ConnieLou and I took a little long weekend and headed to Niagara Falls, New York to celebrate our 30th anniversary.  Neither of us had been before and we both thought it would be a lot of fun…and it was.  We saw the falls from just about every imaginable angle except from a helicopter.  As always when we take a trip, we try to eat well and to try places that we don’t have at home, meaning we typically avoid the big chains.  This trip was no exception.  In general, we didn’t do so well at finding exceptional places to eat this trip with one noted exception…The Brickyard Pub & BBQ in Lewiston, New York.

A couple of months ago ConnieLou’s niece Julie, her husband Dan and their kids Noah and Abigail all moved to Buffalo, New York.  Dan is from Buffalo and had a good job opportunity pop up and they decided to relocate.  Since Niagara Falls is only half an hour or so from Buffalo, we let Julie and Dan know that we were going to be in the area and asked if they wanted to bring the kids up and join us for a day and they did.

After riding the Maid of the Mist and seeing the falls from below and seeing some sights our thoughts began to turn toward supper.  When Dan mentioned that he knew a good barbeque place just up the road a piece in Lewiston I told him “I’m listening…”  When he went on to say that it was also a microbrewery and they always has a good selection of house-brewed beer and other locally brewed beer all I could say was “OK, you got me, let’s go” and we all piled into Julie’s car and headed up the road.

Once at the restaurant, Dan dropped us off, parked the car and met us inside.  We ordered drinks and headed to the patio to wait for our table.  About a beer and a half later our table was ready and we sat down to check out the menu.  Now I have to admit, I’m a little leery about northern barbeque.  Having lived all my life in the South, I’ve eaten some fine pig and the only way to make fine pig is to cook it low and slow.  Their menu gave me some hope yet caused me a bit of worry at the same time.  The menu stated “Be prepared to experience the area’s best wood-fired cooking using the highest quality ingredients available.  Our specialty meats are smoked low and slow, burning only locally grown fruit woods for up to 16 hours in our authentic pit smoker.  Only this traditional process and deliver the perfect, off-the-bone tender BBQ you have been searching for.”  CLASSIC SOUTHERN BBQ. Classic Southern BBQ, eh?  Yeah, OK, we’ll see.

Me, ConnieLou and Julie all ordered the pulled pork and Brunswick stew.  I also had a side of red beans and rice and ConnieLou and Julie ordered mac and cheese.  Dan ordered the meatloaf melt and corn and the kids had corn dogs and mac and cheese.  I waited with guarded optimism…

Our orders arrived and we all dug in.  The meat was moist, tender and nicely smoky.  It came already sauced but the sauce was good so I couldn’t complain.  I was a tad concerned when I noticed a couple of pieces of carrot and celery in my stew but the stew was also quite good so I just pushed those to the side and ate the rest of my stew.  And the red beans and rice were pretty darn good too.  Everyone else’s meals disappeared and I heard no complaints.

So how did The Brickyard Pub & BBQ fare on the Thumbs Scale?  The adults each gave it two thumbs-up for a total of eight and by the way Noah and Abigail’s corn dogs and mac and cheese disappeared we assumed that they would each give it two thumbs-up as well for a total of twelve out of a possible twelve.  I think Abigail might have given an extra thumb or two just for the ice cream if she were able.