Pulled pork is probably my favorite barbecue offering. Barbecued chicken or ribs were never something I got particularly excited about, though I am a fan of brisket. But there is just something hard not to love about that tough chunk of pork being lovingly rubbed with spices and flavorings, then left to marinate in its own fat and juices in the gentle heat of charred wood and charcoal.
Patience is a virtue, especially in cooking, and nowhere is that more true than with pulled pork. Hours of anticipation lead to fork-tender strands of meat that await a sweet and tangy sauce and two pieces of bread to accompany it.
And the version at Stockyard Bar-B-Q is the perfect example of what pulled pork sandwich should be.
Stockyard is a mobile barbecue operation in the Ryan's Produce parking lot on Railroad Ave in Colonie, off Fuller Road. (Railroad is the road that runs from Fuller to the rear entrance for the Northway Shopping Center on Central, the one with the Target.)
Stockyard's pulled pork sandwich is served up on a soft hamburger bun ($8). The customer is given the option for how to dress it - choose between a Carolina-style mustard sauce, a bourbon and molasses barbecue sauce with a noticeable kick of heat, or a sweet chili sauce that tastes more akin to a General Tso's glaze than something traditionally found at a barbecue joint.
All three sauce options are tasty, and I took second helpings of each. For me, though, the true winner is the mustardy Carolina-style sauce, the one most in line with how real pulled pork should be served. (Though there are many opinions on this matter, even within in South Carolina.) The Carolina mustard sauce provides a subtle heat, a vinegary pucker, and a bit of slippery lubricant to help moisten the meat and make it easier to chew. You won't find pickles or coleslaw on this sandwich -- Stockyard lets the meat stand on its own.
Stockyard pairs classic barbecue items with quick-grilled items, like hamburgers. Some of the more innovative menu choices merge the two styles together: smoked, then grilled, hot dogs; Philly chicken sandwiches that highlight Stockyard's smoked chicken with grilled peppers and copious cheese. Should you show up during the morning hours, try the Breakfast Stockyard sandwich, which pairs the pulled pork with two eggs, sausage or ham, and Pepper Jack cheese for $8.50.
Stockyard Bar-B-Q location on Railroad Ave is convenient -- close to I-90 via Fuller, and just a short hop from the Central Ave/Wolf Road corridor. (And I'm surprised more chefs aren't on the Stockyard bandwagon - it's reasonably priced and across the street from Restaurant Depot). Even if the truck is away on a catering gig, the Stockyard team still has a small offering of items available from portable cooking gear.
It might not be on the regular food truck circuit, but don't overlook Stockyard -- the barbecue is legit, and the crowds and lines are small. Get in now before everyone starts eating there.
Deanna Fox writes about many things, mostly about food. More can be found on her website, Twitter, or Instagram.
114-B Railroad Avenue
Albany, NY 12205
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