I wasn’t going to write about Smoking Pig BBQ because it is about 400 miles away from Riverside, but recent Instagram posts have changed my mind. Now it is on my brain.
Smoking Pig BBQ Company on 4th Street in San Jose, California served me the best brisket I have ever eaten. This is not meant to take anything away from Badlands BBQ in Norco, which serves my favorite brisket in Southern California. In all honesty, if brisket from both places was sitting on a table in front of me I’m not sure I could pick a favorite. Since these two places are separated by about 400 miles, I’m not sure how I could arrange this heavenly brisket faceoff, but a man can dream.
Look at this brisket:
Why was I up in San Jose? Last July, my sons played in the USA Water Polo Junior Olympic Tournament up in Northern California. Since my sons were staying with their teams, I was on my own at meal time. Luckily, I found this place on my first night.
I ended up going back four more times.
I showed up at dinner time and the place was crowded. I screwed up and ordered at the counter, thinking that the food would be served at the table. Nope. I ordered take out. They were nice and set me up at a table anyway.
I also tried the Wolf Turds – jalapenos stuffed with cheese and sausage, wrapped in bacon, and smoked.
This time I sat at a table and ordered the right way.
I knew this was a great place when the server asked me if I wanted my brisket fatty, lean or mixed. They get it.
I thought about trying a new place, but ended up here again. Instead of the stuffed jalapenos, I tried the Chicken Lollipops, which are marinated mini drumsticks wrapped in bacon and smoked. A little too sweet for me, but very tender.
I finally realized they serve Cajun fries. After pondering my failure to realize this fact during my two previous visits, I enjoyed some of the best fries I have ever eaten. The brisket kept getting better with each visit.
My oldest son’s last game was in the morning, so we were able to enjoy a post-tournament meal. Big surprise, I took him here. He loved the brisket and Cajun fries. We reminisce often.
We then went to watch my youngest son’s last game in the afternoon. Before we hit the road for the long drive south, we decided to share our new spot with him. This time we celebrated a great tournament with some Peanut Butter Pie… and some more amazing brisket.
Smoking Pig BBQ Company
1144 N. 4th Street
San Jose, CA 95112