Eat How the World’s Best BBQ Is Made On a Roadside Grill
Slathered on every piece of meat that comes off the grill—from delectable chicken to juicy pork chops served with lime—Ken’s secret signature sauce is legendary throughout the island. “Usually, barbeque sauce is thick, dark, and syrupy,” explains Natassia. “Ken’s orangey-red version has a slightly sweet tang that doesn’t overpower the protein and serves to enhance its overall flavor.” As a former teacher who also raises his own hogs and chickens, Ken knows a little something about barbeque—he’s been doing it for over 20 years at this smoky roadside stand shaded by a tarp and accompanied by a few simple plywood tables and chairs. “That’s what everyone loves about his place,” Natassia says. “It’s zero frills or fuss. Just succulent pieces of meat that will make even the most well-mannered adult gnaw on the bones and lick sauce off their fingers.”
The barbeque process is drawn-out and meticulous—starting with making the charcoal itself (Ken is adamant about using local coals) and smoking it for weeks. Then the meat is fully marinated and grilled until a crackly crust forms on the outside and a sublime, savory scent wafts down the street. True to Anguilla’s unique style of barbeque, the pieces are smoked until the flesh is tender but not quite falling off the bone. “You need to put in just a little effort to tear the meat away from the bone,” explains Natassia.
The hardest part of the night, however, might be finding your way to Ken’s, since there’s no website, email address, or phone number associated with his wildly popular joint. But ask a local—or anyone at Malliouhana—and they’ll tell you how to get to his neighbor, a historical 100-year-old Anglican church. Or they’ll simply point you in the direction of the smoke rising from his grill, just like clockwork every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.