Food & Fire BBQ – Taphouse Experience
By Leandria Hercules – Staff Writer
The savory aroma of smoked meat instantly fires at you as you pass through the black double doors of Food & Fire BBQ – Taphouse.
The Moosic restaurant that specializes in authentic barbecue was created by Binghamton, New York-area partners Jeff Tiderencel, Dan Polhamus and Jose Moreira. Popular menu items include their smoked meat, wings, burgers and award-winning Texas red chilli, said General Manager Chris Waldron through online messaging. The menu has vegetarian options such as jackfruit nachos, black bean burgers and Beyond Sausage featured dishes.
Along with the savory smell, you can also hear the subtle background music of guitar playing from the room’s stereo. The inside interior is spacious and clean, with open wooden planks, black metal tables, dark leather sitting booths, and soft yellowed lights strung from the ceiling. On the other side of the restaurant is the bar, along with extra seating and an open view of the 48 craft beers on tap.
Waldron highlighted the different cooking methods for each meat. One example is the restaurant’s smoked turkey. The establishment begins by brining bone-in turkey breast. After the brine, the turkey is marinated in a bourbon wet rub and gently smoked for several hours, only being carved per order.
What I ordered: Pork nachos
What’s in it? Sweet cheese sauce, black beans, thickly-sliced jalapenos and chipotle-onion salsa.
What I liked: The chips had a nice crisp to them. The pork was tender. The black beans were cooked well.
What I didn’t like: The cheese sauce was too sweet, which overpowered most of the dish. The nachos would have been better if the cheese sauce had a traditionally sharp cheese taste. The chipotle-onion salsa was too dense and the jalapenos were thickly-sliced and raw with the seeds still attached to the pith, the inner-white part of the pepper. Pickled jalapeno slices would have tied the dish together much better.
Order again?: No.
What I ordered: Gator Bite Tacos
What’s in it? The tacos consisted of three soft, flour tortillas smeared with avocado, a cilantro/cabbage slaw, the farm-raised, blackened alligator bites, and a sweet barbecue Mexican-tasting sauce.
What I liked: The tortilla was a nice size for a starter. The alligator was seasoned well and was tender. The vegetables from the slaw were still crisp and not wilted. The avocado was a nice consistency.
What I didn’t like: I would have preferred a corn tortilla. There were only a few pieces of alligator, and they did an overwhelmingly hefty smear of avocado on the bottom of the tortilla, which masked a good amount of the flavors. I didn’t like the sauce, it was too sweet and generic tasting. The ratios of the ingredients ruined the possible texture the taco could have had. The slaw could’ve given it a great, refreshing crunch. The avocado could have been a great subtle underlayer and the meat could have been a big part of the flavor, but all I got was a mouthful of avocado that was the consistency of a puree.
Would I order again? No.
What I ordered: BBQ fan meal
What’s in it? Smoked turkey, Carolina smoked chicken, Texas-style brisket medium-style, smoked gouda mac and cheese and mashed potatoes.
What I liked: Everything. The turkey was moist and had a nice crust from the smoked rub, the half chicken had a thin layer of sauce and a nice char, and the brisket was a melt-in-your-mouth experience with nicely rendered fat. The smoked gouda mac and cheese came lightly dusted with the house rub. The mashed potatoes were chunky and cooked with the skin.
What I didn’t like: The noodles from the mac & cheese could have been more al-dente and come with a toasted component such as breadcrumbs for more texture.
Order again? Yes.
Overall, the food at Food & Fire BBQ – Taphouse was worth the drive for authentic barbecue. The food, atmosphere, and service are wonderful. The food was moderately priced. It’s a great place for game day or even to grab lunch with your friends.
If you go
Name: Food & Fire BBQ – Taphouse
Address: 7041 Shoppes Blvd, Moosic
Hours: Monday: 3-9 p.m.
Tuesday: 3-9 p.m.
Wednesday-Thursday: 3-9 p.m.
Friday: noon-10 p.m.
Saturday: noon-10 p.m.
Sunday: noon-8 p.m.