Your Guide to Authentic Regional Eats
Sign In | Register for Free!
Restaurants Recipes Forums Eating Tours Merchandise FAQ Maps Insider

Voss' Bar-B-Q

Route 5A, Yorkville, NY - (nop) hon-e
Posted By Bill Homan on 10/1/2008 11:27:00 AM
Voss BBQ, to me, is the epitome of what Roadfood is all about. No phone, no website, cash only, outdoor seating only (your car or their picnic tables), seasonal hours from Memorial Day to Thanksgiving and great BBQ sandwiches. When you order, they give you a magnetic letter (or number) and you wait until it is called over the P.A. system. I started eating here around 15 years ago and I have been hooked ever since.

The Voss family has been serving up BBQ sandwiches, hot dogs, and ice cream to locals since 1938. They have a huge milk bottle that sits atop the building with the VOSS name on it. Like the Stern's theory that animals on top of restaurants are a good sign, this milk bottle (they sell ice cream) is a kissing cousin that definitely supports that theory.

The Mexi-Burger is a burger with their homemade spicy chili (beanless), chunks of American cheese, and chopped raw onions; slightly spicy, and buttery from the bun, the meat, cheese, and onions all come through. The Honest John brand hot dog they use has a good snap and is actually the first hot dog I ever truly enjoyed. They cook it on the flat-top, which gives it a nice crust.

The BBQ sandwiches are what really sets this place apart from all others. The meat is moist and is elevated to near perfection when slathered in their homemade sauce! It's a terrific balance of sweet and heat that creeps up on you about halfway through the sandwich. It's not a burning heat, but it makes my lips happy.

The thing about BBQ sandwiches at Voss': it's not about the meat. That pretty much flies in the face of most BBQ logic, but it really works! No pits or smoked meat here. Voss' key strength lies in the sauce, but the buttered Freihofer's buns (the type as well as the preparation) are important too. They add great taste and a crispy texture.

They have a separate window at which you can order ice cream. Recently, I tried the black raspberry and maple walnut hard ice cream. I didn't like the black raspberry as I found it to be sugary sweet, which left the intended flavor in the background. The maple walnut was right on point with an assertive maple flavor and good crunchy nuts throughout.

I usually eat in my car or while standing at the red runner (my personal favorite spot as I could watch them cooking and assembling the orders through the window) alongside the building. Whenever I'm in Central NY, I find myself scheming to get newcomers to come to Voss. I'd change my schedule to fit in a visit or two. Voss' really is worthy of a special trip. I don't presume to have anywhere near the breadth and depth of experience as the Sterns, but if I may paraphrase: If the warden asks me what I want for my last meal, I think I'd have to say Voss BBQ sandwiches (with extra sauce)!

8 out of 10 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes

Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
All-The-Way dogs
Pork BBQ Sandwich
barbecue sandwiches
Beef BBQ Sandwich
Mexi-Burger
French Fries
Turkey BBQ Sandwich
Pistachio Shake
Ham BBQ Sandwich
Chocolate Malt
Hot Dog
Black Raspberry Ice Cream
Mexi-Dog
Red Birch Beer
Maple Walnut Ice Cream
Rate this place

Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

The ham BBQ sandwich is almost as good as the turkey BBQ sandwich.
"The ham BBQ sandwich is almost as good as the turkey BBQ sandwich."
Bill Homan





Turkey BBQ sandwiches, with extra sauce, every time!  One of my all-time favorite meals.
"Turkey BBQ sandwiches, with extra sauce, every time! One of my all-time favorite meals."
Bill Homan


A favorite of mine for the past 15 years: a Mexi-Burger.
"A favorite of mine for the past 15 years: a Mexi-Burger."
Bill Homan


A Central NY institution since 1938.
"A Central NY institution since 1938."
Bill Homan


These beauties get a few turns on the griddle until they develop a nice crust.
"These beauties get a few turns on the griddle until they develop a nice crust."
Bill Homan


And the Bar-B-Q Beef sandwich is a winner too.
"And the Bar-B-Q Beef sandwich is a winner too."
Bill Homan


Lots of good maple flavor and crunchy nuts make this a winner.
"Lots of good maple flavor and crunchy nuts make this a winner."
Bill Homan


Pretty standard fries, but they are elevated when dunked into the unique BBQ sauce.
"Pretty standard fries, but they are elevated when dunked into the unique BBQ sauce."
Bill Homan


This dog has a good crust and nice snap.
"This dog has a good crust and nice snap."
Bill Homan


My 'heavy' chocolate malt.  Voss offers 'thin' and 'heavy' options and this one was excellent.  It gave me a most pleasant surprise when I discovered some undissolved nuggets of malt powder at the bottom.
"My 'heavy' chocolate malt. Voss offers 'thin' and 'heavy' options and this one was excellent. It gave me a most pleasant surprise when I discovered some undissolved nuggets of malt powder at the bottom."
Bill Homan


The Bar-B Q Pork sandwich is pretty good, especially on that buttered and griddled bun and slathered in homemade bar-b-q sauce!
"The Bar-B Q Pork sandwich is pretty good, especially on that buttered and griddled bun and slathered in homemade bar-b-q sauce!"
Bill Homan


Griddling the buttered buns is key to the taste experience at Voss'.
"Griddling the buttered buns is key to the taste experience at Voss'."
Bill Homan


This somewhat sweet version is the style that I grew up drinking.
"This somewhat sweet version is the style that I grew up drinking."
Bill Homan


Pretty standard fries, but they are elevated when dunked into the unique BBQ sauce.
"Pretty standard fries, but they are elevated when dunked into the unique BBQ sauce."
Bill Homan


A very delicious 'heavy' pistachio shake that was full of nutty flavor.
"A very delicious 'heavy' pistachio shake that was full of nutty flavor."
Bill Homan


Voss has been around since the early 1900's.
"Voss has been around since the early 1900's."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


They have soft-serve and hard-pack.
"They have soft-serve and hard-pack."
Bill Homan


On this rare balmy November day in the Utica area, some people are dining outside, others are waiting for their plastic letters to be called.
"On this rare balmy November day in the Utica area, some people are dining outside, others are waiting for their plastic letters to be called."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


My 'go-to' order nearly every time I visit: a Mexi-Dog and BBQ Ham sandwich with extra sauce.  There has been talk that Voss switched from the Honest John hot dog to the Rochester-based Zweigle's brand.  I did taste a difference, but it was still a really good dog.
"My 'go-to' order nearly every time I visit: a Mexi-Dog and BBQ Ham sandwich with extra sauce. There has been talk that Voss switched from the Honest John hot dog to the Rochester-based Zweigle's brand. I did taste a difference, but it was still a really good dog."
Bill Homan


Stand in line, get your number (or letter), place your order and wait for them to call it out through the window.  I still get excited whenever I hear mine!
"Stand in line, get your number (or letter), place your order and wait for them to call it out through the window. I still get excited whenever I hear mine!"
Bill Homan


Voss now has a location at the Utica Zoo and a third spot at a local marina in Ilion, NY.
"Voss now has a location at the Utica Zoo and a third spot at a local marina in Ilion, NY."
Bill Homan


The shorthand code used by employees when taking down customers' orders.
"The shorthand code used by employees when taking down customers' orders."
Bill Homan


The menu from July 10, 2015. (Click on photo for a better view)
"The menu from July 10, 2015. (Click on photo for a better view)"
Bill Homan



What is Roadfood?  |   Submit Content  |   Privacy Policy  |   Contact Roadfood.com   Copyright - Roadfood.com