BW’s Smokin’ Barrels Barbecue is a Southtowns treasure. The spacious restaurant includes a roomy bar area, and seating between the two is ample for even a Saturday evening crowd.
On this day, though, my family would indulge in BW’s loaded take-out menu. Struggling for time that saw two kids each competing in tournaments, we skipped the pizza-and-wings and went straight for the pit.
It was a timely and cost-effective decision; with the addition of in-laws, our party had nearly doubled to nine people from the usual five. Keeping things under $10 a person is difficult, but the Lake Avenue smokehouse was up to the challenge.
We ordered the half-chicken Family Pack ($35.95) which included four half-chickens, potato salad, coleslaw and dinner rolls. We added a pound of brisket ($18.95), a pound of mac and cheese ($4.65), a pound of sweet potato fries ($8.50), a pound of baked beans ($5.25) and a pound of mashed potatoes with gravy ($4.75).
The brisket was accompanied by ample portions of BW’s thick and rich barbecue sauce, and the sweet potato fries were served with several cups of honey butter.
When I arrived home for the meal, NYS 10U Champion in tow, we were greeted by a feast. The counter and stove-top were littered with cups and trays, each bearing a new and incredible flavors.
I am a huge fan of the brisket served at BW’s, and this take-out version did not disappoint. The beef melts in your mouth, and is packed with deep smoke and sweetness. The house-made barbecue sauce is a fantastic accompaniment, and though I did have a smear of it on the last few bites of beef strips, I enjoyed most of it on its own.
The chicken marinade at BW’s is one of the area's best-kept secrets. There are thousands that would swear by a better-known rival, my family prefers the Blasdell barbecue joint’s over any other available locally. Bottles are sold at the register and I highly recommend one on your next trip.
The chicken we brought home was perfectly moist despite hours in the barrel, and the flavor of the marinade and the smoke had reached even the deepest pockets of meat. Of the eight quarters available, none survived the meal, despite the brisket available.
The sides were fairly standard. The mac and cheese was good; the pasta held the sauce well and remained mostly whole. The mashed potatoes were thick and a little lumpy, which added to the home-style feel. The sweet potato fries were crisp and thin, and the honey butter was almost drinkable - it was that good.
The baked beans stood out from the rest, though. A solid consistency, the sauce was perfect, and intermingled with the beans were shreds of BW’s smoked pork. The smoke, the tang, and the sweetness were a perfect union and lent a unique profile to both the entrees we had chosen.
5007 Lake Ave., Blasdell (824-7455)
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
Gluten-free options: Yes, many. Items are listed on menu with "GF" and include the barbecue plate, rib dinner, smoked pulled pork dinner and Kansas City Tenderloin Tips.
Wheelchair Accessible?: Yes; the main entrance is accessible.