But jeeeebus can I tell you just how happy I am that Nick and the folks aboard Denver’s favorite barbecue truck, NZ’s Smokin’ Guns, has decided to give tofu a whirl?! Way back when Chef Pat first wrote up the amazing barbecue these guys have to offer, I found myself drooling over the prospect of some damned fine barbecue. I was raised in Oklahoma by a barbecue goddess, and my love of good barbecue has been something that I just haven’t been able to regularly nurture these past 20+ years of meat-free living. I found a great veg bbq sandwich in Austin, but that’s a ways away. I’d heard stories about the wonder of Wolfe’s barbecue tofu here in Denver, but he closed up shop before I got a chance to try it.
When I first met Nick, he was scrambling, trying to find a great veggie option to add to his menu. He smokes all of his own meats, so wanted to do the same with a veg dish. He experimented with mushrooms (didn’t we all? but, hey, that was the 90s…) and a few other items. I kept nagging him about tofu. GIVE ME SOME SMOKED TOFU!! Well, I’m delighted to say, he gave it a whirl, and it is freaking divine! Nick has always used great meats to start with, but prides himself on his sauce mastery, and he knows he can transfer that expertise to tofu. “I always say it’s not the meat,” he recently emailed me, “but the flavor I put on the meat. Same goes for tofu.”
At last week’s Food Truck Showcase, Nick let me know that though it wasn’t on the menu, he’d stashed some smoked tofu on board his mammoth truck just for me. Smokin’ Guns has two kinds of sauces – a standard yumfest with tomatoes, onions and other goodness sweetened with mango and brown sugar (making it vegan as well!), and another with a kick provided by a slew of habanero peppers. I opted for hot and was glad I did! The sauce was perfectly tangy and spicy, and the smoke on the tofu was just right – present enough to add some depth, but not too overwhelming. This delicious treat was served up on a bun with slaw and some damned fine french fries. The slaw has mayo, so is not vegan! If that’s a concern for you, make sure to ask them to hold the slaw. But Nick let me know that if vegans start showing up in line, he’ll find an alternative, because the slaw is a great addition to the sandwich. Nick, might I suggest, Vegenaise?
Give it a whirl, folks, and spread the word. I promised these guys that I wouldn’t be the only person ordering this. Don’t make me a liar! Stop in and order it, and tell them that you heard about it at Denver Street Food!