True born-and-bred pork barbecue and rib lovers may want to make an effort to frequent The Blind Pig.
They'll quickly see this pig's on wheels.
The Blind Pig is a new food truck that serves up traditional hickory or fruitwood-smoked meats with a modest line of largely homemade fixings. If pleasing thoughts of fresh-prepared pulled pork, ribs, smoked chicken and beef brisket fail to jar your appetite, then you must be a clam chowder-craving northerner saddled in a Southern man's land.
For Tuesday's grand opening, business owners Wade Fowler and his son and wife, David and Polly, were all on site behind the shuttered Sonic Drive-In at 3611 Ramsey St. The mobile red trailer was serving food from the parking lot in front of the satellite Manna Church.
"We've been cooking barbecue for a long time," Wade Fowler said, "and people kept saying, 'Why don't you sell that stuff?' "
So, that's what The Blind Pig N.C. LLC, a consultation client of Fayetteville's Center for Economic Empowerment & Development, is now doing.
"I eat his barbecue every chance I get," said Joshua Rexford, 24, of Sanford, who had slipped behind the wheel of his mini-van with a pulled pork burrito in a Styrofoam container.
The Fowler roadside enterprise has its roots in a summer of 2015 venture on Murchison Road.
Wade Fowler and his brother had a trailer parked behind Das Bavarian Haus. The restaurateur allowed them to set up behind his German restaurant on Fridays at lunch. Back then, customers knew them as Fowler's Fabulous Barbecue.
"I want him to have his own business," Fowler said of his son, David. "He's got 10 years in the restaurant business, and I've got 10 in barbecuing. When you get a chance to do business with your son, why not?"
The grand opening marked the third time the Fowlers had set up from the Ramsey Street location. The Blind Pig will open from there every Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. Later in the day, the food truck will be outside the Gillis Hill Farm ice cream shop at 2701 Gillis Hill Road.
Every Tuesday, Wade Fowler said, the crew goes out prepared to serve as many as 150 patrons.
The pulled pork, or chicken, burritos come with a homemade lime cilantro jalapeno slaw with an avocado cream sauce. Sides vary throughout the year, as these entrepreneurs plan to highlight the state's seasonal produce.
He intends to soon offer a brisket biscuit with a sweet potato biscuit.
This week, the pork ribs were a St. Louis cut. Depending on the cost of ribs from the supplier, the Fowlers could opt for babybacks.
"We use a smoker — a Cookshack — where the smoke stays in it longer," Fowler said. Depending on the size of the cut, the pork is cooked for 10 to 12 hours, the brisket for six hours and the ribs, 2½ to 3 to absorb that delightful smokey flavor.
A half-dozen sauces are available, including a Piedmont western-style, an eastern North Carolina style and Wade Fowler's favorite concoction — Kickin' Apple. That one's a mildly spicy pepper and vinegar sauce coupled with an apple tang.
Plans call for this mobile outfit to one day expand into a brick-and-mortar restaurant.
"This is typical of many of our clients," said Lexi Hasapis, the Women's Business Center director at CEED. "They want to enter the food scene by showing their talent. The food truck is a way to prove the concept without investing $100,000."
"Which we plan to do," Fowler chipped in.
"We want to help them grow into a big business," Hasapis added, "and help them succeed."
By the way, the name — The Blind Pig —is derived from another name for a speakeasy, those illicit establishments that sold alcoholic beverages during Prohibition times.
"As in, 'Our pork is so good," Fowler said, "'it ought to be illegal.' "
Staff writer Michael Futch can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 486-3529.