Scotty’s Serious About His BBQ

I enjoy eating at Scotty’s Beachside BBQ for two simple reasons: oceanside dining and barbecue. Just walking by the restaurant, the smell of succulent meat over glowing wood coals makes my mouth water.

Owners Scotty and Korona Phelps bought a patch of land along Kapa’a’s Coconut Coast and designed the restaurant to face the ocean. A window runs the length of the restaurant, and on this sunny late morning, kayakers paddle by, families play ball on the manicured lawn, bicyclists peddle on the bike path and coconut trees sway in the breeze.

Scotty, the Master of Q, has been working in restaurants since he was 16 years old, and it was after he worked at a burger joint, where they cooked everything over charcoal, that his flame for barbecue was stoked. After a year of research, he decided on low and slow over hot hickory coals.

“Scotty had Wednesdays off, and he would smoke the meats and make three or four different barbecue sauces,” says Korona, who worked at a church at the time. “He’d bring it to my work and everybody had to fill out comment cards. Some of the sauces were so bad you had to spit them out, but after about a year everybody came by on Wednesdays!”

Since opening in 2004, Scotty has been winning awards in local competitions, including an islandwide challenge, for his Kansas City-style barbecue with the help of Oahu-born executive chef and pit master Britt Whitfield, who adds a local touch.

“We used to serve a pulled chicken, but it didn’t have any pizazz to it,” says Whitfield. “So I came up with a marinade, and now everybody likes the chicken. It’s a good all-around sauce. People buy it and put it on their mahimahi and chicken. Someone even brushed it on their burger!”

The barbecued chicken is outstanding thanks to the teriyaki-ginger marinade that makes the meat flavorful, moist and tender. Combined with hickory smoke, this chicken may force me to switch out my regular order of pulled pork on a specially made taro bun.

Whitfield will smoke anything, including prime rib for the Friday night special. “It gives it a completely different flavor than if you just roast it,” he says.

“It’s so tender; it’s so good! And he does his own horseradish!” adds Korona.

“Brisket is my favorite of all the meats,” Whitfield says of the beef that is smoked for 14 hours. Despite the long smoke time, it has a pleasing, mild smoky flavor. I added the spicy sauce to mine, a 7 out of 10 on the Lane Heat-O-Meter, and was grateful for the house-made coleslaw to cool things down.

Kansas City barbecue is known for smoking any type of meat. It requires a slow smoking process, and is doused in a thick tomato and molasses sauce. The smoke ring, a layer of pink meat just under the outside crust aka bark, is the mark of good smoking. Scotty’s meaty pork ribs have a thin, deep-pink smoke ring and a lightly crisp bark; the flesh is sweet and falloff-the-bone tender.

Breakfast lovers, keiki and senior citizens line up for the breakfast buffet ($8.49, seniors pay $6.99 and keiki under age 10 eat for 50 cents per year). Watch the sunrise and enjoy all-you-can-eat scrambled eggs, house-smoked bacon, sausage, seasoned potatoes, pancakes, oatmeal, assorted fruit and for the locals, fried rice with bits of brisket.

Bring a “Party Pan” to your next celebration or have Scotty’s cater your event either way, you’ll be the most popular person at the party!

Any way you slice it, Scotty’s goes whole hog with lip-smackin’ barbecue and a smokin’ ocean view.

Scotty’s Beachside BBQ 4-1546 Kuhio Hwy., Kap’a
823-8480 Open Monday-Sunday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Breakfast: 7-10 a.m. Happy Hour: 3-5 p.m.