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Road Hog BBQ & Catering

Review No. 149: Road Hog BBQ & Catering

2850 Prince Street. Suite 99

(501) 329-1280

68.34 percent finished reviewing Conway restaurants

 

The Situation

He Said: I was driving down Prince Street the other day and noticed that a new restaurant had opened in the space on the corner of Prince and Salem where the defunct Bear’s Bistro used to be. Another barbecue place? Well, at least it wasn’t another Mexican restaurant. But BBQ does have a lot of competition here. Anyway I reported back to She Said, who immediately put it on her Master List and presto, it came up this week. They’ve been open about three weeks now.

It does appear that Road Hog BBQ & Catering is a spinoff of Road Hog in Morrilton, since the hours and menus seem to be similar. It also appears that they may have started out as a food truck, since there is one parked on the premises. But they don’t really have a Website, just a Facebook page, so there isn’t a lot of information about the place readily available. I can tell you that you’ll probably want to go there for lunch or an early supper, since they close a little early, at 7 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday. I can also tell you that if you get there around 4 on a Tuesday afternoon, you’ll likely have the place almost to yourself.

She Said: I had come from a big work presentation, and I was famished. It was also a low-carb day for me (which means more fat!) so I thought barbecue would be in order, as I could order just the meat and choose my sides a la carte.

 

Ambience:

He Said: The place is huge. I don’t remember Bear’s Bistro being so big, but it may simply be that when we ate there the back room wasn’t open. We ate in the back room this time and it seemed quite large, especially since we were the only ones there when we sat down. It was pretty quiet, not only because of the small number of people in the large space, but also because there wasn’t any music playing, which was a little unusual. Loud music in a restaurant is often annoying or distracting. Silence can be as well.

She Said: Yeah, the lack of ambient sounds made me feel like we were there when it was closed and made me feel a little self-conscious. Of course, I don’t love super loud restaurants, either, but some white noise such as music would be a nice improvement. The décor overall is pretty utilitarian, though they have added some wall art and funny sayings. I don’t love the name, myself, but perhaps I’m too delicate of a flower to want to eat at a place called “Road Hog”; I don’t love the connotations.

He Said: I know, right? The first thing I think of is “road kill.”

 

Drinks

He Said: They seem to have Coke products here (not listed on the menu). I had a Dr. Pepper (no root beer available). I was fine, as Dr. Pepper goes.

She Said: I had an unsweetened iced tea, which was fine. They have a large bar here left over from the brief Bistro era, but I saw no alcohol options (which was fine, as I don’t drink on low-carb days). In general, I find barbecue goes nicely with adult beverages, and if you think so, too, don’t let the furnishings fool you.

 

Food

He Said: Chicken has less fat than pork, so naturally, given my low-fat diet, I ordered the small (4 ounce) pulled chicken sandwich, with the regular sweet sauce and cole slaw on the sandwich—you can order it on the side instead if you want. You can also have the spicy sauce instead if you choose. I did not so choose. With the sandwich you get one side; you can choose from baked beans, cole slaw, potato salad, fries or onion rings. I had the baked beans. For dessert I ordered a chocolate fudge brownie, and the other option is New York cheesecake.

To begin with, the pulled chicken sandwich was very good, the sauce sweet and tasty, the chicken nice and tender. I can’t say it’s noticeably better than other pulled chicken BBQ sandwiches in town, since there are, as noted earlier, a lot of these. But it’s not noticeably worse either. It’s perfectly fine, and as good as you’ll get most places.

The baked beans were, for me, a disappointment. I look forward to a tangy sweetness in such cases, but these beans had a kind of surprising wallop. There was something quite hot—maybe red pepper?—in them that was not to my taste at all. If you like your baked beans spicy hot, you will like these. If not, order the onion rings.

As for the brownie, this was a different story. It was chocolatey, it was fudgy, it was good. You can have it with whipped cream on top if you want. I did not choose to do so, whipped cream having a good bit of fat in it. But I’d advise you to have the whipped cream if you order this yourself. It’s just a little bit dry on its own.

She Said: I chose the two-meat platter, which comes with two sides, and I agree with you, Ruud, that the beans were disappointing. It wasn’t just the kick of heat that made me eat just a couple of bites of my large serving, but also there was a strange texture or “dead zone” of flavor that made me wonder if they’d gone overboard with a thickening agent for the sauce. I didn’t get a to-go container for these. The onion rings were better, but nothing special. They were rather typical with the coating more like fast-food onion rings than I expected from a down-home barbecue joint. I ate just half of these, but I could have swallowed up the whole serving if I hadn’t been watching carbs.

The chicken was indeed the star of the show on my plate—or the metal tray, as the case may be. It was tender, flavorful and complemented by the sauce, which I also chose to be on the mild side. I ordered the pork as my other meat, and while it was good, it would have been better on a sandwich with cole slaw, as it wasn’t as interesting solo. Whatever they do to this chicken, they need to keep doing: It was yummy.

