When I call Cebuchon & BBQ to order ahead, I ask how many people the Barbeque Platter will feed. “Four,” is the answer over the phone.
After making the drive to the corner of Roper Road and 75th Street to pick up the family meal, the weight of the platter throws me off. Did I get bonus meat? Or, did I miss something on the call, like “it feeds a family of four… ogres who have been fasting for a week.” But, I gingerly place the platter on the front seat of my car. My daughter, in the back, notes that we are going to have an issue driving home. “That smells so good,” she says. “I want to tear off the foil and eat it all now.” She has a brother and a mother waiting at home — but the smoky-sweet scent of grilled meat has her thinking that maybe, just maybe, she should take the choice cuts for herself.
We make it home, and we take the foil off, revealing a cornucopia of Filipino grilled delights. Skewered meats, chicken, ribs, steak bites, sausage. We recognize it will take us a few meals to get through it all. It’s the sauce that makes it all work; it’s just a little bit on the sweet side, but it makes the pork and chicken sing, especially. It’s hard to get chicken right on the grill, and remember I also did it the injustice of driving it home under a tarp of aluminum foil. The fact that the meat was still juicy inside, well that’s remarkable when ordering grilled food via takeout. The skewers are also a highlight, with the sauce perfectly sticky after it’s been kissed by flame. A hint of smoke, some salt and a good dose of sweetness; the sweet notes come off as the signature of Filipino grilling.
Is this a good choice for a family meal? If your family members are all dedicated carnivores, this is a place that’s definitely worth a try. The platter comes with three small sides, buttered corn, coleslaw and a fresh salsa named for the restaurant. You’re not here to read about the sides. You need to keep as much stomach space open as you can for the Barbeque Platter’s many surprises.
A day later, and my car still smells of barbecue. Sweet, sweet barbecue. I have no need for your fake-pine thing.