The Ranch Smokehouse - Becoming the Best BBQ in Europe
Any food enthusiast knows that looks can be deceiving. I recently had such an experience, when passing by the new BBQ restaurant The Ranch Smokehouse. It might look like a chain restaurant, but it most certainly is NOT, this is a family business!
The Ranch Smokehouse is the brainchild of a Barcelona family, where two brothers have worked for many years with importing barbecue and smoking equipment from the US to restaurants. They decided to open their own restaurant, where you are greeted by their mother (!) at the door, and the brothers are working in the kitchen and behind the counter. A true family establishment.
What is particularly interesting is that during one of their numerous trips to the US the brothers got in touch with Andy Allen, a Californian who has been competing professionally in BBQ competitions for 11 (!) years. Allen came over to Barcelona to work out recipes and production methods and comes over regularly to make sure everything is just as he has planned it.
The idea behind The Ranch Smokehouse is to make it the best BBQ in Europe, and I would not be the least bit surprised if they would score this title. We’ve had our fair share of barbecue, and traveled to BBQ central Austin, Texas, a couple of years ago and tried what is said to be the best BBQ in the world. It really was fantastic, but I have to say that The Ranch Smokehouse reaches that level. And I am definitely not the only one agreeing with this.
As it should be, The Ranch Smokehouse is hands on. Here you order when you come in and eat from (recyclable) paper trays. You need to get your hands dirty, that’s part of the BBQ experience! The meat is organic and locally sourced, and everything is made in-house, including the different BBQ sauces. The brisket and the ribs have their special sauces, I loved them both.
You have lots of different types of smoked meat to choose from: wings, chicken legs, brisket (so excited about the brisket!), St Louis ribs, smoked bacon, sandwiches packed with tasty stuff liked mac n cheese, brisket, and fried onion, pulled pork and much more. My particular favorite was without a doubt the brisket which is smoked for 18 hours and seasoned only with salt and pepper (Texas style), and it is truly amazing, among the best meats I’ve ever had. The St Louis ribs were also fantastic, and the home-made ranch sauce was perfect with it.
And the sides: choose your favorite side dish from hand-cut fries, Mac n cheese, coleslaw, and my personal favorite: beans, they were amazing, bathing in a home-made barbecue sauce.
If you come in the morning, you’ll be treated to a tasty breakfast with yummy choices like pancakes, waffles and much more. And if meat is not your thing fear not: they have two different vegan sandwiches available, and both looked great! The Ranch Smokehouse is also great to go with groups, they have several large tables, and it’s the perfect place to order lots of different dishes to share.
The Ranch Smokehouse is the kind of place that you might accidentally pass by if you don’t know the story behind it. I am so excited to have had the opportunity to meet both Ruben (one of the owners) and Andy the BBQ master and hear the story behind this concept: a family business with great products and a casual vibe. Can’t wait for you guys to try it!
The Ranch Smokehouse, Ronda Universitat 20 (Plaça Catalunya)