While most of us are still getting ready in the morning, Hall of Flame BBQ's grill masters have already began slow-smoking dry-rubbed portions of pulled pork and beef brisket. That’s because each meat takes 12 hours to smoke before it’s basted with from-scratch barbecue sauces. Diners can pair their meaty mains with classic from-scratch sides, such as mashed potatoes crowned with white pepper gravy and coleslaw.
Though the eatery’s cooks consider barbecue a kind of comfort food, they aren’t afraid to experiment. Hall of Flame’s signature bacon-wrapped beef frank, for instance, arrives topped with pulled pork, slaw, and cheese sauce. And each order of deep-fried wings comes tossed in your choice of 30 sauces, from Death by Garlic to black cherry habanero.
The Railroad House's corner bar appeal and faithful airing of favored sporting events helped it earn the honor of being named best neighborhood bar in 2009 by Berks County Living magazine. Their 8 oz. Black Angus burgers beg for customization, with an abundance of complimentary extras that cover everything from spicy patty rubs to extra meats, cheeses, sauces, and more. The menu also offers chicken and cheese steak sandwiches and a variety of specialty hot sandwiches like the Country breaded steak with gravy, the fried cod fish, and the hot dog. In addition to televisions showcasing the latest backgammon tournaments, their bar also has non-sports-related entertainment aplenty, with trivia challenge events, open mic nights, and live music performances.
For more than 30 years, the team at Woody’s Bar B Q has been perfecting its methods for slow-roasted meats to cook melt-in-your-mouth ribs, brisket, and other specialty barbecue recipes. From the signature full rack of baby back ribs—slow cooked in Woody’s secret marinade recipe—to tender, slow-smoked north carolina pork, savory meats take center stage at the casual, family-friendly eateries. Woody’s Bar B Q was initially founded in Jacksonville, Florida, and now can be found in several states—like Ben Franklin’s progeny.
There's no hurry at Uncle Buck's BBQ. The chefs slow-cook and smoke meats such as ribs, brisket, and chicken, imbuing each plate with a tenderness that can't be rushed. Even the Old World-style pizzas have to bake inside a traditional brick oven long enough for the cheese to melt over and around the assorted toppings, such as pulled pork, sweet peppers, and garlic. Sub sandwiches and hamburgers, wings tossed in one of four sauces, and hefty steaks round out the menu of neighborhood-style American cuisine.
With its wood-paneled wainscoting and robin's-egg blue walls, the restaurant's dining area embraces the same casual, down-home charm as the menu. Outside, a wooden patio seats diners beneath an aluminum roof that provides better sun protection than a parasol slathered with sunscreen.
Fat Jack's BBQ’s proprietor Glenn Gross has always been passionate about barbecue. Starting at the age of 11, Glenn manned the grill at family cookouts, fine-tuning his technique and flavors over the years. He eventually brushed aside career paths in dentistry and music to claim his favorite job title⎯pitmaster.
In order to develop the combination of meats, rubs, and sauces that Fat Jack’s uses to this day, in the early ’90s, Glenn traveled to the nation's barbecue meccas—Texas, the Carolinas, Kansas City, and Memphis. He learned how to create dishes such as Carolina pulled pork, St. Louis–style ribs, and Texas beef brisket. Now, his rich blends of spice rubs and notes of smoke have won him more than 200 national and local awards and various bear hugs.