GUALO RAI Saipan —Java Joe’s Coffee & Espresso Bar plans to open Memphis Blues a traditional southern American-style smokehouse barbecue in January to complete its food court concept said Paul Trombetta owner of Java Joe’s.

Trombetta said he partnered with Rick Jones whom he described as a “competition barbecue guru” from California to “finish the menu development for Memphis Blues smokehouse barbecue and all the other details and get it open as soon as possible.” He said a soft opening is imminent. “Hopefully in January we can start putting out lunch and dinner specials with full menu and operations in February.”

Jones of Napa Valley Calif. said he visited Saipan on and off for more than 20 years. “But I am now making my permanent home here due to the great opportunity with Memphis Blues ” he told the Journal.

Trombetta and Jones said they are excited about Memphis Blues. “Our specialty is American southern style smoked meat and sides or in other words ‘barbecue.’ The word ‘barbecue’ has a very specific meaning in this context and it’s not what people do on their grills with hamburgers and hot dogs which is properly called grilling. Barbecue means to cook with the smoke of a wood fire over low heat for long periods of time. “It is the only truly American cuisine and we are excited about offering it to the people of Saipan ” Jones said.

On the menu would be pork ribs chicken pulled pork beef brisket and hot link sausages along with a variety of sides like coleslaw barbecued beans and French fries.

Memphis Blues also has a variety of sauces both tomato- and mustard-based ranging from sweet to very hot. Jones told the “Our offerings will be simple and delicious and at the kind of place you’ll want to bring your family to. Barbecue is meant to be down-home food for everyone and that’s what we plan to offer. There are plenty of highbrow restaurants on Saipan and we want a place where people can bring their families be comfortable and enjoy a great meal.”

He said barbecue is his passion. “After eating it my whole life whenever I could I began to take an interest in it seriously five or six years ago and wanted to know the mysteries of cooking with wood smoke. Soon after I began competing in barbecue contests and taking classes offered by some of the true masters of barbecue. In the end it’s a very simple art; man has been cooking meat over fire for a very long time and every culture has some version of barbecue in their cuisine. Simple doesn’t mean easy however as you can spend a lifetime learning techniques and searching for perfection.”

Trombetta opened Java Joe’s on March 7 with plans to open Memphis Blues right next to it. “So far it’s been very successful. We have good support from the community. We concentrate on extremely high quality. Our recipes and methods are carefully guarded secrets and we put a huge effort into training and quality control. That is the key to our success. Nobody can match Java Joe’s taste.”

Java Joe’s has a wide variety of signature traditional Italian espresso as well as homemade gourmet pastries. Trombetta said Memphis Blues signifies an unwavering commitment to provide Saipan residents with better choices. “We will continue to work hard to bring the products and services to our loyal supporters. In these times of economic decline we have truly struggled to maintain our standards and our commitment is to continue that policy and never compromise quality or service.”MBJ