Sacramento’s newest barbecue joint tries to be a number of things at once. As one Fahrenheit 250 BBQ guy put it: “We’re going for that americana nostalgia while still being hip and modern. We’re fresh and new, with old-fashioned values.”
He pointed out the antique lights, old-school bike and part of a Chicago windmill hanging on the dining room walls. Meanwhile, Mumford & Sons played in the background.
But his comment also speaks to the food at Fahrenheit BBQ, which officially opens tomorrow at 5 p.m. at the former Bisla’s Sports Bar location (7042 Folsom Boulevard). It tries to be meaty and Southern and refined and Californian.
Just start with the sauces. There are four—original, spicy, Carolina vinegar, Kentucky mustard—on each table.
We got a large plate of brisket, pork ribs and turkey with sides of mac ‘n cheese and collard greens ($24), which showed off Fahrenheit’s killer BBQ that traveled from Austin to Brooklyn to Sacramento on four different trucks. It’s solid-steel, fed wood and smokes low and slow at 250 degrees. And it can hold six hogs at once.
Meat comes out dry-rubbed and unsauced, and the ribs were the clear standout of the entire meal—smoky, tender and flavorful.
Appetizers tried to show off more finesse, with little garnishes and dollops of sauce. There were fried green tomatoes ($12), bacon-wrapped prawns ($14) and corn and crawfish fritters ($11)—Southern classics, nicely plated. But the menu also holds some super Sacramento, not-BBQ items, like a kale salad with smoked trout and feta ($13), grilled portobello sandwich with pistou, micro greens and roasted peppers ($12) and four vegan entrees ($8-$13). Kale. Micro greens. Vegan.
Anyway, dishes had some problems across the board—a little overcooked, a little underseasoned—but nothing major that can’t be fixed with time.
On the beverage side, Fahrenheit offers specialty sodas, cocktails from the Shady Lady team and 14 craft beers on tap. We sampled a highly-recommended Mamie Taylor, with scotch, lime and ginger beer, but mostly just tasted lime. The beer list runs the gamut of styles and features local brews from Berryessa, Track 7 and Jack Rabbit.
Owners Gino Sardo and Ray Lettini bought the 4,600 square-footer—which fits about 200 people between the dining room, bar and patios—more than a year ago. They’ve never run a BBQ spot before, but Sardo has owned some cafes in town and Lettini said he just loves some good ‘cue. Can’t argue with that.