One neighbor painted signs, another created a mural and others donated decorations. Backyard Barbeque is very much a product of its neighborhood, because that's also where its owners live.
Michael and Anne-Marie Schmidt opened the place in June as a ramped-up version of a catering business they had been running from rented kitchen space. A former sous-chef for the Clyde's restaurant chain, Michael does the cooking, using recipes he developed or picked up over the years. Anne-Marie works the front of the small shop.
The best seller is the pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw ($5.99), and while it's decent 'cue, for my money the smoked brisket sandwich has it beat hands down. The thick slices of beef, shiny with a kiss of sauce, are piled high on the bun ($6.50, with coleslaw).
Ribs are on the menu Fridays through Sundays (with side: half-rack $15, whole rack $24). They are meaty and flavorful, and they have the desirable charred and chewy bits that the pulled pork seems to lack. Another good bet: grilled Italian sausage with onions and peppers.
Jerk chicken ($5.99) isn't nearly as spicy as the real thing. But if you can forget the name and just enjoy this offering for what it is -- a moist, well-seasoned, perfectly grilled chicken breast -- you'll be very happy. Same goes for the "Jamaican" salmon fillet ($7.50), also grilled to give it a nice char without drying out the inside. Both come on a bun with a liberal scoop of Michael's delicious mango salsa. The salsa also is available separately as a side ($3.25 for a half-pound).
-- Jane Touzalin (Good to Go, Oct. 14, 2009)