Introducing: The Gorilla (Take- Out) On Madison Ave.
On the strength of another review, I made it a point to try some barbeque from The Gorilla (12102 Madison Ave.), two days in a row, yesterday and today, and there’s still some sauce on my face, as I write. Birdtown, near The Flying Rib and Shamrock Tavern.
The Gorilla is seasonal take-out, and has hot dogs and related sausages (bratwurst, etc., yet to be tried), ice cream and related beverages (shakes, slushies, etc., yet to be tried), AND... a brand within a brand, BoBo’s Smokin’ barbecue.
Partners Jim Cox (The Gorilla, with the dogs and ice cream) and Bob Bond (BoBo’s Smokin’) share the small structure that used to be Sugar Bear’s Ice Cream. Nice guys. There are some picnic tables with shade umbrellas to eat at, but most people are taking away. Oh, and there is a large, frightening, plastic Gorilla out there, seated like a giant toddler, covered with live children.
Now, since I can only speak of the few things I’ve eaten there, on with the exaltation:
The Original BoBo
This is the most succulent thing I have ever experienced. Yeah, I need to get out more, but I tell you, the beef brisket is thick-sliced fat-marbled goodness. Tender, juicy, meaty. Needs no bigger words. I don’t know what BoBo’s Groovy Sauce is, but whatever, more goodness. Slaw, sweet pickles, all good. Bun, really beyond caring at this point, still kind of zoned just talking about the brisket part. Not vegan, not gluten free. Smiling emoticon, various skin tones.
Brisket this good is a really rare thing. I’ll go one further: I’ve NEVER had brisket this good from any restaurant. My friend Willis will not feel challenged by this statement, since he’s not a restaurant.
A seriously good sandwich, 5 bucks.
Next day. Pulled pork that’s ahead of anything, anywhere, and I love pork in all forms and get it everywhere. Move over, nobody. Makes you want to smash something with a hammer.
The glaze of grain mustard and apple butter blends so well with the pulled pork you don’t care what it is, you love it unconditionally, and without question. Coleslaw, bring it on. Groovy Sauce, groovy.
Again, 5 bucks. It can’t be. But it is.
The Hawaiian Hillbilly
Boneless, skin-on smoked chicken thigh, with a pineapple ring, cheddar cheese, Groovy Sauce, brioche bun. I did not try this, but my friend did. Looked awesome. 5 bucks.
I will definitely order this one next time, though it goes without saying at this point for everything else on the BBQ menu: The Prime King (brisket, plus other magic things), Porky’s Pride (pulled pork, plus other magic things), The Bird-Town Turkey (smoked turkey breast, plus you know).
Verily, all the sandwiches are 5 bucks.
They call these barbeque sandwiches “sliders,” but that’s like saying Jesus was sort of a preacher man, or a guidance counselor. These sandwiches are much more, I proclaim. Did I mention these are not vegan?
BoBo’s sells these meats (smoked brisket, pulled pork, turkey and chicken) by the pound as well. They also have, as a daily special, a quarter slab spare ribs for $5. I’ve really got to try that soon.
I asked pit master Bob, so where have you been all my life, I mean, so where have you been cooking? He says, home. No wonder it’s this freaking good, I thought. (Please don’t change, I BEG you.)
Disclaimer: Though all of the above is true to the best of my ability, I need to admit my angle here. I want this place to stay here forever, for whenever I’m hungry and have $5, and at the risk of causing a stampede that might mean longer lines and possibly less food for me, letting my fellow citizens know about this oasis in the barbeque desert is the best way to keep The Gorilla and Bobo’s Smokin’ here in Lakewood and cranking this stuff out.
Now, where’s my hammer!
I'm a man, like any other man.