To the uninitiated motorist driving down Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank on a given Saturday, one might conclude there's a three-alarm fire, with huge billows of smoke near the intersection of Buena Vista Street. But open the car window and you'll know this fire was deliberately set, on one of the largest smoker grills you've ever seen. The intoxicating (at least for meat lovers) smell of fresh barbecue brings lines halfway down the block, week after week, year after year.
The weekly cookout at the Handy Market has become so popular that some customers plan their weekly wait in line to catch up on their social lives and update their kids' progress in school. Handy Market also provides exclusive catering for the summer concerts at the Starlight Bowl, in the hills overlooking Burbank.
Does the meat live up to the hype? My answer is yes, even though it isn't falling-off-the-bone barbecue. For me, the secret's in the sauce, made by a company called D's based in Sylmar. It's a perfect blend of sweet and tart, with essences of anchovies, tamarind and celery added to the expected tomato paste, distilled vinegar and molasses. They sell it inside for $4.95 per 19.5-ounce jar.