Sactown's Best BBQ

(page 9 of 11)

Macque's bar-b-que

MacQue’s pork ribs with a generous layer of house-made barbecue sauce. (photos by Max Whittaker)

There are no fancy frills at MacQue’s—food is ordered at the counter and served on plastic plates—just stick-to-your-ribs barbecue that provides gastronomical thrills. Mack Thomas, who owns the pocket-sized joint with his wife, Charlie, opened the South Sacramento restaurant in 1986 after seven years of catering for such companies as Hewlett-Packard and PG&E. Using white oak wood for a clean smoke flavor, the barbecue staples are cooked between 250-275 degrees after sitting overnight in Mack’s specialty dry rub. MacQue’s chef-owner Mack ThomasThe chef uses real cane sugar and varying measurements of cayenne pepper and crushed red peppers to produce five variations of barbecue sauce that range from mild (the perfect blend of sweet and savory) to 50/50 (which has a light kick and spicy depth) to 52/50 (which Mack says even the most fanatic heat-lovers are “loony” to try). The spectrum of sauces lend colossal, finger-licking flavor to perfectly smoked bites like the pork ribs, which have gorgeous pink smoke rings in the center, juicy meat and are served with decadent rib tips. The tri-tip sandwich is also stellar—thinly sliced beef on a lightly toasted bun with your chosen sauce on the side for dipping—and while guests can’t go wrong with any of the sides, such as red beans and rice or mac and cheese, the mustard greens (drenched in chicken broth and laced with diced onions and fresh jalapeños) are a bright, earthy addition to the meaty entrées at this fuss-free favorite. —Jessica Rine

8101 Elder Creek Rd. 381-4119.

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