Driving through New Westminter’s Sapperton this morning I noticed the sign saying “Closed for Renos” had been taken off the door of what we have been calling Graze’s Market. I made an abrupt right turn into the parking lot just in time to meet Fraser, the Kitsilano kid-turned Cariboo Country rancher who has now opened The Ranch Barbecue.
Fraser is the brains (and money) behind the newest restaurant in Sapperton, The Ranch Barbecue. Yes, Graze’s Market is no more, it is now The Ranch Barbecue.
First thing I asked Fraser was, why a barbecue restaurant? And why in Sapperton?
His reply was an hour long conversation with lots of laughs, lots of uh-huhs and lots of admiration (me admiring his willingness to take chances in life).
However, the real reason for him opening a barbecue joint is that he owns a small cattle ranch in the BC Cariboo Country and he wanted a place to sell his grass fed beef directly to his customers. In order to sell directly to customers, government regulations require you to have a “place of business.” Enter Graze’s Market…now completely renovated into a barbecue joint they are calling The Ranch Barbecue.
The chef, who just so happens to also be a meat-cutter, was still prepping his station when I was there so I didn’t actually try any of the barbecue.
I did see him giving a boneless pork-shoulder butt a dry-rub massage before he put it in the smoker.
The big ol’ hunk of pork in this picture will be ready for dinner tonight.
Although Fraser is a beef rancher and he wanted his business to sell his grass fed beef he also realizes that pork and chicken are staples of the barbecue world.
He is sourcing the pork and chicken he serves from local farmers who have a similar philosophy to farming as he does; treating the land and animals you work with respect and dignity.
And finally, the smoker. The thing that makes the enter operation possible. The fuel that this runs from? A natural gas flame ignites the blocks of wood that are in the firebox causing them to smoulder, creating heat and smoke and thus flavour. The wood? Remember the big old trees that used to line Columbia Street through Sapperton? The Ranch Barbecue uses the wood from those trees in their barbecue. How much more local can you get!
As soon as I get inside to have a taste of the barbecue I will post my taste sensations. That may be later today, not too sure right now. If you want to try The Ranch Barbecue it is located at 101-450 East Columbia Street. Depending on your tenure in New Westminster you will know their location as, most recently Graze’s Market, before that Cap’s Bicycles or if you are like me, you will remember it as the New Westminster Super Valu.
Disclosure; the views expressed here are based on my personal opinion. I did not receive any form of compensation from The Ranch Barbecue or anybody else for writing this blog post. As with all my blog entries, editorial control remains mine and mine alone. If you have any concerns or want to speak to me about this or any blog post, email me at Editor@TheLeftCoast.ca.