That thing you do in the summer with the meats on the grill? By now you know that's not BBQ. It's a cookout, and it's fun, but for a BBQ you need plenty of smoke, time, and patience. Lots of us don't have any of the above. But the people of Smalley's BBQ, they got it all. Thanks to their geographical situation out in quaintest Stillwater, they're doing a relatively quiet — yet very brisk — business in what is more than likely the best barbecue in Minnesota. You gotta drive to get it, which is a bit of a commitment, and good barbecue almost always is. It's unwise to accept substitutes.
And, since you're driving, what about assembling a bunch of friends, and making a party out of things? This being January, you won't be doing that cookout thing for a long time. Think of this as a wintertime version — a hot, meaty way to survive the cold.
Here's what you do:
Decide how many friends you have, and how hungry they can get.
For 12 or more friends, get a whole 12-hour jerk rubbed and pimento smoked pork shoulder with a million little sides of things (pickled red onions, hot sauces, relishes, aiolis, lettuce wraps, pickles, lime, cilantro, grilled queso, more, more, more) plus a case of Lift Bridge for 18 bucks a head.
For 16 friends, they'll do Caribbean fried chicken, with a bunch of sides and sauces for $16 a head.
For 24 friends, Smalley's will roast you a whole pig, plus all the side stuff, for 20 bucks a person. Twenty bucks!
So, get your friends to put cash in the kitty, or act like you're a straight baller and pay for the whole thing outright, pretending it's more expensive than it really is, because really, 20 bucks a head!
All of these orders require 72 hours advance notice.
Smalley's Caribbean BBQ and Pirate Bar
423 Main Street S., Stillwater