Blocks of Ox


As unappealing as it sounds, there’s something sensual about pit beef. The aroma, the preparation, the fact that it takes over half a day to cook—it’s all about love. But is pit beef, by any other name, still just as sweet? What if it’s called, say, roast ox?

That might be stretching the gastronomic terminology just a bit, but the Sonoma Community Center is calling its first summer event of the year as such, and for $12 per plate, who cares what it’s called? And they’re accommodating—nay, inviting—children to attend, with plates for little ones at just $7.

Twelve bucks a plate for dinner on the Sonoma Plaza is about as rare as catching the Blue Man Group having an intense discussion about theology and literature at Wal-Mart, but it turns out it’s simply continuing a long tradition.

“The ox roast is almost 50 years old,” says the Sonoma Community Center’s Toni Castrone. “Back in the day, folks would dig a fire pit in the plaza and roast a whole ox. These days, we’re more considerate of the natural setting of our plaza, so we use giant firebox barbecues and roast a thousand pounds of beef.”

A “Sauce Your Ox” barbecue sauce competition will be judged by popular vote with music supplied by the Air Force Band Mobility and BackTrax. Ducks on the square have been advised to waddle away from the enormous grills for the day.

The Sonoma ox roast takes place Sunday, June 5, on the Sonoma Plaza. Food at 11am, music at 1pm. 707.938.4626.