Wednesday, January 16, 2008

BBQ in the Mountaineer State

The Blues BBQ restaurant in Charleston, West Virginia, is a little like the house that "doesn't show well." As I drove slowly past it last night, looking for a parking space, I had brief second thoughts. The storefront of the restaurant looked a little too much like a dive bar — and only a handful of customers were inside. Was I making a mistake?

I entered, and 45 minutes later I was very pleased I did. They served excellent pulled pork with four sauces (including a thai peanut sauce — a bit strange to this barbecue purist, but I tried it on some of my pork, and somehow it worked). Another oddity: one of the accompaniments was sauerkraut, perhaps a reflection of German heritage in this pocket of W.V.?

Anyway, barbecue is not the only thing on their menu. They also offer more than a dozen excellent beers and ales.

The owner, a Red Sox fan transplanted from Rhode Island, was charming and fussed appropriately over her customers.

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