If you regularly drive down W. Water Street in Hellertown you may have recently noticed a colorful sandwich board sign advertising a menu near the entrance to the parking lot in between Kindred Spirits Books & Gifts and Browns Laundromat.
That sign belongs to The Taste Smokers, a new mobile barbecue pit and catering business that is owned by pitmaster Quartez “Que” Moore and his wife, Veronica Moore.
The couple–who are originally from Chicago–now live in Fountain Hill and launched their BBQ business earlier this year, quickly developing a loyal and growing following.
They’re now regularly serving up delicious smoked wings, ribs, rib tips, salmon, sausage, beef brisket and sides such as mac-and-cheese and cole slaw at pop-up “Taste Sessions” in the lot behind I’m Hungry Food Truck & Depot. (Just look for the white pop-up tent and large metal smoker, and follow them on Facebook for notifications of future dates.)
Saucon Source recently asked Que some questions about how they got started in the food business, what their specialties are, and where they hope to go from here.
Outside of Hellertown you can catch them at a Small Business Saturday Taste Session at The Art Establishment, 945 Broadway, Fountain Hill, on Saturday, Nov. 24 from 1 to 9 p.m., or try their food–delivered–at a Nov. 17 Taste Session “Delivery Edition.” The deadline to order food for delivery between 2 and 6 p.m. Saturday is noon on Thursday.
1. How did you get your start in BBQ/smoked meats?
I found my passion and love of BBQ’ing and smoking meat while cooking for fraternity gatherings while in college. It was something that came natural to me and I enjoyed seeing others enjoy my food. At that point it became an art to me and 13 years later I now have my own business doing what I love.
2. You are originally from Chicago. What brought you to the Lehigh Valley?
My wife. She had an internship with a local college in the summer of 2006. I was courting her at this stage and came out to visit her. I knew it was probable that she would be offered a job so in 2007, when she did and moved, I soon came after her in 2008. We’ve found a love for the area and have watched it quickly develop in the past 11 years.
3. What words would you use to describe your food? What do you think makes it different from what many folks around here may have had before?
I would describe my food as an upgraded culinary street food experience made with love. Chicago-style BBQ is a different tasting experience. We operate by a “sauce on the side” type of attitude as we want our patrons to have the full tasting experience of good smoked meat packed with flavor. We also offer cuts like the Chicago-style rib tips that many in the area may have never had before. We experiment with different flavors, spices and preparation techniques.
4. Tell us a bit more about your menu. What are your specialties and what are some of your recipe secrets, if you can share them?
Our speciality items on the menu are rib tips, ribs and smoked wings, smoked salmon and mac and cheese. I won’t give away any secrets, but what I will say is that we use onions for almost everything we prepare.
5. Currently you are mobile and often in Hellertown on Water Street. Are you at any other locations? Do you have plans for a permanent location in the future?
We are currently just operating on Water Street in Hellertown. However, we are establishing relationships with local breweries and wineries in the area and look forward to these partnerships with our fellow small business owners. A permanent location of some sort is desired, so we will see what the near future holds for the Taste Smokers!