Every spring, I head down to Kentucky Lake for some spring fishing with my dad and my brother. We have a good time fishing, laughing, and eating. A couple of times, we've stumbled across BBQ joints that I would have never found otherwise. Such was the case this year when we happened upon Hutchens BBQ in Benton, KY.
This was clearly a local joint serving lots more than BBQ, but BBQ is what we were there for. There were a good number of locals in the place, but we were welcomed right off and offered up sweet tea while we looked over the menu (I love sweet tea). I realized that we had arrived only 20 minutes before closing time, so we placed our orders quickly and learned a little about the history of the place.
In 1947, W.C. Hutchens purchased a building in downtown Benton, Kentucky to open a new restaurant. The first menu included a variety of items such as BBQ sandwiches, hamburgers, cokes, fountain drinks, coffee, BLTs, hot ham and cheese, country ham sandwiches, hot dogs, and lots of ice cream and milkshakes.
Since then the restaurant has grown into a full-service dining experience but still values the importance of taste, good service, and hospitality. We still make a world-class BBQ sandwich as well.
My brother and I ordered the large BBQ sandwich and dad order the turkey. We were served up really large sandwiches with our choice of mild, medium, or hot BBQ sauce. I had the the medium. It was a thin sauce with a nice kick. The pork was very tender and while it had a definite smoke ring, there was an absence of any other seasoning as far as I could tell. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the BBQ and would recommend the place.
I love finding little BBQ joints like Hutchens in the places that I visit. These joints have a long history in their communities and are obviously doing something right or they wouldn't last as long as they have.
Here's how I'd rate my visit to Hutchens BBQ:
- BBQ - B
- Side Dishes - A
- Atmosphere - B
- Value - A
- Overall - A-
If you find yourself in Benton, KY for a little fishing or boating, make your way over to Hutchens BBQ. I don't think you'll be disappointed. I know I wasn't, and I look forward to stopping in again when we make the trip next year.