J & W Bar-b-que
On Montgomery Rd. at Lawndale
(At border of Norwood and Pleasant Ridge in Cincinnati) EDIT:
Busuiness hours as of July 2006: Thursday-Saturday 11-8
Well, on my way back from a meeting, I’d thought I’d stop by a barbeque establishment that I have not eaten at for more than a year and give it a current go. J & W Bar-b-que is a local (to me anyway) “side of the road” joint that has been around for some 5 or so years. It used to reside across the street in the lot of a small pony keg where the large smoker/bbq pit ran late hours and was locked in at nite by huge metal wagon wheels. Quite a sight indeed. Well they decided to get a semi-permanent trailer and move across the street where patrons at least had a place to park. Keen idea that was.
Last time I ate here I had the pork tips by default as most of the menu was depleted, and was slightly disappointed. Thought I’d try again as this place qualifies in that gray area between cart food and brick and mortar restaurant and the sides last time were enough to come back for.
As I was there for lunch today, I was looking for something kinda in the Goldilocks realm (not too big, not too small—just right). They had shredded pork listed for $2.75 and I asked if it could be made into a sandwich w/bbq sauce. They happily accommodated me (I assume this is a common order) and I asked for a side of mac n cheese which was listed at 1.00, but I was charged only $0.75.
Well, for a total of $3.50, the portion size was huge as you can see (filled up a large size take away container!). I could have actually made two sandwiches from the meat that they provided for my one purchase. As for the food, the pulled pork seemed not to be brined prior to cooking, so there were parts that seemed drier than others, but the meat was doen to perfection. The smoke flavor was present, but not overwhelming. BBQ sauce options were mild and hot, and I went for the hot, which was spicy with a nice dose of vinegar, but not overly spicy for most folks. (I will order extra BBQ sauce next time I go as I ran out of sauce before I ran out of meat.) The pork was tender and definitely made with love, and would be something I could eat once a week for lunch all summer long should my waistline agree which I doubt.
The mac n cheese was creamy with large elbow macaroni noodles, making my guess that this too was made locally or on site and a local favorite. No small elbows to indicate box stuff, and no caking to say cooked to long.
Specials included bbq pigs feet and greens and cornbread for the die hards as well as a full line of pork, beef and chicken. Burgers and the like are also offered. Prices outside of the sandwiches are midrange, and I’ll have to go back to sample the ribs and a few other bits when I get a chance. Hours are kinda whacky and intermittent (but they are always there on Friday and Saturday for lunch through late dinner), but if you are ever in the Kenwood or Norwood area and care to pop down Montgomery Rd. for some reasonably priced rustic but good BBQ fare, I’d check it out.
(Oh, they do have a picnic table if you care to eat there. And by "a", I mean one).