Combining an upscale atmosphere with down home tastes, Bilty’s Brew & Q offers a variety of smoked meats, house made BBQ sauces and sides, and an extensive selection of craft beers from more than 15 breweries. My friend Karen Chanda of Sierra Boat Company joins me to chow down for some tasty BBQ.
Our waiter, Cristian, on loan for the summer from Transylvania (yes, it really does exist), is knowledgeable with personality plus. We start with housemade potato chips and a BBQ sauce palette, kind of a sampler to get our palates in gear. The sauces include original (sweet and tangy), chipotle, North Carolina, cherry ginger, wing sauce and special. This is a brilliant idea and both Karen and I opt for a combo of the original and chipotle (just the right combo of sweetness and heat).
On Cristi’s recommendation, we order the Smoked Gouda, Spinach and Artichoke Dip served with crostini. Filled with creamy, cheesy goodness, this is quite filling. A word to the wise: it will be hard to stop eating this. Cristi shares stories of his homeland and that his family makes cheese, so he knows what he is talking about when he says this dish is amazing.
We both skip salads (although they do offer three different kinds, including a house and a wedge), so that we can get to the main event. Karen orders the Pulled Pork (low and slow, specially smoked pork tossed in your chosen sauce and served over Texas toast) and I choose the quintessential House Smoke Baby Back Ribs. We each get two sides with our dishes (no shortage on portions here) and Karen goes traditional with Baked Beans and Cole Slaw, while I opt for the Cornbread and Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese.
Karen’s Pulled juicy pork is piled high and she is delighted with her sauce choice on top. The baked beans are sweet and traditional and the cole slaw is clean and light. My ribs are so tender that the fork just about slaps me for trying to use a knife. The cornbread is moist and buttery and the mac and cheese are the perfect consistency. All are quite delicious.
Too full for dessert (chocolate molten lava cake with ice cream) we leaved sated and happy with our new culinary discovery.
Bilty’s Brew & Q is located in the Tahoe Biltmore at #5 Hwy. 28 in Crystal Bay. Bilty’s is open daily for lunch from noon to 5 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. For more information, call (775) 831-0660. To view the menu, visit tahoebiltmore.com.