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Feb 6, 2008 10:10 AM

new 'cue on the central coast

The other day, I found myself in Atascadero looking for a late lunch. Pulling into a strip mall north of Traffic way on El Camino, the lone parking spot was in front of Le Boeuf's Barbe-A- Que. Barbeque in Atascadero? I decided to investigate.

Le Beouf's is a friendly, tidy cafe featuring traditional Southern Barbeque. Their menu also includes standard cafe sandwiches, grilled sausages, soups, sides and desserts.

Using an in-house traditional smoker Le Boeuf's serves beef and pork rib, and chicken meals, and pulled pork, tri-tip, and BBQ chicken sandwiches. Among the available sides are beans, fresh fruit salad, sweet potato fries, potato salad, coleslaw.

Other sandwiches are a garden burger, meatball, angus burgers, and angus Philly cheese steak. Homemade desserts made by Mrs Le Boeuf include Texas fried pies, cheesecakes, and other sweets.

John was behind the counter, and on his recommendation I ordered a pulled pork sandwich (which comes with a soda and side of carrot/cabbage slaw) As I munched on the delicious rib-meat sandwich, we chatted about the who-what-where-when-why of barbeque in Atascadero.

John and his wife have been operating a hot dog cart, and based on that experience decided they'd like to open a sit-down restaurant. They chose Barbe-a-que (John pronounced it: barb-ah-kew-ay), as he had grown up on his parents' Texas/Louisiana Cajun home cooking. John smokes all his meats in what he says is true southern tradition, at a low heat and for a long time, till the bones can be pulled from the meat. Dry rub spices are applied before smoking and sauces both sweet and spicey are available at a self-serve condiment bar.

My sandwich was generously filled with chopped rib meat (not pork shoulder) and served in a locally made crusty and chewy French torpedo style roll. I thought the meat exceptionally well flavored (and it was juicy enough to drip) and the bun stood up to the juice without crumbling; it had a good solid fresh bread flavor. The cup of slaw was well balanced in flavor, but otherwise not particularly notable. It seemd heavy on the shredded carrots. I'd love to try a Le Boeuf family slaw recipe.

Le Beouf's has been open about 5 weeks, and John related that they're pleased enough with the community response that they plan to add a few more southern favorites to the menu like collard greens, brisket, and southern style potato salad.

I'll definitely be back to try the chicken and the ribs. Hubby has proposed a trip to the warbird museum in Paso with a lunch at Le Beouf's. Can't go wrong with that combo.

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  1. Tried the ribs last week--got a full slab to go ($19 for 13 ribs) and they were delicious. Tender, juicy and not overly spiced with rub. They included small containers of regular and spicey red bbq sauces. The spicey was also vinegar-y, but good. (not a vinegar fan)

    These were so good. This is the best barbecue that I've tried in the county.

    1 Reply
    1. re: toodie jane

      Thanks for the tip on this. I knew the "Dogfather" people were planning on opening somewhere, but I had NO IDEA it would be this good. Mr. Paso and I both had to agree that this is the BEST bbq in the county.( I have always been a loyal Mo's fan.) Not that we have any complaints about Mo's, but LeBeouf's is just a better 'que. We tried the pulled pork and bbq beef (not brisket, not tri-tip, just 'beef') sandwiches ($9 each) comes with your choice of a side. I got the slaw, which was fresh, crunchy and definitely not from a bag. Mr. Paso had the beans, and we shared an order of the daily special side- fried okra. Or, as John called it, 'fried okry". Also homemade, batter dipped, not crumbs and nice and spicy. I preferred the spicy over the regular barbeque sauce for the meat, but both are very good and taste homemade (not full of high fructose corn syrup, if you know what I mean). We left more than satisfied, I had to come home and take a nap I was so full. We brought a pulled pork sand for our kids to share and they almost killed each other over it! Mr.P and I have decided that it would be a great picnic meal with a six-pack (the restaurant doesn't serve alcohol) to enjoy out at Atascadero Lake Park (followed by a nap in the shade).

    2. Got a to-go brisket dinner last night to share.

      Never having had smoked brisket before, it's hard for me to compare. This was very tender, had a thin line of cap fat left intact, seasoned lightly with plain s&p style rub. The meat had a delicate smoke flavor and no bark in our portion. Next time I'll ask for some.The meat was packaged to go in a foam cup, and I was delighted to find a couple of tablespoons of flavorful clear meat juices at the bottom. Drizzled that on the roll for a great sandwich.

      The dinner consists of about 1/2# meat, a crusty toasted and buttered French roll (actually 1/2 a roll at about 7") and choice of two sides. As usual, two variations of sauce were included for dipping.

      I chose the traditional (not Texas) style potato salad and BBQ beans. The beans were sweet, and a tad underdone (but not crunchy) for my hubby but to me they 'had tooth' instead of being mushy. The potato salad was dressed with a vinegary mayo, with s&p and olive slices. The texture was a bit overworked for my taste, more like mashed potatoes with a few chunks of potatoes. The PS didn't impress me but I guess I'm more a fan of eggy style. (you know how Mom's is hard to beat)

      Put together, the sandwich & sides were more than large enough for us two 50-somethings to share. I can see how a teenager could put away a whole one of these meals, but no way for us. At $21.00 it was a good price for a takeout dinner prepared with such care. I looked longingly at Mrs. Le Beouf's 3-layer carrot cake but somehow managed to leave without it. May not be so strong-willed next time....

      1. Thank you so much, toodie jane, I was just up there (from AG) Thursday, saw the place and wondered about it.

        1. I live in Atascadero, and have only been there once, but I still dream about their Philly cheesesteak. Yum! Not the first thing you'd think to try, but Oh. My. God.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Chefem

            thanks for the tip em, had my first dissapointment Thurs last. Ordered the barbeque beef sandwich thinking it was smoked brisket (my error) and it was trip tip swimming in Le Boeuf's great sauce. Too gooey for me and I thought a waste of good tri tip. To me tri tip has such a great rich meaty flavor when med rare to rare. Just don't think it needs 12-hour smoking. Beneath the sauce, the meat was rather dry textured and stringy. Too heavily seasoned with pre-ground black pepper flakes.

            The sweet potato fries were excellent--best I've had yet. Thin and crispy outside, creamy soft inside (not starchy as some often are) well-seasoned with garlic bits and salt.

            I will forgo the bbq beef in the future and stick to pork or Philly steak. Waiting for the opportunity to pick up more ribs for dinner! They were fabulous.