It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m finally heading south on Route 206 to Hammonton with a friend in search of (see Pie Mania post of June 18) and barbecue. First stop is for said pies and a spot of brunch in the Red Barn Farm Market and Cafe. The place is hopping! We say hi and ‘bye to owner Evelyn Penza who’s in a whirl of activity, and leave the bustle behind with my bounty of pie for home (blueberry with crumb topping) and for the office (ricotta with peaches and blueberries on top).
Next stop is back up Route 206 a few miles to Christine’s House of Kingfish Barbeque in Shamong. Sisters Towanda and Rhoda (Christine was their mother) are hustling around their roadside digs getting ready for afternoon ‘cue hounds. The stand is open seasonally, from around Easter until maybe late October (609-268-3600). Kingfish Barbeque first operated on Route 40 in Buena, but about 5 years ago they relocated to the current location where the sisters now run it. Their cooker is under a lean-to outside, and I could smell the barbeque before I even opened the car door.
Inside it’s hot, but there are a couple tables for the hardy, and a fan. I may have seen a picnic table outside, too. But I always order ribs to take home for dinner. A half rack for my friend. A half rack for my father. A half rack for me, which turns out to be enough for three meals since they’re so rich. Sauce on the side for me, tangy and, thankfully, not too sweet. I add a side order of potato salad, deliciously eggy.
On the way home we pull into a wildy busy farmstand for some sweet white corn and fresh blueberries. Like they say, this is, indeed, the Garden State. Shhh, don’t tell anybody, we’re crowded enough – if they ever hear about the barbeque, we’ll be in gridlock forever!