City Barbeque originally started right here in Columbus, Ohio in 1999. Actually, our CbusFoodBloggers event was at the original City BBQ location and prior to that, it was a doughnut shop (I have to wonder which one considering my love of donuts). Although there are now locations in over 6 states totaling more than 45 restaurants, they still stay true to their values of being a hometown restaurant meaning, they don’t franchise. Each location is a true City BBQ location and still uses competition tested and techniques across all stores. They have a true respect for tradition and culture.
Barbeque is meat that is smoked for a long time at a low temperature over indirect heat. Each City Barbeque joint smokes its own barbeque onsite for up to 18 hours using smokers that are stocked with Columbus local hickory wood. Barbeque can make people nervous though with questions like – it’s pink which must mean it’s overcooked OR it’s burnt, it’s overcooked. BUT all the meat they serve is fully cooked. The pink color that we see is the smoke ring and an indicator of how slowly a piece of meat was cooked in the smoker. So actually that pink you see is a sign you’re about to enjoy some delicious Barbeque. As for being burnt, that’s just the crust that forms when you add a spice rub and let that smoke for a long period of time and it should be a tasty chewy crust you can’t wait to sink your teeth into.
We started this meal with BIG plastic cups of our favorite drinks. Of course, I had to have the sweet tea – endless amounts of sweet tea for me, please! More than just a restaurant, City Barbeque also caters for some amazing events, Everything from graduation parties to weddings making it easy enough to leave the delicious eats up to them. And with the ability to personalize these events you can take into account the needs of your guest. They offer things like the allergen info and can provide many gluten-free options really making this the perfect meal for everyone. Even those non-meat eaters can enjoy the delicious sides available.
City Barbeque treats their guest with backyard hospitality. Meaning they treat everyone like guests in their home to show just how much they care not only about them but about the experience they have. Stories I heard show just how committed they are to serving and creating happiness. All of the staff is so gracious and accommodating. I think what people love most is not just the food but the experience they get – while we were there a busload of hungry teenagers came in and although the place was packed, the atmosphere was buzzing with excitement. You could really tell they were excited to have everyone there rather than the dread of all the people. City Barbeque really stepped up to the plate and hit it out of the park being hospitable from start to finish.
Cornbread or Texas Toast? I’m not sure I can ever decide. The Texas toast is soft and fluffy just like a great angel food cake. But the cornbread was warm, sweet and so very delicious good! Let’s also talk about their open kitchen area. You can see exactly what is happening behind the scenes like watching those side dishes made from scratch. The smokers are going all day, every day, even when no one is there. They also value the importance of working in an actual City Barbeque restaurant so even those that work in the corporate office have to work all the jobs in the restaurants first.
I’ve been to City Barbeque before, but this really allowed me a chance to try some of the sides that I’ve passed on. We got to try the baked beans, mac & cheese, corn pudding, potato salad, green beans and collard greens. Corn pudding has been a long-standing favorite but the brisket baked beans and those collard greens – those now have my heart! And the sides were such compliments to the meats. Each entrée and side dish was better than the first!
We were served the motherload of meats and the motherload was seriously just that. The Motherload!!!!! All the meats were so moist, tender, and tasty! They brought out huge trays with turkey, chicken, sausage, pulled pork, and ribs. After this experience, I’ve learned I need to start ordering the ribs. They were finger licking, bite off the bone amazing. At City Barbeque they say bite off instead of fall off the bone because as BBQ competitions standards go – you should be able to bite a rib, pull away from the meat with your teeth with a gentle tug and see a bite mark from where you took the bite. If the ribs are falling off the bone – in City Barbeques opinion, they are overcooked. The brisket was very tender and delicious and I couldn’t get over how good the chicken was. I tried all the meats naked before adding one of their signature BBQ sauces. Delicious on their own but even better with a bit of the sweet or spicy brushfire BBQ sauce.
In my opinion, no meal is complete without a dessert and we were able to experience two signature ones. The banana pudding which wasn’t overly sweet provided the perfect relief from the smokiness of the meats. Paula Deen is such a fan of City Barbeques banana pudding that she added it her “10 to Try” list in the February edition of Cooking with Paula Deen. Made with fresh bananas, creamy pudding, and vanilla wafers, served in a caramel-drizzled parfait cup and topped with homemade whipped cream, a ‘nilla wafer crumble, and even more caramel sauce… No wonder Paula Deen is a fan.
We also snagged a piece of the triple chocolate cake – chocolate cake topped with chocolate icing and chocolate chips. It’s a chocolate lovers (and Jordan’s) dream come true!
To celebrate National BBQ Month (and mother’s day and fathers day) City BBQ is giving a bonus $5 card for every $30 purchased through June 17, 2018. They are also spending the month servicing the communities by bringing meats and sides to the local shelters in the area. Here in Columbus, they are bringing dinner to the men’s shelter at Faith Mission Emergency Shelter.
We came, we ate, we conquered the Motherload!
(various locations throughout the City)
2111 W Henderson Road
Blog Post and Photos by:
Nikki Seeley, Sweetly Cbus