Lexington: Bradford BBQ Is On the Move
Each Friday at Lexington’s Beaumont Center, in the Liquor Barn parking lot, food trucks gather in a weekly Food Trucks For a Cause Event. A portion of each truck’s take is given to a designated charity each week. It was on such a Friday recently that I caught up with the Bradford BBQ food truck.
As I approached the truck I noticed two guys who were smarter food truck diners than me. Each sat in a folding chair eating away. Where was I going to sit to eat my barbecue, I wondered? A quick check of the back of my van revealed that I, too, had a folding chair in tow. This was simply good fortune, not good planning, but the lesson was learned for food truck dining: If you’re not getting the food to go, it helps to bring a place to sit.
I decided to play it straight up the middle on my first encounter with Bradford BBQ. I ordered their Big Pig, the pulled pork and slaw sandwich. The menu picture is no exaggeration. Bradford knows how to put the Big in Pig.
In fact, faced with the Big of the Pig one pauses to plan a proper line of attack. Successful in my first battle, what struck me most about the pork was how strongly the smoke had infused the meat.You knew you were eating barbecue that had more than a passing acquaintance with wood smoke. Flavorful and moist, the pork paired with the sweet slaw began to dampen the bottom bun, which gave one a bit of a feeling of urgency in eating it.
Bradford offers an array of sauces. Normally I like to give them all a try, but when you’re balancing a styrofoam clamshell of pork sandwich on your leg it’s not as easy to leisurely sample them all. The Carolina was a bit more caustic than I prefer, although I do like a good vinegar barbecue sauce. The Tangy was spot on for me, though, and I highly recommend it.
At $7 for their large sandwich, chips, and a drink it would be hard to imagine finding a better lunch deal. I was sorry not to be able to try the Kalua Pig, which is a speciality item that sets Bradford apart from most other barbecue. It offers a nice excuse to go back.
Bradford BBQ is over a decade old, which in the now booming food truck market makes them a veritable old timer. They clearly know what they’re doing, and are worth tracking down. What seems apparent with the exploding food truck scene is that some of Lexington’s—and Kentucky’s—best food is a moving target.