Convenience store BBQ? Bark and the Bite will make you a believer

Bark and the Bite brings 'cue to the people by any means necessary.

Bark and the Bite brings 'cue to the people by any means necessary. Mecca Bos

Here, at Sunny's market, amid the toilet paper and the condoms and the kitty litter and the late night pints of Ben & Jerry’s lies a very special treat.

BBQ. At your otherwise typical neighborhood convenience store. Very good BBQ. 

The Twin Cities is in the midst of a BBQ renaissance, and that is especially good news since it has traditionally been one of the blind spots in our food scene.

Look to Handsome Hog for a hip, contemporary take on Southern cuisine, including smoked meats; look to Thomas Boemer of Revival for his upcoming Lexington, N.C.-influenced take on barbecued pork, and try Erik the Red, for what they’re calling "Nordic BBQ," a mash-up of classic BBQ with Nordic-tinged favorites.

But we especially like Bark and the Bite's convenience store counter for their pluckiness. For their commitment to the true spirit of ‘cue, which is getting it to the people by any means necessary. In this instance, that means serving from the back of a convenience store.

Enter as the nerve-jangling doorbell takes notice of your presence with great alacrity, and place your order. As we’ve mentioned, you can do so while also attending to a little shopping -- in addition to the standard convenience store sundries, Sunny’s also carries a full line of incense and other headshop paraphernalia. So like we said, Bark and the Bite is right in its wheelhouse here. Munchies. Covered.

BBQ is right at home between the Bimbo bread and the chocolate milk.

BBQ is right at home between the Bimbo bread and the chocolate milk.

We especially liked the dry rub wings, which are smoked, then fried and dusted in a mild spice blend. We found the pulled pork to be a little light on the smoke, and the cherry bourbon sauce was also a little anemic.

But they pulled forward mightily with the sides. Honey-spiced hushpuppies are at once dense yet delicate, tightly packed as golden golf balls but then falling apart gracefully at the bite. Potato salad with flecks of good mustard, celery crunch, and bound with egg was enhanced by a bit of arugula bite. 

Price points are also in the true spirit of food for the people, with a pile of meat, plus a side, plus Texas toast ringing in just over ten bucks, and additional sides hovering around $3 a pop.

Bark and the Bite of course has a food truck by the same name, but it’s comforting indeed to know knowing that the late-night snack run is no longer relegated to Hot Cheetos and Takis.

Bark and The Bite at Sunny’s Market 
Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
2207 University Ave. NE, Minneapolis