An oasis of barbecue goodness off Highway 25, the bright red roof of Huntin Camp BBQ and Grill draws drivers' attention to the restaurant. Among wood-paneled walls, taxidermy animals, and local sports memorabilia, diners tuck into meals of homestyle ribs, wings, steaks, and burgers. Lunch and supper buffets present a chance to sample a little bit of everything, like heaping portions of sides such as hush puppies, baked beans, and sweet potatoes.
As they enter under the hanging wood sign bearing a carving of grapes and shuffle past the gray stone and golden stucco façade, patrons at Kozani Restaurant & Bar find themselves transported to the warm kitchens and rolling vineyards of the Mediterranean. Aromas from spices imported from Italy, Greece, Israel, and Lebanon waft through the dining room, signaling the arrival of Mediterranean dishes, including recipes from head chef Tim Robinson's favored region of Emilia Romagna. While he focuses on Northern Italian dishes, the chef also consistently snares an eclectic blend of local ingredients, such as produce and seafood, and crafts gluten-free versions of every dish on the menu. He often appears on the floor to meet clientele, roaming the dining room to chat with diners and make sure their forks have the proper number of prongs. To compliment his dishes, the serving staff often pairs meals with more than 80 wines hailing from Europe, South and North America, and Australia.
Bucky's Bar-B-Q owner Wayne Preston honed his craft at a young age, spending boyhood afternoons in his father's meatpacking plant and Wednesday nights preparing suppers for his local church. Word about Wayne's saucy ribs and pulled pork spread shortly after he founded his own roadside barbecue stand, forcing him?like the barbecue-sauce barons of years past?to expand his operations to new frontiers. Today, each of Bucky's four locations fashions heaping plates of never-frozen Boston butt, tender chicken, and St. Louis?style ribs in the traditional country style: hand-rubbed with secret seasonings and slow-cooked over a smoky fire of hickory chips. Three housemade sauces garnish slices of juicy meat served alongside traditional sides of baked beans, coleslaw, and sweet potatoes. When they aren't dishing out meals in the restaurant, Bucky's tireless staff serves parties, formal events, weddings, and flash mobs as large as 1,500 people with fully catered barbecue feasts.
Wayne shares his more than 15 years of barbecuing expertise with aspiring grill masters during in-depth classes offered at his Roper Mountain and Donaldson Center locations. Students not only learn the art behind sauces and rub but also get to eat their class materials.
Tom Engel burst onto the culinary scene in 1977 when he opened Richards Cafe and Little Richards. Now, in his eponymous house of barbecue, he draws on more than 30 years of culinary experience to roast brisket, chicken, and carolina pork shoulder, drawing out their natural flavors with one of nine sauces. These savory potions—which range from sweet and mild to spicy to Cheerwine sauce—sizzle on the grill, punching up a menu that overflows with homestyle treats such as hush puppies, meaty barbecue baked potatoes, and saucy ribs. Tom's BBQ also deliver catered Southern feasts to parties, special events, and straw houses to send their residents a stern message.
Established in 2009, Mojo’s Famous Burgers mingles classic American eats with rockabilly music and décor inspired by tattoo art at two locations. The menu harkens to '50s diner fare with hand-cut onion rings, old-fashioned milk shakes, and build-your-own burgers with two patty sizes. A selection of specialty burgers crowns premium aged beef with toppings inspired by regional flavors—Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Philly, or Hawaiian style—and the chef’s favorite natural disaster. The eatery’s wall of fame commemorates diners who chowed through a food challenge featuring quadruple cheeseburgers or loaded foot-long hot dogs.