To love barbecue is to have at least a touch of geek in you. Matt Davis might take this to a whole new level. He’s the co-owner of a new food truck called Wood Shop BBQ, but spent most of his adult life working with wood. Hence he gets a little giddy explaining why Wood Shop currently smokes with hickory; his partner James Barrington brought back a few cords when he drove their custom smoker (name: Brad Pit) up from Texas this past summer.
Hickory is a particularly dense wood; "harder than a whore's heart," according to my dad, who spent his working years making furniture. Davis likes the flavor—slightly sweet, but robust. He finds it has more impact on meat than other woods and likens it to seasoning a steak with salt and pepper. Since hickory doesn’t grow around here, it’s not a common barbecue profile in Seattle.
This little hardwood tangent should convey the level of thought these guys put into their smoked meat. The early word on the truck's first few outings at Chuck’s in Greenwood is very positive.
Wood Shop does pulled pork, ribs, and brisket, plus classic barbecue sides with a few tweaks, like mac and cheese, jalapeno cornbread, smoked portabellas, and buttermilk coleslaw. Since Barrington has roots in Texas and Davis grew up in Kansas, their sauce fuses their respective backgrounds: tomato based and on the sweeter side. There’s talk of a Seattle-inspired version made with coffee in the future, and maybe some seasonal versions made with local beer.
Though both gentlemen are barbecue devotees, Davis provides the geekery and Barrington the food truck know-how; he’s been running the excellent Hallava Falafel since 2012. However their long-term plan sounds so Pacific Northwest that Brooklyn will be envious: They'd like to expand Wood Shop into some sort of barbecue and whiskey bar that's also a wood shop, so aspiring DIY types can come, have a drink or two, and have Davis teach them how to build a chair. Though obviously not in that order.
Starting January 1, Wood Shop has a proper weekly schedule that includes the Fremont Sunday Market, Bellevue’s new pod, South Lake Union, and Chuck’s (alternating between Greenwood and CD locations). Suss out specific dates and locations on Wood Shop's Facebook page.