Blue Oak BBQ is not your typical New Orleans barbecue. And maybe that’s because there has never really been “typical New Orleans barbecue”. New Orleans is known for po-boys. For freshly shucked oysters and red beans and rice. For crawfish etouffee and for beignets. New Orleans isn’t part of the barbecue mecca family. It isn’t a Kansas City or a Carolina, and it isn’t a Texas or a Memphis. Thankfully, Blue Oak owners Ronnie Evans and Philip Moseley have created a BBQ joint close to home, where the barbecue of the world can be tasted, loved, and appreciated.
Blue Oak is to barbecue as New Orleans is to people. An amalgamation of barbecue flavors and cultures, Blue Oak’s roots sprouted back in 2012, when Evans and Moseley were just slinging barbecue out of Grit’s Bar.
“Grit’s busiest hours are between 12 a.m. and 4 a.m.” Evans said. They weren’t fulfilled, and felt as if they were simply providing food for drunk people to fill themselves up, without really tasting it.
They quickly moved to Chickie Wah Wah, a widely loved music venue in Mid-City New Orleans. Here, they were able to shine.
“Working out of Chickie Wah Wah was a great experience,” Evans said. This wasn’t simply serving food to drunk people anymore. Here, customers were able to appreciate the love and work that Evans and Moseley had put into their food.
And now, here we are. Blue Oak BBQ has been in their new location at 900 N. Carrollton Ave. for about two months, and they’ve already seen incredible success. “When I started working in 2006, if I could have guessed what I’d be doing right now, it wouldn’t be owning a barbecue restaurant, but here we are,” said Evans. It’s kind of crazy.”
When they moved into their own place, Moseley, Evans and crew went from serving 40-50 people a day, to 600-700 people a day. And for good reason. With everything from staple recipes like their roasted garlic mac and cheese, to their simply but deliciously cooked pulled pork; to newcomers like barbecue egg rolls and old favorites like smoked cracklins with cool ranch seasoning, Evans and Mosely aren’t messing around when it comes to what they serve.
In addition to bringing the world’s barbecue to one place, Evans and Moseley also focus on what it means to be a restaurant in New Orleans. Although they both studied at LSU and Alabama, they are also both New Orleans natives, and bringing that New Orleans feel to Blue Oak is paramount. “The vibe is important,” Evans said. “New Orleans helps create a warm and inviting feel at Blue Oak.”
And they even try to keep their music choice varied, as music in New Orleans is its own melting pot. “Sometimes we’ll play hip hop, sometimes country or reggae,” Evans said. “We’re all over the place.”
Evans doesn’t think they’ll be moving anytime soon, as they’re pretty happy in their new digs. Aside from searching for an offsite kitchen to produce more food, Evans and Moseley are more than content where they are.
A perfect mixture of Carolina, Kansas, Texas, St. Louis, and Memphis, Blue Oak BBQ is an up-and-coming, close-to-home barbecue mecca for New Orleanians to enjoy.
Blue Oak BBQ, 900 N. Carrollton Ave., 504-822-BLUE (2583), blueoakbbq.com.