Chicken in a Barrel BBQ has opened at 5711 Calle Real in Goleta, the former home of Petrini’s and Luigi’s Pizza & Pasta. Owners Alex and Jennifer Vilera hadn’t planned on opening their own restaurant but after they moved from their home in Hawaii (home to Chicken in a Barrel BBQ) to California, they realized that the only way they were going to satisfy their craving for food from their favorite restaurant was to open their own location. There are now four Chicken in a Barrel BBQ locations on Kauai and one on the mainland in Lake Tahoe. The restaurant has been on the Food Network and has a big following.
While stopping by the restaurant the other day I was given a tour of the famous barrels. “We call them ‘hook ‘em and hang ‘em’ says Jennifer Vilera. “We hang them so they are three feet away from the heat and we use Kiawe wood and coal. When the juices from the meat hit the coals it steams the meat in its own juices. We use our homemade rubs and have homemade barbecue sauce, hot and mild, on the side.”
The entrée menu includes the Chicken in a Barrel Plate, Sampler Plate, Babyback Ribs Plate, Chicken & Rib Plate, Beef Plate, Pork Plate, Chicken for Two, and Hoagie with Fries. The plates include a side of brown rice with chili beans and range in price from $12.99-$17.99. Also available are a kids menu, salads, a la carte options, sides, grass-fed beef hamburgers, and Mexican food offerings.
“We’re thrilled to have the Vileras as our first franchisees,” said Mike Pierce, Chicken in a Barrel founder and owner. “It was very important to us that our first franchise partners share the same goals and family values as we do, and Jennifer and Alex are a great fit in that sense. They, too, intend to spread the love of God with this business, and plan on creating a family-friendly atmosphere. We’re looking forward to seeing what great things come from them and the growth they’re bringing to the brand.” Chicken in a Barrel BBQ is open daily 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Call 805-324-4234.