Local Yocal BBQ & Grill dishes out Americana food with focus on pure essence of ingredients

The Loyo Mac N’ Cheese ($10) is made with Wagyu beef bacon, green chiles and a béchamel cheese sauce.(Renee Yan/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Loyo Mac N’ Cheese ($10) is made with Wagyu beef bacon, green chiles and a béchamel cheese sauce.(Renee Yan/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Loyo Mac N’ Cheese ($10) is made with Wagyu beef bacon, green chiles and a béchamel cheese sauce.(Renee Yan/Community Impact Newspaper)

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The wood-grilled Wagyu sirloin steak ($23-$36) is served with roasted potatoes, Swiss chard and chimichurri.(Renee Yan/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The Local Yocal Cask Reserve ($14) is a whiskey drink made with brandy, Creme de Mure, bitters, gomme syrup and tobacco smoke. The ice is engraved with the restaurant’s name.
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Chef and general manager Adam West specializes in classic American cuisine.
Matt Hamilton, by his own admission, is no chef, so when he decided to launch a new dining concept with business partner Steve Carlson in Historic Downtown McKinney, Hamilton turned to someone who is: Adam West, who is now the executive chef at Local Yocal.

“Adam West kept coming to mind, which is kind of like trying to get a major league ballplayer to come coach your kid’s T-ball team,” Hamilton said. “I was [thinking], ‘That’s not going to happen.’ ”But Hamilton reached out anyway, and, to his surprise, West agreed to help with the venture. A few months later, Local Yocal BBQ and Grill opened in October 2018 with West at the helm as the general manager and executive chef.

The idea for the restaurant was built upon the success of a food truck venture that served barbecue from 2016-2017, said Hamilton, who also owns the Local Yocal Farm to Market butcher shop. The restaurant offers classic Americana dishes with a nod to barbecue, which is mostly served during lunch, West said.

The lunch and dinner menus also feature burgers, salads, steaks, mac and cheese and other specialty dishes. The full bar serves cocktails, beer and wine. Brunch items include Bread Pudding French Toast, Pulled Pork Benedict and Steak and Eggs.

Local Yocal is not just a barbecue restaurant, Hamilton said. What sets it apart is the quality of the ingredients. That includes the sausages that are made in-house and all-natural beef that comes from the butcher shop.


Wagyu beef from premium cattle is used in several steaks and burgers.

“[Wagyu] is a very, very highly marbled, sought-after cow that provides unparalleled tenderness and flavor and depth of flavor,” he said.

In the kitchen, West said he adheres to a “keep-it-simple” philosophy. In his estimation, that means highlighting the pure essence of the ingredients.

“You’d be surprised how many people argue with me, [saying,] ‘There’s no way there’s only salt [and] pepper on this steak,’ ” he said.

The restaurant also offers vegetarian options, such as the quinoa grain bowl, which is cooked in the kitchen’s smoker—something that is unique to most people, West said.

“That was the idea: Take something familiar and create something that has a little twist—has a little bit of an injection of flavor that otherwise wouldn’t be there,” he said.

Hamilton is also currently working on opening The Augustus, an event venue in the same building as the restaurant. He said The Augustus is slated to open in March.

‘That’s going to be an amazing new venture for us,” Hamilton said. “[The bent of] that is serving this world-class food we’ve become known for with great Texas hospitality.”
By Renee Yan
Renee Yan graduated May 2017 from the University of Texas in Arlington with a degree in journalism, joining Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in July.