The Truck: Raney Brothers BBQ, locations found on Facebook.
The Fare: Barbecue, like pulled pork sandwiches and macaroni salad.
The Stop: As I stood in the heart of the Amazon jungle (the concrete one in South Lake Union) last week, I never imagined that such a good looking, tasty pulled pork sandwich would come from a converted tool truck emblazoned with two cartoon pigs sporting chef hats. I know, I know: Don't judge a book by its cover -- and certainly don't judge food by what's painted on its truck.The pulled pork sandwich ($8) with red cabbage slaw, grilled onions, and cheese is a beast, impossible to eat without squeezing stringy, juicy pork out one end of the square potato roll. Inevitably, the pulled pork juice (gross sounding, I know, but it was so awesome tasting the messiness didn't matter) will dribble down your chin and, most likely, land on your new jacket. There's nothing attractive about eating this sandwich, so be sure to arm yourself with napkins.
I don't know why, but the food from this truck reminded me of... Thanksgiving. I know that Christmas is coming up and that saying something reminds me of Thanksgiving is so last holiday, but something about the apple-smoked pork and the onion-celery-carrot-apple-cabbage slaw all on top of a potato roll made me feel like I was eating turkey and mashed potatoes. I'm not saying that Raney's pork tastes like turkey or that the creamy, tangy slaw tastes like potatoes; the food just made me feel belly-filled happy, like I had just tucked away Thanksgiving dinner.
When I later told this Thanksgiving theory to Paul Raney, one of the owners, he told me that they only use the best parts of the meat in their pulled pork. Out goes the fatty, chewy bits, and in goes the tender bits.
The brothers first put their mammoth-sized truck in gear last August, and have since then been busy serving Seattleites what Paul calls Northwest-style barbecue. He's referring to the fact that he and his brother smoke their meats using wood from Washington--they take trips to Wenatchee for truckloads of apple or cherry wood.
There's a time-consuming process to their meat. Paul, whose favorite food is barbecue, said that he and his brother marinate the meat for 24 hours with a dry rub he's spent years perfecting before smoking the meat for an additional 12 hours.
And it wouldn't be a real barbecue if there wasn't any macaroni salad. I forked over a buck for a disappointingly small side of mac salad that had a touch of pineapple and apple flavor. Not bad--I just wish I had more.
After my trip to Raney Brothers BBQ, I learned two things: 1) to never judge food by its truck, and 2) that Raney offers up some of the best barbecue on wheels I've tasted so far.