“Honey, I’m off to Make for a bit!” I yell while grabbing my keys, heading out the door. “Make WHAT?” my wife yells back. “Exactly!” I say, slamming the door and heading over to Anaheim’s black building across the train tracks from the Anaheim Packing House. Up until this past weekend, Make only had beer and wine on tap from local producers, Unsung Brewing Company and Pali Wine Company, without the possibility of getting something to nosh on…until now.
Jav’s BBQ, the sole food vendor in the building is finally open, and if you’ve tasted local pit hero Javier Gomez’ crusted-smoked meats at the weekend Anaheim farmers market, you’ll know what a treat it is. His permanent home is tucked away in the back of Make, just past the communal seating and Sunkist orange-crate tables. Jav’s car-sized smoker, which is right outside, can be smelled within a two-block radius, slowly sizzling away ribs, brisket, tri-tip, chicken, and my favorite: his ghost chile wings made with local Infinity Ghost Sauce.
Although I can’t speak for barbecue and wine, the relationship between beer and smoked meat is quite possibly a marriage made in heaven. To balance out the smokey-heat of the ghost chile wings, I went with Unsung’s coffee cream ale, Buzzed-man, a modified version of their crisp lawnmower-beer Busman, which includes coffee from Hidden House Roasters. The wings boast a crisp, smoky shell…each done to perfection. The lip-tingling bite is spiced just right for this hot-head…every sip of beer elevating the blackened drumstick to a crescendo of smoke, coffee, and crispy chicken skin.
Speaking of marriages made in heaven, a wise man once told me to never come home empty-handed from a barbecue place, and luckily Jav’s does food to go. I ordered up a quick crowler of Buzzed-man, a brisket sandwich, and a banana pudding for my wife, just to be safe. I’m happy to report we’re still a thing.