 

Service

He Said: Our server was friendly and helpful. Maybe a little bit new, since they had been open such a short time: She brought the check, for instance without asking if we wanted dessert or anything else, so when I ordered dessert, I got a second check that had to be paid separately. Also you don’t pay the server here, but have to pay your check (or in my case, checks) at the bar. Which is not open for drinks, as She Said said, by the way.

She Said: Yes, our server was friendly, helpful and attentive, but bringing the check before making sure we were done is a potentially revenue-limiting move: If I were contemplating the guilty-pleasure of a brownie, and the server brought the check before I asked for dessert, I’d figure the universe was telling me to skip it. (That brownie was REALLY tasty, though!)

 

What We Got and What We Paid: One small pulled chicken BBQ sandwich with side of baked beans and a chocolate fudge brownie with a Dr. Pepper; one two-meat platter with baked beans and onion rings, and unsweetened iced tea, all for $28.31

 

Elapsed Time from Our Arrival to Food Arrival:10 minutes

 

Rating:

He Said: The BBQ chicken sandwich and the brownie are worth eating. I’m not sure the place is a cut above its competition, though it was pretty quick and fairly inexpensive.

She Said: This was a good place to go on a fatty food day for tasty proteins, as the chicken was delicious. The other dishes we sampled were nothing to write home about.

Is Road Hog Good At What It’s Good For? It’s good at barbecue chicken, though it could use a little fine tuning in other areas—and ambient music!—that will likely come in time.

 

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Jay Ruud’s most recent novel, Lost in the Quagmire: The Quest of the Grail, IS NOW available. You can order your copy direct from the publisher (Encircle Press) at http://encirclepub.com/product/lost-in-the-quagmire/You can also order an electronic version from Smashwords at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/814922

LostInTheQuagmircover

When Sir Galahad arrives in Camelot to fulfill his destiny, the presence of Lancelot’s illegitimate son disturbs Queen Guinevere. But the young knight’s vision of the Holy Grail at Pentecost inspires the entire fellowship of the Round Table to rush off in quest of Christendom’s most holy relic. But as the quest gets under way, Sir Gawain and Sir Ywain are both seriously wounded, and Sir Safer and Sir Ironside are killed by a mysterious White Knight, who claims to impose rules upon the quest. And this is just the beginning. When knight after knight turns up dead or gravely wounded, sometimes at the hands of their fellow knights, Gildas and Merlin begin to suspect some sinister force behind the Grail madness, bent on nothing less than the destruction of Arthur and his table. They begin their own quest: to find the conspirator or conspirators behind the deaths of Arthur’s good knights. Is it the king’s enigmatic sister Morgan la Fay? Could it be Arthur’s own bastard Sir Mordred, hoping to seize the throne for himself? Or is it some darker, older grievance against the king that cries out for vengeance? Before Merlin and Gildas are through, they are destined to lose a number of close comrades, and Gildas finds himself finally forced to prove his worth as a potential knight, facing down an armed and mounted enemy with nothing less than the lives of Merlin and his master Sir Gareth at stake.

Order from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Quagmire-Quest-Merlin-Mystery/dp/1948338122

Order from Barnes and Noble here: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lost-in-the-quagmire-jay-ruud/1128692499?ean=9781948338127

 

NOW AVAILABLE!!!

Jay Ruud’s most recent novel, Lost in the Quagmire: The Quest of the Grail, IS NOW available. You can order your copy direct from the publisher (Encircle Press) at http://encirclepub.com/product/lost-in-the-quagmire/You can also order an electronic version from Smashwords at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/814922

LostInTheQuagmircover

When Sir Galahad arrives in Camelot to fulfill his destiny, the presence of Lancelot’s illegitimate son disturbs Queen Guinevere. But the young knight’s vision of the Holy Grail at Pentecost inspires the entire fellowship of the Round Table to rush off in quest of Christendom’s most holy relic. But as the quest gets under way, Sir Gawain and Sir Ywain are both seriously wounded, and Sir Safer and Sir Ironside are killed by a mysterious White Knight, who claims to impose rules upon the quest. And this is just the beginning. When knight after knight turns up dead or gravely wounded, sometimes at the hands of their fellow knights, Gildas and Merlin begin to suspect some sinister force behind the Grail madness, bent on nothing less than the destruction of Arthur and his table. They begin their own quest: to find the conspirator or conspirators behind the deaths of Arthur’s good knights. Is it the king’s enigmatic sister Morgan la Fay? Could it be Arthur’s own bastard Sir Mordred, hoping to seize the throne for himself? Or is it some darker, older grievance against the king that cries out for vengeance? Before Merlin and Gildas are through, they are destined to lose a number of close comrades, and Gildas finds himself finally forced to prove his worth as a potential knight, facing down an armed and mounted enemy with nothing less than the lives of Merlin and his master Sir Gareth at stake.

Order from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Quagmire-Quest-Merlin-Mystery/dp/1948338122

Order from Barnes and Noble here: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lost-in-the-quagmire-jay-ruud/1128692499?ean=9781948338127

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