BBQ joints seem to be opening every other week in my area. Recently, Beast Craft BBQ opened up in the location of a former diner. I've been anxious to try it out, and today I finally had a chance.
A friend and I agreed to meet for lunch at 11:30. The parking lot was pretty full when we arrived and when we went inside, the line was 20+ people long and there were no empty tables. I figured this was a good sign. However, nearly every table in one of the dining areas were waiting for their food and the line hardly moved. In fact, more than a few potential customers in line behind and ahead of us chose to go elsewhere based on the slow service.
All that aside, how was the BBQ? Pretty darned good. I had the brisket sandwich and hand cut fries, while my lunch mate had the pulled pork sandwich and corn on the cob. All the items were very tasty. The brisket sandwich was served with grilled onions and a house mustard. The pulled pork was served with slaw on the sandwich (as it should be).
Beast Craft is bucking one of the most common trends in BBQ joints these days. There was "1", count 'em, "1" bottle of BBQ sauce on the table. And, it was very good. In fact, it might be my favorite part of the meal. I saw no evidence that they're bottling and selling this sauce, but they should.
I also like that they are selling soft drinks from a local bottler and not the big guys. However, no self-respecting BBQ joint should ever sell sweet tea that is mango flavored. That's just wrong.
If they can address their customer flow and service issues (and lose the mango flavored tea), I believe that they'll do just fine. Here's my report card for my visit to Beast Craft BBQ:
- BBQ - B+
- Side Dishes - B
- Atmosphere - B
- Value - B
- Service - C
- Overall - B-
And, here's their location & contact info:
Beast Craft BBQ
20 S Belt W Belleville, IL 62220
Give 'em a shot, I think you'll like it,