Brooks Mormando has always been interested in food; he started working in restaurants when he was 11. Several years ago those interests turned to barbecue and developed his own rubs and sauces.
After winning several competitions and working to refine his recipes he launched Babalouie BBQ, taking his portable smoker to area breweries where he served up barbecue to go with the beer. He quickly developed a following on the craft-beer circuit.
In March he took his pop-up barbecue concept to another level by opening for lunch Thursday through Saturday at the popular Stephanie’s Restaurant & Lounge Sports Bar in Doylestown.
“I heard the kitchen was available,” he said, so he crafted a special menu of some of his customers’ favorites and began serving from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Response has been good, he said, with his customers from his Philadelphia venues showing up in addition to walk-ins from the neighborhood. He offers dry-rubbed Angus beef brisket that has been smoked for more than 12 hours, pulled pork sandwiches that have been dry-rubbed, slow-smoked and hand-pulled, and his dry-rub ribs and chicken.
His platters offer a choice of one meat and two side dishes, which include mac and cheese and jalapeno bombers that are stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon.
Mormando makes his own Carolina-style barbecue sauce and also offers his customers hot sauce to go with their meals.
In addition to his lunch business, he sets up his smoker at Stephanie’s on Thursday nights when there is a jam band or open mic.
Mormando’s catering business is booked for weddings and parties over the coming months.
He is looking forward to the summer harvest season, when he plans to add locally grown grilled vegetables to his menu. That is also when he and his wife, Alexandra, will welcome their first child.