Today we’re checking out the Original BBQ sauce blend from Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q. If you aren’t familiar with Fox Bros., I’ll bring you up to speed. They are a BBQ restaurant in Atlanta, GA that was raised in the good old foodie American dream format. The Fox brothers, of Texas lineage, just couldn’t find BBQ that they liked in the Atlanta area, and so they just went ahead and started doing annual BBQ parties at their home, which grew in to a catering gig at one of the local bars, and then eventually grew and grew until they established their own BBQ restaurant. The restaurant is now known to make the rounds on lists of the top BBQ spots in the U.S., and we’re taking a turn at seeing how the sauce they use in the restaurant measures up in our world, and whether it’s representative of their Texas roots, or based on a cross-breeding of Southern and Texas styles.
I’ve seen references to this sauce being “sweet with a little heat,” but from the once over on the ingredient list, I’m seeing sweet elements, and touches of savory and tart, but nothing that suggests heat, so we’ll see if the vague listing of “spices” brings in a secret kick. Here’s what’s in this stuff: Water, tomato paste, sugar, vinegar, molasses, spices, salt, onion, garlic, xanthan gum, corn syrup, caramel color, anchovy paste, natural flavorings, and citric acid.
This thinly pouring, deeply brown BBQ sauce has flecks of dark among it, presumably the spice blend. I’m a bit perplexed at the texture, as the xanthan gum was further up the list of ingredients than I’m used to, and the largest item by volume is water, so for being a moderately thin sauce, it seems like there ended up being a balancing act between thickness and flavor to this. The references I had heard to sweet with heat seem a bit unfounded in the aroma, and the first thoughts is that this will be tartness subdued by some sweetness, with some savory elements in the background.
There is a mild tartness with some spicy bite, that surprisingly, almost has a taste like chilies are added. The burn is paired with a mild sweetness, and then a second layer of a sweeter, but stronger tartness with a more black pepper tasting afterburn steps in and keeps a little bit of a burn going on. For not having any chili peppers on the list, there is a noted bit of spice that comes from the product, and it walks the line of Mild and Medium heat when eaten by the spoonful, but ends up resting in the strong Mild space. The flavor ends up being somewhat balanced, but not fully, and while the product evolves in a few nice layers, it seems to be just that and not much more interesting, so it will get a Nominal rating for having decent flavor, but not bringing the amazing. I can say that it did live up to its reputation as sweet with a touch of heat, which is good, as I was concerned from the aroma that I was going to score this much worse.