May is National BBQ Month! And to celebrate, I'm going to eat more meat! To kick it off, I went down to Wild Pineapple BBQ on Howard Street between 12th and 13th. If it weren't for the bright yellow color of the little shack, you could miss it if you blink. But don't let the small size of this place fool you -- they've got some huge BBQ flavor inside. If my sources are correct, Wild Pineapple started as a catering company, and recently acquired this coffee stop which they're now using as a "home-base."
On Thursday and Friday each week from 11am-2pm, they serve a Hawaiian Plate Lunch with Teriyaki Chicken and/or Kalua Pork, depending upon the option you choose from their menu. My co-workers and I have found that their $5 meat and rice box is just right, and the $10 Teriyaki Chicken & Kalua Pork with Traditional Pasta Salad & White Rice is enough for 2 people to share. The teriyaki chicken is excellent, and has become my usual order. The token pineapple that came with it and pictured here just left me wishing there was more, but I suppose it makes a nice garnish.
The pulled pork is tender, juicy, and is truly 'pulled' as you can see in this picture. I've noticed a lot of places claim to serve pulled pork when it's actually chopped. Real pulled pork is literally pulled in strips from the pork shoulder and will look somewhat stringy as in this picture. I've had their's several times now, and I can tell you it's consistently cooked just right. The sauce that they serve on the side is tangy, and matches well with the pork. Don't try it on the chicken though, it doesn't work.
BBQ Cooking and Judging Classes
Cliff, the Pitmaster at Wild Pineapple, is also involved with the Pacific Northwest BBQ Association and is hosting a PNWBA Cooking and Judging Class on May 8th, right there at the Wild Pineapple. The cooking class is an all-day gig from 6am to 6pm, and the judging class goes from 11am until 5pm. I have personally taken the cooking class, which teaches you the important parts of making real, honest, BBQ, and will also give you some preparation for getting into BBQ competition. Anyone can participate, especially those who have a love of BBQ, but just don't know where to start when making it. It's well worth the money and a whole lot of fun.
The judging class teaches you how to score BBQ in competitions, and you'll leave with a certification which qualifies you to judge any PNWBA event -- and they're ALWAYS in need of judges! I'll be taking the judging class myself that day so that I can take part in one of the PNWBA events in Oregon this BBQ season.
It's not too late to register for these classes, but hurry soon as there is limited space! I hope to see you there!