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Five Star BBQ lives up to its name

By Kurt Hanson daily Herald - | Mar 15, 2018
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A selection of meats available at Five Star BBQ.

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Barbecue sauces available at Five Star BBQ. Be we found the meats didn't need any sauce.

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A selection of meats available from Five Star BBQ.

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A selection of sides available from Five Star BBQ.

One of the first indicators my dining experience at Five Star BBQ would be, well, worth five stars, was the slight, yet distinct haze hovering over the restaurant.

My wife remarked, “Wow, it’s smoky,” as a smile crept over my face. The smoke and alluring aroma could only mean one thing — freshly smoked meat.

After spending almost a decade on Geneva Road in Orem, Five Star BBQ opened a second location in December along Bulldog Boulevard in Provo. The location is far more accessible and surely invites more customers from the hospital staff lunch crowd and high school students.

It was an easy decision for my wife and I to dine at Five Star BBQ. It was a quick, laid-back meal with an ample serving of food and a gracious heap of flavor.

We ordered the sampler platter; we needed to get a wide variety of meats and sides to accurately evaluate as much as possible. The sampler came with four meats, four sides and four bread sides.

We weren’t quite sure what to choose, but fortunately, the staff is friendly and attentive. They make you feel like you’re at a family barbecue, and strike up a conversation just as easily as they cut through the most tender slice of brisket.

After a bit of convincing and requests for recommendations, we picked pulled pork, brisket, ribs and spicy sausage for our meats. Our sides were macaroni and cheese, potato salads, beans and French fries. We chose two pieces of cornbread and two pickles for our bread side. Pickles were a part of the bread option, somehow.

The food was served almost cafeteria style, with the tremendous helping spread over two metal trays lined with butcher paper.

My eyes were fixed on the brisket as soon as I saw it fall apart on the knife’s edge while being sliced. The edges were perfectly charred and the flesh was so soft, it practically melted in my mouth. The brisket was generously coated in herbs and seasonings and, as one of the employees told me, was smoked for 14 hours before serving. Fourteen hours in a smoker means that meat was cooked really low and really slow and makes you feel perfectly at home. The brisket was by far my favorite meat.

I next served myself a forkful of pulled pork. Like the brisket, it was exceptionally moist, with a generous crust at the same time. I personally love the burnt ends of pulled pork, so the crispy edge was very appetizing.

In my opinion, the best ribs need no sauce. Sauce usually covers and masks the flavor already cooked into the meat.

Five Star BBQ’s ribs need no sauce. I was able to easily rip the meat right from the bone and relish in the strong, bold rub that blanketed each bite.

The spicy sausage was just that — a sausage with a bit of spice. The heat was steady and even delayed, but the sausage seemed a bit out of place after cleaning a rack of ribs.

The macaroni and cheese was a recommendation by an employee and I’d like to extend a belated thanks to him for that. The macaroni and cheese was creamy, warm and extremely cheesy. It felt as if that box of Kraft from our childhoods grew up with us and stayed the gooey delight it is.

The potato salad was more of a miss for me. I’m not a fan of mustard potato salad, though I recognize many are. That wouldn’t have been so off-putting if it weren’t for the extreme imbalance of hard-boiled eggs in the potato salad. I feel like I was given a serving of egg salad with a side of potatoes and, if I wanted eggs at all, it should have been the other way around. If you like eggs in your potato salad, this may be up your alley, but for me, it was a tad strong.

The beans were another recommendation and are an obvious staple of any barbecue joint. The collection of assorted beans and slices of pork were swimming in house seasonings and sauce. It was a bit soupier than expected, but it made the beans more flavorful and moist than had they been otherwise.

The fries were nothing to write home about. They were traditional fries that you could expect at most American restaurants. And like most Utahns, I slathered them in fry sauce to stifle the bland, typical taste. Their fry sauce did have a particularly unique flavor that I was a fan of.

The cornbread was perfect — spongey, cakey and subtley sweet. The honey butter served with the cornbread was smooth and sweet with a mild smack of honey taste.

Five Star BBQ’s meats were delightfully delicious. If we had the opportunity, we would have ordered more sides, but, omitting the potato salad, we enjoyed every bit of each one.

Treat yourself to a generously portioned dinner with a friendly atmosphere and a smoky smack to every bite.

FIVE STAR BBQ

Where: 227 W. Bulldog Blvd., Provo; 70 N. Geneva Road, Orem

Price: $2.95-$26.95

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon to 9 p.m. Saturday

Info: http://www.5starbbqcompany.com/

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