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Fire-breathing behemoth an attraction on its own
By JOHN RAIFSNIDER - For the North County Times | Tuesday, June 17, 2008
DEL MAR ---- When does a food venue become an attraction? According to the official program of the San Diego County Fair, when it weighs 27 tons, can cook more than 1,000 items simultaneously, and can lay claim as the biggest outdoor grill in the world, that's when.
There are no listings for food stands in the fair's program guide, nothing that directs visitors to the sticky cinnamon buns, funnel cakes, kettle corn or even the newest offerings ---- grilled Caesar salad, and deep-fried macaroni-on-a-stick.
But right there on Page 33 of the program, listed for the first time this year among the attractions and rides, is site No. 14, "The World's Largest Grill."
Fair workers tell visitors seeking sticky cinnamon buns to "follow your nose, you can't miss them." To those searching for The World's Largest Grill, they say, "cross the bridge to the infield, it's so big, you won't miss it."
The giant grill, or as its owner, Brett Enright calls it, "The Outlaw Grill," is a one-of-a-kind behemoth of barbecue. It stands 20 feet high, is completely self-contained and has generated ---- appropriately enough ---- an enormous amount of interest.
Even the Guinness Book of Records wants to see the semi-trailer-sized sizzler, said Enright, the owner of Juicys, a food concession company based in Corvallis, Ore. He said the idea for the grill came to him in a dream.
"One morning I woke up and told my wife, 'I'm going build the biggest barbecue in the world' and I did," he said.
But building the biggest grill wasn't enough, Enright said.
"I want to change the way America looks at food, especially at barbecued food at fairs, like this one at Del Mar," said Enright, as he walked along shiny aluminum raised walkways of the custom-built trailer that serve as a platform for the two dozen workers cooking sausages, steaks, chicken and turkey on the wood-fired grill.
"People aren't going to have to go to three different food stands to get the food they want, all they have to do is come to our grill, we've got everything they need, and it's all right here."
Enright said he makes his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., but residents of the Lone Star State have adopted him because of Texas-sized ambition and serving sizes, including the one-pound corn dogs he's become famous for offering at his food stands. Aptly, Enright used last month's Houston Rodeo as the debut venue for the Outlaw Grill. It was, he says, a huge success.
"They loved it in Houston," Enright said. "They just couldn't get enough of the Outlaw Grill, and if you can make 'em happy in Houston, then you can make just about anybody happy. The folks in Houston take their barbecue very seriously."
Enright, his wife, Kimberly, and their three school-aged children, plan to spend seven months a year on the road with the grill.
"We're already booked through November with this one," he says, "and if we need to, we'll build another one of these to fill the demand." Even at $750,000 a copy, Enright, 38, says he thinks having a second, and perhaps a third giant grill out on the fair trail is a possibility.
"I've been in this business a long time, I started selling hot dogs here at the Del Mar Fair when I was 14, so I know what I'm doing," Enright says.
"If I need to have more of these grills, even though I'm not a rich man, I'll get them built."
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