Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lancasters BBQ (Huntersville)

Since I moved here, I've learned that there are four things that North Carolinians take seriously: 1) March Madness; 2) NASCAR; 3) Football; 4) BBQ. And I can't think of a place in the area that does a more serious BBQ than Lancasters off of Beatties Ford Road.

I gotta be honest, I tend to prefer a thick, molasses-based Texas Style BBQ. BUT Lancasters is making me question my preference.

When I went there yesterday I was promptly seated, and the sweet tea I ordered came to my table in less than 60 seconds. My waitress apologized that the hush puppies were being made and would take a couple of minutes. Really? An apology for fresh hush-puppies?? Heck, I should be THANKING her for the impending deliciousness!

After looking over the menu I decided on the BBQ with two sides, beans and onion rings. While waiting for the food, I took a couple of minutes to take-in my surroundings. Lancasters is very clean, and has a good atmosphere for a BBQ place. The restaurant is decorated with an automotive theme, with old gas pumps in the corners, and a NASCAR engine in the back and race-car hoods on the ceiling.

After those couple of minutes, my meal came out, along with piping-hot hush puppies. Even though I knew they were just out of the fryer, I reached in, grabbed a hush puppy, and took a bite. YUMMY! The burned fingers were worth it! Then I looked at my heaping plate of food. Lancasters is nice, but it IS still a BBQ place -- the food came on a paper plate with plastic utensils. But, in all honesty, that doesn't bother me -- it kinda goes with the informal atmosphere.

The BBQ Pork was amazing. Flavorful and moist, even before I applied the Carolina vinegar-based sauce. Once I added the sauce, it was even better. The sauce added a refreshing tanginess with a hint of heat, and I devoured everything it touched. The beans were great, I love BBQ beans, and these exceeded my expectations. Keep in mind -- these are NOT vegetarian beans (though, I don't know if anything in Lancasters is vegetarian), so choose accordingly.

And lastly on the plate were the Onion Rings. These were huge onion rings, with a thick layer of crunchy fried batter. Nothing was soggy, and they were among the top 5 onion rings that I've ever had.

Needless to say, I ate waaaay too much, and today the scale hates me. But it was worth it -- how many meals can you say that about? In addition, it should be noted that the wait staff at Lancasters were awesome. My sweet tea was never empty, (something which my bladder didn't appreciate). And they were so friendly, I almost felt like I was a regular -- though the last time I'd eaten there was about a year ago.

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Total: 12/15
Price: $ (Including tip, I was out of there for less than $10)

Conclusion: Friendly service, huge portions, and great prices make this place a fantastic value. If you're in the mood for BBQ, this is the place to go to.

Restaurant Info:
Lancasters BBQ
9230 Beatties Ford Road
Huntersville, NC 28078

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