1. Rackhouse BBQ 207 Madison St. 541-285-0518. TheRackHouseBBQ.com.
2. Paper Plate BBQ 263 Mill St. 541-606-2130. PaperPlateBBQ.com.
3. Hole in the Wall 3200 W. 11th Ave. 541-683-7378; 1807 Olympic St., Springfield. 541-726-1200. HoleintheWallBBQ.com.
The Pacific Northwest isn’t the best place to barbecue year-round. I mean, who wants to hang around a grill drinking PBR when it’s pouring outside? Well, this climate hasn’t stopped these great Eugene-Springfield barbecue joints — Hole in the Wall, Paper Plate BBQ and Rackhouse BBQ — from being popular with our readers who leave grilling for the pros.
Rackhouse, voted first place, is at Oakshire’s poppin’ food cart pod, one of the best in Lane County. Connor Balfrey, owner, says that he opened the cart with his friend Chris Barry a few years ago. The two researched barbecue in various U.S. regions and perfected the styles they liked best. What makes Rackhouse special, Balfrey says, is the 17-spice rub that it uses in every menu item. “It’s a flavor profile that you can associate with us,” he says, from ribs to tri-tip. But the food cart isn’t only focused on meat. Balfrey says the menu includes pulled pork, but instead of meat it substitutes jackfruit — a fruit that has recently become a vegan staple in restaurants and kitchens. Jackfruit is tough to pull off, but Balfrey says Rackhouse marinates it for hours, which packs in a ton of flavor. And the restaurant is eager to take on special items, such as a Chicago beef sandwich, which Balfrey says Rackroom offered before Hulu’s The Bear popularized the greasy staple. “We made it with tri-tip that we cooked down so it was shreddable,” he says.