Monday, August 24, 2009

Horsefeathers (Sherrills Ford)

Last week I visited Horsefeathers, and I've spent the better part of the week trying to put together my feelings on the place. When I got there I was expecting more. The building is owned and was rebuilt by the folks that own the Prickly Pear -- one of my favorite area restaurants. However, this is like comparing enchiladas and fried okra. Both are delicious and unique, and they should never be brought together.

Then it hit me yesterday, Horsefeathers is a Lake Tavern / Roadhouse, and should be compared to other comparable restaurants . . . though, I'm not sure that there are currently any similar experiences in the Lake Norman area.

Horsefeathers is in a rehabbed building. The property had been closed for 8 years, and the past two years have been spent bringing it to a higher level. The exterior looks new, as does the roof and patio. The interior appears new, but doesn't scream it. The walls are covered with old signs, folksy sayings, and even a photo of the Marlboro Man, and much of the simple furniture in the dining room appears new. But don't let that fool you, this place seems to have quite the following of locals at the Saloon upstairs.

My buddy and I walked in the door to the Saloon (next to the pool tables), not knowing that the Dining Room was downstairs. As we entered the conversation immediately stopped, and everybody turned to look at us. Apparently the New Yorker driving a Mini Cooper (which was parked between two Ford F-150 pickups) and this California boy, stuck out like a sore thumb. Needless to say, we quickly found our way to the Dining Room!

Once we made it to the Dining Room, our waitress took us to our seats. As I mentioned before, the interior appears to be relatively new, but it still conveys the atmosphere of a lakeside roadhouse. Though we were in the non-smoking section, the smell of smoke was still in the air -- which actually seemed appropriate for this place.

A friend recommended the Hawg Wings to me a while ago, so I placed and order for that appetizer when the waitress took our drink orders. Hawg Wings are individual pork ribs shanks (I chose BBQ), which have been cut so that an inch of clean bone is available at one end for grabbing. This makes the ribs shanks very easy to eat, and also keeps your fingers (relatively) clean too!

The Hawg Wings were quite good. They were moist, tender, and topped with a thick western-style BBQ sauce - my favorite! These "Wings" were especially good after my last rib experience at Outback!! There was simply no comparison, and Horsefeathers was the winner.

After the Hawg Wings, the waitress brought our lunch orders -- I ordered the pulled BBQ sandwich and a side of fried okra. It should be noted that Horsefeathers has their own smokehouse, and the flavor shines through in their BBQ. The pulled pork had the same sauce as the Hawg Wings, and in all honesty I wasn't thinking when I ordered the sandwich. The Hawg Wings and the sandwich both consist of BBQ pork. Therefore the sandwich was good, but I was a little over-loaded on BBQ.

I was surprised to see that their BBQ only consists of the thicker western-style BBQ sauce, and not the NC vinegar-based BBQ sauce that I've become accustomed to. It's not a criticism, just an observation.

However, when it came to the sides, I was a little underwhelmed. My fried okra, and my friend's onion rings seemed like they were just standard frozen sides that were poured into a deep-frier and cooked. They were OK, but they weren't anything special.

But our waitress was great and considering she appeared to be the only person working the dining room, I was even more impressed.

Horsefeathers is definitely off the beaten path. But it appears that they already have a good local following. In addition, they're continually working to enhance the property, and are currently working on the lakefront portion of their land. (They're on the tip of a small inlet.) This place has improved a ton in just two years, a lot of TLC has gone into Horsefeathers. And it looks like the place will continue to improve for years to come.

In addition, they offer a jam-packed calendar that is loaded with events and specials. I recommend you take a look, and if something strikes your fancy, give them a try.

Atmosphere: 4/5 (Nice, new, and clean lake tavern -- no lake views from the dining room)
Food: 3.5/5
Service: 4/5
Total: 11.5/15

Price: $$ (Sandwich, appetizer, and tea were about $14)
Kid Friendly: Yes. They have a couple of kids meal deals. Under 10 eat free on Sundays, and they have a Kids Night on Tuesdays -- though I'm not sure what that entails. Call them for details.

Conclusion: One of the nicer lake taverns around. Their BBQ is good, and the Hawg Wings are a new (and cleaner) take on a standard messy dish. On a nicer day I'd enjoy having a beer on their deck -- it's quite impressive.

Restaurant Info:
3746 Mount Pleasant Rd.
Sherrills Ford, NC 28673
p) 704-966-0192


  1. Hawg wings are not ribs cut to your liking, they are pork shanks. Taste is very similar to ribs but a whole lot meatier and ,as you said, easier to handle.
    You really should have one of the burgers at Horsefeathers, they are unbeatable. BTW, don't be afraid of us locals next time. Just come have a seat around the big bar and enjoy the conversation.

  2. I stand corrected! That said, I'll change my posting to reflect that Hawg Wings are indeed shanks, and not ribs. My bad.

    Also, I'll be sure to join you at the bar! I hear that Horsefeathers has a state-of-the-art coolng and pressure system that perfectly keeps 24 on-tap beers.