Dining Out: Foody Blues gets the smoking right

Texas-style barbecue served three days a week at farmers markets

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Why: Hector and Jodell Hinojosa, owners of Foody Blues BBQ, have been vendors at the Vancouver Farmers Market for 7 years as well as the Salmon Creek Farmers Market since it first opened. In addition to the farmers markets, Foody Blues BBQ does catering.

Jodell Hinojosa prepares Texas-style barbecue using two different house-made rubs on the meats. After that, a traditional low, slow smoking process tenderizes the meat and produces optimum smoke flavor.

Atmosphere: I visited the Salmon Creek Farmers Market where the Foody Blues booth is fronted with corrugated metal and topped with a red painted surface. Napkins, plastic ware, sauces, and a tip jar are easily accessed. Off to the side, a chalk menu board is fastened to what looks to be, part of a wood fence.

What I Tried: I tried the pulled pork and the grilled chicken, both as low-carb bowls.

The cole slaw was refreshing. It had a very light flavor characterized more by vinegar than by the usual sugar.

Of the two meats, I enjoyed the chicken more. Both had an appetizing flavor throughout and both were very tender. I favored the chicken more because it was leaner; the pork had quite a bit of fat in it.

One curious thing I noted as my order was prepared was that the pulled pork was being cut from the selection of meat instead of pulled. The result was chopped pieces of meat instead of shreds. When preparing pulled pork at home, I pull the pork apart, which gives me the opportunity to remove much of the fat, leaving the more desirable and appetizing part for consumption.

Another thing I noted was that the meats were completely free of sauce and had a flavor that truly came from the rubs and smoking — in my opinion, a real plus. I did add some of the house sauce to both of my selections, but it had such a thin consistency that most of it ran off the meat and sank to the bottom of the serving bowl.

Menu Highlights Beyond What I Tried: Foody Blues' simple menu includes grilled chicken, pulled pork, pork spare ribs, beef brisket, and cole slaw. The chicken, pulled pork, and brisket may be put on a bun and topped with cole slaw for a sandwich, or there is the low-carb bowl option where the meat is placed atop the slaw — no bun.

Three different house sauces — spicy, tangy, and sweet — are available to add to the meat.

Other Observations: Service was friendly and my order was filled quickly.

Brisket is available only at the Vancouver Farmers Market, and the earlier you arrive at either market location, the more choices you have.

Foody Blues does not have a storefront location, which somewhat justifies the higher prices. The portions are pretty lightweight, so if you have a hearty appetite, you will probably want to order an extra dish.

Foody Blues caters, as well, for groups up to around 500.

Cost: Sandwich with cole slaw is $8. Soda and water are available for $1.

Hours: Vancouver Farmers Market is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Salmon Creek Farmers Market is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday and 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday.

Telephone: 360-773-3394

Locations: Vancouver Farmers Market is at 605 Esther St., Vancouver. Salmon Creek Farmers Market is at the entrance to Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital on Tuesdays and at 1315 N.E. 134th St., Vancouver, on Thursdays.

Online:http://jofoody.com/bbq-vancouver-wa.html

Health Score: Foody Blues BBQ received a score of 0 on July 11. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants that score 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.