In Silt, Q from Red Brick BBQ is the real Texas deal
Some time ago, an all message went out in the newsroom. The subject line read “A reason to visit Silt.”
My boss, who snorts at barbecue “slathered in gooey, sweet sauce,” finally found some Texas-style bones to make him happy.
High praise from a “101 percent Texan,” as a button on his desk proclaims.
He was talking about Red Brick BBQ, an unassuming place (made of red brick) and an unassuming name. It was opened by Daniel and Molly Friedrich not quite two years ago. “It’s been a ride,” Molly said.
The young couple met in culinary school in Denver and went on to ply their trade in Snowmass, Denver and Aspen. When it came time to open their own restaurant, Daniel drew on his roots in San Angelo, Texas, and the pair went from four-diamond chefs in Aspen, to Silt, with the Wikipedia-listed town motto: “We’re close enough to Aspen to matter.” That’s a joke, I think.
The Friedrichs chose the town of a couple thousand because they liked it and because many of their customers are Texas natives who work in the oil and gas industry, or just enjoy Southern home cooking.
My husband, bless his pea-pickin’ heart, stopped for a mess of barbecue on his way home from Denver and we tried it out on the night crew in the newsroom. The smoky smell soon drew the attention of all the poor souls left working late.
We got the following varieties: brisket, pulled pork, chicken and sausage.
All of Red Brick’s offerings are slow smoked with mesquite and served naked, with either hot, sweet and hot or “sissy” sauce on the side. We sampled the sauce as an afterthought because the meat was so darn good it wasn’t needed. The Friedrichs live close to the restaurant and leave a calibrated smoker/grill cranking overnight. Everything was a bona fide winner, every morsel highly infused with the earthy taste of hours on a mesquite grill. But the chicken — charred to within an inch of too much — and sausage were everybody’s favorite.
Daniel makes the sausage himself with a 100-year-old press passed down through the generations of his German-immigrant family. He gets together once a week with friends, and together they make sausage.
Everything is served with white bread or tortillas and Texas-style pinto beans that go well beyond run-of-the-mill beans with hot peppers, tomatoes and smoky trimmings. Sides of mac and cheese, potato salad and fiesta coleslaw are cheap, and the iced tea is bottomless.
Weekends get a little crazy at Red Brick, when the chefs get creative and spring a special. On Friday nights, it’s fried catfish and whatever else they can dream up on the two-day stretch. They’ve served smoked oysters on the half-shell, trout, salmon, shrimp, pork belly and prime rib. They do catering and holiday specials, such as smoked hams.
The Q at Red Brick quickly became a town favorite and the couple lets their regulars create their own named specials. “The Defibrillator” is a big barbecue burger designed and approved by local paramedics.
Next time I’m driving Interstate 70, I want to try the Mexican-style barbacoa. Normally made of goat meat, Red Brick substitutes a leg of Colorado lamb in a nod to American taste buds.
Of the nearly 100 votes on urbanspoon.com, the place rated five stars from 95 percent of the reviewers. Red Brick is a far piece from Grand Junction, but worth the stop.
QUOTE: “She’s a brick house. Might mighty, just lettin’ it all hang out.”
Send tips and ideas to tess.furey@ gjsentinel.com