An Ohio man has made it his business to spice up North Dakota — literally.
Bismarck is home to a black-owned food truck that sells BBQ with a southern twist.
In 2013, Darrell Mathews introduced North Dakota to a new flavor with Brew N’ Que food truck. His southern cuisine is a mix of BBQ and soul food.
“The difference is, when I went to a friend of mine’s BBQ here, it was like hamburgers and hot dogs and I’m looking like where’s the ribs and rib tips? Where’s the meat? And he’s like oh no this is what we do, we cook out! And I’m like, I’m gonna have to show you how to cook out, so I did it and he was like ‘This is crazy,'” said Mathews.
He says food is his passion and it all started with his grandma. She had him in the kitchen at 8 years old.
“In my culture, what we say is she can burn, and she can burn doesn’t normally mean like burning the food, but she can cook, throw down, whatever word you want to use for it,” Mathews said.
When Mathews first got to Bismarck, friends and coworkers loved his food. He then realized this was something North Dakota needed.
“What BBQ is to North Dakota is a little bit different to what BBQ is to me being from Ohio and having roots in the South,” Mathews said.
Brew N’ Que’s menu consists of items like Hotlink mac and cheese, lollipop drumsticks, dirty rice and baked beans. He says as a food truck, there are fewer problems to worry about.
“With the economy being what it is, it’s hard to find help, it’s hard to staff consistently and I found that with the food truck — if nobody shows up, I will show up,” he said.
Having a small business can be tough, but Mathews says the community’s feedback has been positive.
“Overall I think people have been supportive of being a small business and I think it’s the type of business we do. It’s unique in its own way, there isn’t one on every corner. It’s different and people want to support it. We’re just a different culture, a different taste, a different quality than what you’re going to get most places around town,” he added.