In 2016 Eating Asheville welcomes our first food truck into our flock of the best Asheville restaurants and before you say, “They are Asheville food trucks not Asheville restaurants,” let me assure you that Doc Brown’s BBQ does everything a restaurant does minus wiping tables down, and the menu is as well prepared as any of the best Asheville restaurants. Plus, you get to meet Doc himself when you pony up to the truck.
Dr. Dave Brown is from Boston, but emigrated to the Carolinas to earn the Dr. part in the early 90s, acquiring his Phd. in History at the University of South Carolina. It was during this stretch that Dave fell in love with barbecue, seeing it everywhere in and around Columbia. Like many profs, Dave is an avid student and he began his own study of Carolina BBQ thet extended into North Carolina when he relocated to Asheville from Columbia about 10 years ago.
Like many Ashevillians, Dave moved here because he had fallen in love with the region, not so much because of the job scene. After facing tough times landing a full time post teaching, Dave decided to tap into the Asheville food scene, inspired by the multitude of Asheville restaurants garnering national attention and the rising tide of interest nationwide in barbecue.
Lo and behold, he bought a food truck, and now it is one of the most successful of such endeavors in the Asheville restaurants scene. Dave has as much passion for what he’s cooking as I’ve seen in the chefs of any of the best Asheville restaurants, and moreover, he is happy to share it with you. Doc Brown loves letting you taste his creations and conversation on the process behind them, a dynamic you rarely get to experience visiting brick and mortar Asheville restaurants.
His eventual goal is to open up in a permanent structure, and we’re pretty sure he’s working hard towards that end. So if you want to get the chance to meet Dave one on one and experience the joy behind his cooking first hand, now is the time to do it. Dave posts up regularly at a handful of locations, including Tuesday nights at Highland Brewing Company, Friday nights at Burger Bar and Saturdays from about 4pm on at the Brew Pump in West Asheville. Like him on Facebook to keep up with his schedule, he is also frequently stationed at events in the region.
As for Doc Brown’s menu, it always offers the staples of pulled pork—cooked in the smoker built into the back of the truck—macaroni pie, collard greens, baked beans, cole slaw, potato salad and apple sauce plus BBQ Tempeh and chicken salad. On top of that, Doc always has some specials on hand, maybe ribs or Brunswick Stew, usually something he is researching through cooking. Every dish has a story behind it and Dave is happy to tell you where his recipes come from and why they are the ones that he uses.
You can learn a lot eating and chatting with Dr. Brown, from food science to culinary traditions and all that study goes into the cooking. Check it out for yourself before you’ll be sitting in a dining room and Dave will be back in the kitchen.