Azalea Magazine Summerville The Lowcountry SC

Modern Living in the Old South

Modern Living in the Old South

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Southern Fusion

Smokin’ Gringos pitmaster and owner, Mike Bastin infuses competition style BBQ with flavors and seasoning found in Mexican, Latin American, and Caribbean cuisine with innovative intent. Serious professional BBQ competition participants, Bastin and his two daughters, Bella, and Courtney, travel the Southeast winning title after title with good natured passion. To date they have won over 250 titles for their BBQ, brisket, and wings. At the 2019 Jack Daniel’s competition, in Lynchburg Tennessee, they received “10th  Place Overall in the  World” for their BBQ.  

Bastin and his girls are close. Their strong bond is built on shared cooking experiences. Bella is great in the kitchen. She knows the recipes, and how they should be plated. Her sister, Courtney  is the “silent assassin”, their secret weapon. Bastin remarks. “On  competition days if Courtney gives our food the thumbs up—we know we will have  a dog in the fight.” With a keen eye, both girls are always on the lookout for different ways to prepare and present food. 

An epicurean, Bastin has taken numerous culinary classes and studied under renowned pitmasters, Tuffy Stone, Travis Clarke, and Childs Cridlin. He has traveled throughout Mexico, Latin American and the Caribbean learning how to infuse new ingredients and seasonings that enhance his winning competition trail recipes.

With experience and awards under his belt, Bastin launched a BBQ food truck, wedding trailer and catering business, Smokin’ Gringos serving an amalgam of Lowcountry favorites with a multi-cultural twist. Needing a hub to cook and operate, in December 2022,  Bastin expanded his venture to include a permanent food truck restaurant located at 850 Jedburg Road in Summerville. Boasting vibrant colors that match Bastin’s warm, enthusiastic personality, the outdoor atmosphere welcomes guests with a festive “hello, thanks for stoppin’ by.” 

Smokin’ Gringos team includes operations manager, Jessica Lindsey and pitmaster, Tamer Mohyeldin. Together they execute a thriving business with precision. Bastin acknowledges, 

“What makes us unique is the essence of the food we are cooking. It’s more than just BBQ, we are innovative with our foundation. Jessica’s food service organization and professionalism combined with Tamer’s deep culinary knowledge allows us to offer our food truck, wedding trailer, catering, and corporate customers a variety. Together we create unique quality food with exemplary efficient service for all to enjoy.”

The backbone of Smokin’ Gringos menu includes pork, chicken and brisket smoked slowly to perfection on a stick burner rotisserie over royal oak coals. The wings are peach brined, smoked, fried, and then grilled creating a crispy  outside and moist center that locks in bountiful flavors. Their signature creations, brisket tacos, wings, and ribs are crowd pleasing favorites. Generous with portions, the Monster Sandwich is 1lb pulled pork with slaw and mango pickles. With a nod to Tex-Mex cuisine, items are also served in tortillas, burritos, taco shells, bowls and parfaits prepared with care, consideration, and time.

Customary sides of coleslaw,  macaroni and cheese, are found along with nontraditional fixings;  spicy rice, jalapeño corn pudding, street corn and gringo beans—which are smoked for seven hours with the brisket.  Vegetarian items and a children’s menu are also offered. 

In the coming months, Bastin will be adding a beer and wine truck, corn hole tournaments, live entertainment, and special events at their Jedburg Road restaurant.  He has hopes of expanding permanent locations in Myrtle Beach and Daytona Beach, Florida. 

Smokin’ Gringo’s success is a  testimony to the team’s hard work and vision that traditional BBQ can be savored with seasoning influenced by other regions. By  combining culinary cultures, they refine Southern BBQ while staying true to its competitive style roots.  AM

For more information on food truck locations, rentals, events, and catering services visit Smokin’ Gringos at their website and on Facebook. 

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