Do you know the difference between wood-fire smoked barbeque and meat that is smoked using a gas assisted smoker?
If you are a purist, no doubt you know that the wood-only smoking process is deemed far superior; due to the special chemical reaction that produces a flavor that “can’t be reproduced,” said Sean Sroll, Broadneck resident, and co-owner of the Blue Dog Barbeque Company.
Stoll’s company will soon have a brick-and-mortar location at 1300 Bank St. in Baltimore, formerly Heavy Seas Brewery, which will be a “perfect fit for our brand and business,” he said.
Blue Dog BBQ was formed in 2017 by restaurant veterans Stoll and Jon Royce with a concentration in on-site catering. The restaurant business has always been in Stoll’s blood; the 2000 graduate of Broadneck High School has worked in the industry for many years.
He learned the craft of whole pig wood smoking from his uncle, Mike Greentree, who owns Party Pigs Barbeque, and is a winner of many barbeque competitions. Stoll said he tried to leave the restaurant business for two years, became an IT salesman, married his wife, Lindsay Laird, who is a veterinarian at Arnold Pet Station, and they had a child.
He was happy; except in his career. His heart, he said, “was not in it.” He started working for Mike Neall, his old neighbor, and owner of The Point in Arnold, while catering private events with Blue Dog, starting with an informal “co-ed” bridal shower for 50 people. The business spread through word of mouth, and the catering business grew.
Blue Dog, in its brick and mortar incarnation, will be a partnership with Stoll, Royce, and Neall. They said it will be the only barbeque restaurant in Baltimore that does wood only smoking.
In addition, whole hog barbeque produces varied textures, and is leaner overall than traditional barbeque which is often made from fattier cuts, such as Boston butt. Their South Carolina-style barbeque is slow cooked, and needs to be tended overnight.
The new restaurant will feature courtyard service, with an outside cooker. They will serve lunch, dinner, feature 17 craft beer taps, and host private events for 30 to 40 people.