At the new Cowboy Way BBQ joint in Solvang (485 Alisal Rd., Ste. 285, 691-9195), you never know if the man next to you in the cowboy hat is the owner or just another local come to enjoy the HolySmoke brisket. Although he grew up grilling Santa Maria style, Daniel Placencia traveled to Kansas City, “Missouruh,” as he puts it, to perfect his southern BBQ skills before opening the first—wildly successful—The Cowboy Way BBQ restaurant in Palm Springs.
Southern BBQ is cooked slowly by indirect heat from carefully chosen smoking woods; the process takes the better part of a day and results in intense smoky flavor that is enhanced, not masked, by the sauce. While “Cow Poke” tri-tip is on the menu, his real pride is in dishes like the “Magoo” pulled-pork sandwich, covered in Kansas City Slaw, and the “HolySmoke” brisket, named after his horse. House-made macaroni and cheese, baked beans, and cornbread with honeybutter round out the meaty meal.
Even though the space on the second floor of Frederick’s Court is decidedly a restaurant, Dan prefers an informal atmosphere. This joint does not yet have its liquor license, but that’s okay by him—people come here for the meat.