The excellent new Bashamichi Taproom is featured in my column which went up in The Japan Times today.
I've already posted my pics from the opening day. Now here are a few more taken during subsequent visits [along with text that we had to cut due to space constraints in the paper]. All in all, some of the tastiest, most pleasurable "research" I've done in a while...
"This new Taproom occupies the whole of a freestanding, three-story building. Built 40 years ago (it was formerly a Mainichi Shimbun distribution point, as you can still see on Google Maps Street View), the handsome premises have a warmth and character all their own."
One of those Fat Boy ribs.... "Sourced locally in Japan (the regular ribs are from US hogs) it's a massive bone, like a miniature monolith on your plate, and a lot richer and fattier. If you’ve never tasted the real-deal US BBQ before, be prepared to be amazed. If you have, well you should have no complaints."
The regular ribs (below): "Wonderful. The glaze is rich, shiny, almost caramelized, and the meat underneath has a lovely smoked quality, with a great chewy texture that makes you want to gnaw all the way down, leaving the bone bare." These, below, with side servings of smoky-savoury Texas beans and slaw.
"[Chuck] also prepares all his own BBQ sauces. There are usually three or four on the go, including rich Texas, just perfect with that brisket; tangy South Carolina Mustard, a good match with the pork; a spicy North Carolina chili-cider vinegar mix, that goes great with pulled pork; and Kansas City-style sweet-savory Red, the very same sauce that gets slathered on the ribs and chicken."
I've got to give that vinegar sauce another plug. As I said, it's the perfect accompaniment to Chuck's pulled pork shoulder — should you be lucky enough to be around when he's prepared a batch...
We also had to try the BBQ pizza. There's a non-carnivore cheese version too — but really, vegetarians are going to feel as out of place here as teetotallers would.
Which brings us to the other reason for a visit to the Taproom: the remarkable range of beers. Maybe it's the BBQ aromas wafting through the air, but somehow the Baird brews taste even better here than at the other Tokyo taprooms.
This really is "beer with conviction" [And if you drive after quaffing a few of these, it'll be you who gets the conviction too].
In a new departure from the previously all-in-house-brewed Taproom policy, three of those taps have been given over to imported guest beers.
I like the little details too: how about this custom-made grille over the ground-floor window. You know what the initials stand for?
Only one possibly answer: B there. Or B square.