Want barbecue for breakfast? Enjoy a low ’n’ slow start at Barbecue Mafia’s new Coorparoo digs
On a crisp Friday afternoon, dozens of barbecue-loving southside locals descended on Coorparoo Senior AFC, each jostling for position to get their hands on a double smash cheeseburger from homegrown low ’n’ slow titans Barbecue Mafia. This isn’t a rare sight, especially now that the smoked-meat stalwart has made the Coorparoo football club its permanent home. The Barbecue Mafia crew has hauled its two mammoth smokers to Brisbane’s south-east, establishing a new epicentre for bang-on brisket, primo pulled pork, hearty hot links and a newly introduced barbecue breakfast service.
Barbecue Mafia’s relocation to Coorparoo Senior AFC is a little bit of a homecoming for the award-winning crew of pit-masters Andrew Walliker, Gareth Dosser and Todd Rackley, and chefs Ryan Marstella and Alex Thomas. Not only are the trio residents of the area, but the football club was also the site of Barbecue Mafia’s original pop-up. Barbecue Mafia’s relocation from its previous set-up at Sherwood Football Club makes sense from a logistics standpoint, too – the move brings two smokers (the 38-inch two-tonne behemoth Stella and its smaller sibling Frank the Tank) closer to its Tex-Mex taqueria offshoot South Austin and has also afforded the group the opportunity to return to its Texas-born barbecue roots. The heady scent emanating from Barbecue Mafia’s smokers draws diners towards the main clubhouse, where the on-site canteen Kings Kitchen doubles as the order and pick-up point for platter-seeking snackers. Coorparoo Senior AFC’s shaded dining space shelters a collection of communal picnic benches and barrels repurposed into high-top tables, but ample green space also affords groups the chance to sprawl and soak up some sun while they leisurely graze on some low ’n’ slow sustenance.
With a smaller kitchen to work with, the move has encouraged the Barbecue Mafia brains trust to streamline its menu offering. Before you panic, know that Barbecue Mafia’s beloved platters (complete with brisket, pulled pork and smoked hot-link sausage), brisket sandwiches, beef ribs and brisket-loaded fries remain (though fried chicken has been removed from the menu). The sides are also getting an overhaul, with smoked Texas-style brisket chilli, Mexican-style corn salsa and seeded-mustard potato salad elevating any meal to a bona fide feast. If you’re interested in the sound of those smashed-patty cheeseburgers, they’re being offered as a special every few weeks. On Thursday and Friday mornings, Barbecue Mafia hosts a breakfast service complete with brisket-laden brown-rice bowls (think Korean bulgogi), pork rolls and brisket brekkie rolls with bacon, pickled carrot and hot sauce. Soon, the crew behind New Order Coffee Co. will start serving pick-me-ups to the morning crowd, which may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Brisbane Lions as they take the field for a captain’s run. The Coorparoo football club crew is handling bar duties, with craft-beer tins (including brews from Tambourine Mountain-based Fortitude Brewing Co.), wines and spirits available. Moving forward, the group is keen to build its barbecue masterclasses for corporate groups and interested enthusiasts, while also investigating new expansion sites for Barbecue Mafia and South Austin.
Barbecue Mafia is now operating from Thursday to Sunday at Coorparoo Senior AFC – head to the Stumble Guide for operating hours and menu details.
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