBQ
The Cuisine: Meat, most likely topped with more meat
Specialty Items: Anything out of the smoker
Worth the Wait in Line? At peak lunch time, a total 10 minutes from the end of the line to food in hand.
At the weekly markets at the Ferry Building and Mission Community Market (and now its retail store in the Mission), 4505 Meats has been rocking as a mobile food hit-maker, belting out now classic ballads like their Chicharrones, Zilla Dog, and Chicken Yum Yum for a few years now. If you eat meat, you've most likely eaten here.
But once a month, on the first Tuesday of the month (that's tomorrow), they bring a smoker, three different meats, and all the fixins' to the Ferry Building Farmers Market.
The selection of meats will vary from month to month, dependent on what they are able to source locally from farms that pasture raise their animals, but chicken will always be on the menu. When I saw the Smoked Chicken ($14 for a half, $8 for a quarter, served with Pullman white bread slice, house pickled veggies) on the menu, it was the one thing I was the least excited about. If you've ever done BBQ, chicken is always dried out and disappointing, usually requiring an indecent quantity of sauce to make edible.
Lou Bustamante Quarter of smoked chicken
But I should not have doubted Ryan Farr and his crew's skills, as the quarter chicken arrived pink from smoke and fantastically juicy. A scant drizzle of North Carolina style mustard sauce that is tangy and aromatic with spices or Kansas City-style tomato and dried chile-laced sauce was barely needed. While the skin may not have been as excitingly crisp as an oven roasted piece of chicken, it didn't matter.
The other two meats will vary, but last month the Smoked Pork Belly ($12, served with Pullman white bread slice, house pickled veggies), and Pulled Pork Shoulder ($10, served with Pullman white bread slice, house pickled veggies) completed the menu. The pulled pork was perfectly tender and rich, braised and smoked into tattered shreds, and the belly was more like smoked pork and less like bacon as you might expect. Richer and more of a belly bomb for those who have cleared their afternoon schedules, a full order of either one of these is best shared.
Lou Bustamante A slab of pork belly fresh from the smoker
If you can't decide between the selections, go for the off menu backstage pass of BBQ -- the Sampler Platter ($16 for all three meats, served with Pullman white bread slice, house pickled veggies) and rock out with a full pound of meat, like jumping offstage into the nosh pit.