Last weekend we got out to Western Massachusetts, in part to do some genealogical sleuthing and in part to check out this highly lauded restaurant. I was quite worried that the place would be not only packed but would have such long lines that there would be no hope of eating there. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised to find there were seats--at least before dinner time on Sunday.
The restaurant is in an old church, and diners sit on the (rearranged) pews. The personable owner/pit master is Lou Ekus; his son, Seth, is in charge of the rest of the food, and his wife is in charge of the dining area. (I think she was over near the cash register.) Here is a run-down on the food:
Chicken--perfectly cooked and basted with a sweet sauce. Although this was good, it was a tad too sweet for me.
Pork Ribs--excellent, with the meat easily pulled off the bone with one's fork. Even my 13-year-old daughter liked this (in spite of her reluctance to go there at all).
Pulled Pork--nice and tangy.
Short Ribs--the chef and the waiter told us that we had made a mistake in not ordering these. My excuse was that when I was reading the glowing reviews of the ribs, I didn't know whether they were the short ribs or the spareribs. I therefore got an order of them to go. They seemed to be VERY good, although my reheating (even according to the explicit directions I got) did
not do them justice.
Chef's Beans--good, but even better when I added a bit of the chipotle barbecue sauce to them.
Tuscan White Beans--nice and herby. I liked them better than the highly lauded Chef's beans.
Coleslaw--nice and fresh. Hand cut, and not sweet, thank goodness. I actually liked this better the next day.
Corn bread--a bit rubbery. Not great.
French Fries--freshly cooked and made from real hunks of potato (I only say this because that is not necessarily the norm now, alas).
Mac and Cheese--very good, if one is in the mood for such.
Chipotle BBQ Sauce--good if used sparingly.
Mild Sauce--good but sweet.
Bread Pudding--excellent, with a soft interior and crispy topping.
Nanaimo Bar--my daughter said it was REALLY good.
Lemonade--fresh and good, but not outstanding.
Note: you get free refills of your beverages.
This was a worthwhile expedition. Although not perfect (they're working on that!), it is the best barbecue I have had in this area. Hmmm, when I can get back out there?
Holy Smokes Barbeque [sic] and Whole Hog House
9 Church Ave.
M, W, Th + Su 11-9; F + Sa 11-10.
Pig roast Wednesdays; slow-roasted prime rib Fridays.