G Brothers Smokehouse has BBQ to suit many tastes

Memphis, Kansas City, the Carolinas and Texas are all represented at this San Luis Obispo smokehouse

ktbudge@sbcglobal.netMarch 8, 2012 

  • G BROTHERS SMOKEHOUSE

    885 Foothill Road San Luis Obispo 544-6465, http://www.gbrothersinslo.com

    Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, breakfast 7:30 to 11:30 a.m.

    The scene: There’s no need for anything fancy at this friendly, family-owned and–operated smokehouse.

    The cuisine: The specialty is regional barbecue, but the menu includes burgers, burritos and breakfasts; G Brothers’ Kettle Corn is also available at local retail locations.

    Expect to spend: Except for meat combos, everything easily under $10; at the daily 3 to 5 p.m. happy hour, tacos and domestic light drafts are $1 each.

You can get kettle corn, clam chowder and even seafood tacos at G Brothers Smokehouse, but — given the restaurant’s name — the real meat of the menu obviously lies in the smokin’.

The Foothill Boulevard restaurant was already a smokehouse when brothers Enocente (“Ino”) and Leo Garcia took it over in February 2009.

The casual interior doesn’t sport a lot of frills, but it’s got that welcoming, neighborhood-back-porch feel that you’d expect from a barbecue joint.

Between them, the Garcias have several decades of experience at local restaurants, but the public probably first got to know them from the wafting aroma of their freshly popped G Brothers Kettle Corn at farmers markets.

With the thought of moving that operation more toward a retail focus, the Garcias had begun looking for a commercial kitchen when the smokehouse — and its two separate kitchens — became available.

“Always the dream is to have your own place, and this was perfect for us,” said Leo, who was already wellversed in smoking meats at home. “We can do kettle corn all day in one kitchen and do the restaurant food in the other,” he explained.

In addition to prepping product and plating restaurant orders, the kitchen staff is continuously putting meats in the smoker based on the flow of customers throughout the day.

At any given time, there might be up to “500 pounds of meat in there,” said Leo, so it’s rare that G Brothers will totally run out of anything. “The brisket and pulled pork take about 12 hours, the ribs and tri-tip about four, the chicken about three.”

Instead of focusing on one style of regional southern barbecue, the G Brothers menu is all over the map.

Your lip-smackin’ choices include Memphis-style pork ribs, Texas sliced brisket, Kansas City chopped brisket (with a suitably sweet and spicy barbecue sauce), and Carolina pulled pork (with an appropriate vinegar-based sauce). Also available are “SLO smoked” beef ribs, which Leo explained are specially cut so they’re meatier than most.

From there the menu sprawls out into an array of choices that range from a smoked bacon cheeseburger to a brisket club sandwich, from a BLT to fish and chips, from a chicken Caesar salad to an Italian chicken pasta.

Mexican dishes are available as well, including shrimp fajitas, smoked chicken burritos and tri-tip tacos.

You can get anything on the main menu all day, but G Brothers also serves breakfast every morning until 11:30 a.m. Revel in the smokehouse element with dishes like a brisket omelette, or go for a chorizo scramble, short stack of pancakes, or bacon and eggs. Most come with hash browns or home fries, even the breakfast burritos.

Depending on your choice of the other menu items, orders come with various combinations of ranchero beans, coleslaw, potato salad, fries and/or garlic bread. Other sides and appetizers include wings, corn bread and thick onion rings.

“The onion rings are made by hand,” Ino pointed out, adding that “everything is made here — the beans, the cole slaw, the barbecue sauces. We don’t buy anything pre-made — even the clam chowder is from scratch. We want to work hard for our customers to thank them for coming to G Brothers. They’ve given us a lot of support and really helped our family.”

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