Bandana’s BBQ & Grill is one of, if not the, best place in Boone and Blowing Rock for authentic western NC-style BBQ. My family and I have come here many times over the years, by ourselves or with friends and family, and it’s never disappointed.
I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m one of “those” people who will smother just about anything in BBQ sauce, so of course I love a great BBQ joint! I’m a rib lover, and the ribs at Bandana’s have never disappointed me. Juicy, fall-off-the-bone-tender, great smoky flavor from the in-house smoking they put the rib slabs through, and covered in their tangy BBQ sauce. Seriously, it’s heaven on a plate.
Don’t like getting sauce up to your elbows diving into a plate of ribs? Try a chopped BBQ plate. They offer classic pork, sliced smoked turkey breast, or 1/2 a chicken. I usually get the pork, which I had tonight, and it was a tender and tasty as ever. There are three kinds of sauces on the table- regular tomato-based bbq, a vinegar-based honey mustard sort of sauce, and a spicy sauce that I avoid like the plague- spicy is not my thing. And if chopped BBQ isn’t your thing, yet you still found yourself at a BBQ restaurant, never fear! They also offer steaks, burgers, grilled shrimp, and chicken, to name a few of the items.
They also offer a great salad bar. Two of my dining companions tonight had a salad with their meal, and they came back with salad plates piled high with the usual salad fixins’ as well as several kinds of fruits, and everything looked fresh. Several combinations are offered with a meat and a salad- a great way to try to stay healthy while still getting your BBQ fix.
The portions are pretty darn big. My plate tonight had a mountain of chopped pork with two little bowls of side dishes perched on either end of the plate. I always go for the bbq-baked beans and corn on the cob, but they also offer baked white and sweet potatoes, fries, green beans, hush puppies, and more. Because I’m so full after the main course, I’ve never had a chance to try to desserts, but they look sinful. Brownies and cobblers and banana pudding, oh my!
Wash the meal down with a glass of sweet tea or a domestic beer for the true Southern BBQ experience, or choose a glass of wine. (Maybe this is my down-home Southern girl side coming out, but I for one would never dream of putting wine with a BBQ plate. Apples and oranges, you know?) The service has always been good and pretty timely, even when the restaurant was really full on a weekend lunch rush.
The decor in the restaurant is pretty neat, too. It’s reminiscent of a barn in that there is corrugated aluminum sheeting on the walls to about 3 or 4 feet up, then what looks like reclaimed wood panels. Old advertisements and farm equipment dot the walls, complimenting the antique license plates nailed around the top border of the walls. I always enjoy looking around at the various states represented by the plates, or trying to figure out what some old piece of farm equipment was used for back in the day.
Looking for a restaurant to cater your special event? Well, you came to the right place! They also offer catering for large or small events- contact the staff at the restaurant for more details. In a hurry to get from Point A to Point B but craving some good BBQ in the meantime? Run through the drive-thru window for a quick fix!
Bandana’s is really a family-friendly restaurant. The food is acceptable to nearly any picky eater- and believe me, my sister and I were picky eaters growing up!- so I’m sure kids will enjoy it as much as the adults. There are a few large screen TVs in the corners to catch game highlights, but not so many TVs as to make it seem like a sports bar. As I said before, my family has been dining with the Bandana’s crew for years and enjoyed it every time!
UPDATE: AS OF MAY 2015, BANDANA’S CLOSED ITS DOORS AND CHANGED TO MCKETHAN’S BBQ. Sadly, we at BRNCG do not recomment McKethan’s and greatly miss Bandana’s!
Where It Is:
1475 Highway 105 South, less than a mile south of the intersection of Highways 321 and 105. Enter at the driveway for Enterprise Rent-A-Car and go on around past Enterprise.
Dollar Range: $ (most entrees under $20)
All text and photos copyright 2011 Cassandra Hartley, Blue Ridge NC Guide. No portion of this article is to be copied, saved, or otherwise distributed without express written consent. Sharing is encouraged using the designated social media sharing buttons at the bottom of this article. Photos for this post provided by our sister site Photos by Cassandra Lea. Author received no compensation, monetary or otherwise, in exchange for this article.