Proximity plays a big role in dining out. Often times, we're going to choose a short drive and good food over a long journey and incredible food.
However, BBQ turns that notion on its head. People will take vacations based off BBQ joints. The best feeling is having a phenomenal neighborhood BBQ joint that is within walking distance from my house.
Rogue Estate BBQ located on the border of Ferndale and Pleasant Ridge is that joint and even though it's really close to me, it is definitely worth the journey from wherever you may be.
RE BBQ is a stationary trailer on in a lot on the corner of Woodward Heights and Gainsboro. Bob Perye, owner/operator/chef, built the business out of a love of cooking and an intense desire to leave corporate life.
The Rogue Estate Cooking Club, a group I was lucky enough to cook with a few times, would meet periodically for theme nights. Of course, the food was great but what I left with was education and excitement. Those nights inspired Bob to start RE BBQ.
The expectation for BBQ is usually ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork, and maybe chicken. RE BBQ rarely ever serves chicken, but there's always kielbasa. Not a one to one substitution, sure, but sliced kielbasa is basically the potato chip of the BBQ world (you can't eat just one).
Another menu semi-regular is pulled jackfruit.
Jackfruit is native to south and southeast Asia and, when smoked, has the flavor and texture of pulled pork. It is also vegetarian (actually it's vegan, if you're into that sort of thing).
Where RE BBQ really shines is the specials. Perye enjoys spreading his culinary wings in devising his weekly menus. For example, last week's specials were macaroni & cheese on Thursday, BBQ Lamb Osso Bucco on Friday, and Pork Adobo on Saturday. In the span of 3 days, Bob takes you from the south to Italy to the Philippines.
Personally, I adore the BBQ Banh Mi. It could be argued that the banh mi is the single greatest thing to come out of French imperialism in Vietnam.
RE BBQ puts a smoky twist on an already international sandwich. A BBQ Banh Mi is a crusty baguette spread with mayo filled with pulled pork or beef brisket (or both if you're a champion) and topped with pickled daikon radish & carrot, fresh jalapeno, cilantro, and fried shallots.
It's not offered as a special nearly as much as I would like, but when it is, I make sure to indulge.
The specials change all of the time and since Perye is a culinary one man show, he's very active on social media letting his audience see behind the scenes of his process and also what's happening each day with specials and sides.
To be clear, Perye does not work totally alone. Kersten is a boisterous soul who welcomes everyone, takes & hands off orders, and makes sure Perye is kept in check.
During the summer, there are a couple of picnic tables set up outside of the trailer for people to dine al fresco if they so desire. Behind the trailer there is an impressive garden that Perye tends to himself and supplied the trailer with cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, and more throughout the growing season.
Summer is gone, but BBQ is all season. RE BBQ will be serving their food throughout the fall and winter. For cold weather, Perye will offer specials like Brunswick Stew and Texas red chili. In a stroke of mad genius, another special that will return is a sandwich uses apple fritters for bread and is filled with brisket and cheddar. If that's not comfort food, I don't know what is.
No matter what neighborhood you're in, RE BBQ is the kind of neighborhood joint that everyone should frequent.
RE BBQ is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 3 PM to 7:30 PM (hours may change as the weather gets colder). You can keep up with all things RE BBQ by visiting http://iloverebbq.com. You can also subscribe to Perye's weekly menu emails from there.
Location: 600 Woodward Heights, Ferndale, MI 48220