One of the biggest complaints I have about the area in which we are currently living is the lack of good restaurants. I’m originally from the Columbus area, where if you can think it when it comes to food, you can find it. I grew up with no end of delicious, unique choices when it came to food. I then spent four years in Huntington, WV (see “Black Sheep Burrito And Brews”). Huntington certainly had fewer places than Columbus, but still offered plenty of variety to keep me happy.

I now live in Wellsburg, WV, a small town in Brooke County. Wellsburg does have its charms, such as a complete lack of traffic, strong family ties, and delightful small town events such as the recent Fourth of July parade and fireworks display. However, until about the past year or so, if we wished to go out to eat honestly our best option was Applebees and we had to drive half an hour just for that! Wellsburg does offer a few local places to eat (most have them have angered me to the point they have made my infamous “list”). We also have a Pizza Hut and a Wendy’s. I mean, seriously, I cannot stress enough how few options we have.

Because of this, I am always thrilled when a new opportunity for gastronomic delight surfaces. I now have a few favorites in my arsenal (ones which I hope to frequent again soon so I can review!), but I am always on the lookout to try new places. The BBQ House has been open for a while now, and I only just recently had a chance to try it out.

The BBQ house is located across the street from our local Kroger. It is literally a house-turned-eatery. From the street, it doesn’t look like much-just a grey house on the corner with a small gravel parking lot in front and an unassuming sign on its façade. Inside is none too fancy, either. It boasts two “rooms” with a handful of plastic clad tables and paper placemats. I have to admit, sometimes these kinds of “hole-in-the-wall” places can be my favorite. I was really excited to try the food I had been smelling for months as I passed this place on a daily basis on my way home from work (for those of you wondering why it took me so long to try the BBQ House if I claim to look out for new places, it is because my husband is not a big fan of BBQ).

As we walked in the door, we were greeted by the cook who warned us that an entire baseball team had just eaten a large portion of his food, including all his ribs. He claimed 44 people had been in the place, and I could not imagine how crowded that must have been as the place is only designed to hold maybe 25 people comfortably. But I give credit to the cook for the warning.

The menu offerings are quite simple: BBQ staples of pulled chicken or pork, choices of BBQ sauce, burgers, and a smoked meats section (smoked on the premises). The sides included essentials such as fries and sweet potato fries, cole slaw, and homemade mac and cheese. My mouth watered just perusing the menu.

At this point, I think it’s appropriate to mention that we were the only patrons within the place. We were a table of five. We ordered our meals, sticking to the basics and avoiding anything we were told was unavailable because of the baseball team. I ordered a pulled pork sandwich, homemade mac and cheese (one of my favorite comfort foods when done well), and a bowl of potato soup.

I was not timing our wait (I wish I had). I admit that time may have seemed to go slower because we were hungry and anticipating a delicious meal. But an honest guess is that we waited 40 minutes for our food. When the food finally did come, our waitress auctioned it. I know this is a small thing and normally I wouldn’t care, but I feel like when we are the only customers in the building, a good waitress should probably remember who ordered what. On top of that, she did not bring a spoon for my soup. I’m still waiting for that spoon-I ended up eating the soup with my fork. The food was served not on plates but in plastic baskets lined with paper and in Styrofoam bowls. The style of presentation only added to the whimsy of the “hole-in-the-wall” establishment. After we were served, the waitress never once checked on us (if you couldn’t tell from my lack of spoon).

The service was off-putting, but I still eagerly bit into that saucy sandwich. And the BBQ pork sandwich was awesome. The pork was flavorful, moist, and tender. I did not run into any large globs of fat that sometimes accompanies sub-par BBQ. The bun was a plain hamburger bun, and I have to say what would have made that sandwich even better would have been a better bun-maybe something with sesame seeds on top. But otherwise, the sandwich was great (I want another one right now just thinking about it!).

I wish I could say the same thing for the rest of the food. The mac and cheese was terrible-it was grainy and had such little flavor I actually put ketchup on it in an attempt to make it better (it didn’t work). The soup was more of the same-bland.

I also tried someone else’s BBQ chicken. Although it was good, it had a much more smoky flavor than that of the pork. I would recommend the pork over the chicken. I also tried the fries. While everyone else liked the fries for the lack of grease, I found them disappointing also. They didn’t offer a nice bite of potato that I like with thicker fries, nor did they offer the welcoming of sour flavor as with skinny “fair” fries (which I like to pair with vinegar when available), nor did they offer the crispy crunch that some fries offer. They simply acted as a vehicle for the ketchup in this case.

Overall, the BBQ house was a huge disappointment-I really wanted to like this establishment and add it to my short list. But one delicious sandwich and an hour+ of terrible service will likely not be enough to lure me back.

Since we recently took a trip to the Outer Banks, you can be on the lookout for a short mini-series of reviews from that area. If you are planning to visit there this summer, be sure to check out my reviews to make the most of your vacation! Until next time, bon appétit!

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