Befitting its likely status as America’s true native cuisine, Barbeque is the cuisine that launched a thousand food trucks. Super Q Food Truck is clearly San Diego’s most successful barbeque food truck operation. Sporting two trucks that cover different parts of the County on a daily basis, it is in actuality an outgrowth of the brick and mortar Kaminski’s Bar-B-Que and Sports Lounge in Poway. That gives Super Q the advantage of classic low and slow hickory smoke barbeque. Sadly, it is an advantage that Super Q does not fully exploit.
Super Q’s signature items are the Super Q Melt Sandwiches which are available in Pulled Pork, Texas-style Beef Brisket or Pulled Chicken versions. It is basically a classic barbeque sandwich with the unique – and totally over-the-top – addition of a three cheese Mac ‘N Cheese. To be blunt, it was too much for me. Way too much.
I am, you see, something of a barbeque purist. Give me a simple pulled pork sandwich. Is that not rich enough for you? Do you really need some Mac ‘N Cheese with it? Really? On the inside? Frankly, all the Mac ‘N Cheese did accomplish, in my view, was to distract from the full-on porkiness of the pulled pork. That, I must say, is not a good thing.
It was with that in mind that I gravitated to the Knock Out Sandwiches: basic, good old fashioned barbeque sandwiches. Like the Super Q Melts, these were available in Pulled Pork, Texas-style Beef Brisket or Pulled Chicken versions. On one trip I ordered the Pulled Pork version. On my most recent trip I had the Knock Out Brisket.
As I believe the picture shows, the brisket was swimming in sauce. The same was true of the Knock Out Pork. With that much sauce it is nearly impossible to appreciate the qualities of the thing that barbeque is supposed to be all about: the slow transformation of raw meat into an elevated, celebrated product through the application of low heat, smoke and long hours in the pit. While sauce can certainly enhance the meat it must not mask it. Trust your meat, man!
Super Q also offers a number of side dishes. For me the ultimate side dish for barbeque has to be cole slaw.
The slaw at Super Q looked wonderful. It was not too goopy and looked altogether refreshing. But like some of the main dishes it was only almost there. It lacked the balance between sweet and sour elements that is needed to perfectly frame the vegetables. And while a touch of heat is not necessary it is often nice. Sadly, that was not quite on offer in Super Q’s cole slaw.
While I’ve been to Super Q multiple times I cannot rule out that the problems I have described here were the result of, perhaps, one too many trucks. Both Kaminski’s and Super Q have good reputations that suggest the food is better than what I experienced. That said, on multiple trips with multiple dishes I did see one theme run through all of the dishes and all of the problems: a resistance to allowing the star ingredients to speak for themselves.
If you want to track down the Super Q Food Truck for yourself you can find them here: http://www.superqfoodtruck.com/bbq/