Macona BBQ is located at the front-end of Haddon Avenue in Collingswood, NJ, owned by super-friendly + hospitable husband and wife Cory + Natalie, with their young son Mason, whose names are the inspiration for their BBQ business. Like its blended moniker, the food here is a mix of both traditional ‘Cue + creative, atypical global dishes (think Mexican + Asian) inspired by Cory’s culinary past + daily whims that include pop-up Brunch items and eclectic, layered Sandwiches exploding with flavor. Chef-de-Cuisine Paris applies his own tantalizing twists with an emphasis on vegetables, texture, heat, + sweet while providing hip and groovy tunes in the background.
Opened in mid-2018, Macona BBQ is a true neighborhood spot with the owners living blocks away, a part of the fabric of Collingswood, where they magnify their presence on Saturday mornings at the Collingswood Farmers Market as well as sell their jarred pickles and sauces (“Liquid Crack” mayo-based Alabama sauce, “The Boss” Sweet Texas-style BBQ sauce, + “The Tangy One” mustard-based sauce) up the street at Haddon Culinary. The road to Haddon Avenue started in Austin, TX where Cory and Natalie met, winding through to Washington, DC before ending here, a journey colorfully documented by the Chuck Styles mural that encompasses the entire right side of the bright, compact dining area that’s laden with locally-made wooden tables, including a communal one that dominates the left side.
Despite being teased by a drool-worthy Szechuan-smoked pastrami on an English muffin earlier in the day on the ‘gram, Open South Jersey opted for classic meats but vegetarian, healthier sides: a 1/2 rack of smoky Pork Ribs + a platter of Sicilian-herbed Chicken with house-made Kimchi (fermented cabbage/scallions/carrots) + pleasantly pungent Kale that came with the most delicious, moist Cornbread around. Dessert was their well-known pantry ‘pick-and-choose’ Garbage Pail Cookies with Cinnamon Toast Crunch + chocolate chips. The food was neatly wrapped and packaged for take-out (we opted for the Sweet BBQ + Tangy sauces), staying warm for a comfort-food dinner at Home!
Note: Keep an eye on Macona’s IG feed for videos of Cory philosophizing and eye-catching specials! Don’t miss the deviled eggs or Southern Texas/Mexican-inspired drunken beans, too!
Written by Darren DeBlasi (@phillyfooddude on Instagram)