610 North Greece Road, North Greece
Visited Feb. 25, 2011
Written by Tyler
Barbecue is my favorite cuisine. There aren’t a ton of barbecue-specific places on the west side, as noted in previous posts, so having one open near my home in Hilton is intriguing, to say the least.
BBQ Fred opened last summer in a former sub shop near the corner of North Greece and Latta roads in North Greece (though it has a Hilton mailing address), becoming an instant must-visit.
Drew and I took the three-mile trek to BBQ Fred late last summer, eager to get involved in some barbecue and see if it would become a part of our regular dining rotation. For me, I was practically licking my lips awaiting some chicken.
Needless to say, I was extremely disappointed they when the cashier told me they were somehow out of chicken. How on Earth does a barbecue place run out of chicken, on a Friday evening nonetheless?
Anyway, Drew and I agreed to split one of the more interesting menu options, a pulled pork French-bread pizza.
Its novelty made it stand out somewhat, but there wasn’t as much flavor as we would have liked – which was probably due to the relative lack of both pork and sauce – and there was too much cheese (mozzarella and cheddar, but a lot mozzarella). It was decent, but nothing that will put BBQ Fred on the map.
I made sure to get a corn muffin – one of my top-five favorite foods – but was skeptical about the one I received when it arrived cold and with a dollop of butter plopped on top. Truth be told, it was actually quite tasty and nicely put-together, in that it didn’t crumble all over the place.
I also got Cowboy beans, which were the highlight of the meal. They weren’t generic, straight-out-of-the-can beans places most quick-service restaurants have, and weren’t drowned out by an overly sweet sauce. They had a nice smoky sauce with just enough sweetness, along with pieces of bacon and ground beef for flavor, and were probably the best I’ve had in the area.
To be fair to BBQ Fred, I had to wait to grade it until a return visit, which didn’t come until six months later when my family and I ordered takeout.
The menu had undergone some additions since my first visit, and the pulled pork French-bread pizza appears to have undergone some proportional changes. No one got the pizza during the second foray, but I have included a picture of the concoction courtesy of BBQ Fred’s Facebook page.
Anyway, my dad got a sampler platter of pulled pork, chicken legs and baby-back ribs. He enjoyed the pulled pork and ribs, but said the chicken wasn’t great because there wasn’t much to it and it tasted like it had been reheated after sitting out awhile.
My mom opted for the Loaded Chicken Nachos, including a ton of basic yellow-corn tortilla chips, a mound of diced grilled chicken, onions, black olives and peppers, with salsa, sour cream and nacho cheese on the side.
Apparently my mom misinterpreted her order, as she was expecting pulled pork nachos for some reason, along with shredded cheddar (rather than nacho cheese), leaving her disappointed.
We agreed the concept of the nachos was good, and the portion size was exceptional, but she thought it was simply a combination of generic items – albeit a unique one.
Then there’s my Fred Plate, including the long-awaited grilled chicken. These are BBQ Fred’s version of garbage plates, but my specific combination choice didn’t resemble one, which is fine.
I got two grilled chicken breasts, a long slice of garlic bread, half of a large corn muffin and a large bowl of Cowboy beans. I was licking my lips over a dream of a meal.
Truth be told, the chicken was very disappointing. It looked dry, and it was just that. It had no visible marinade, wasn’t tender and had average taste. I doused some of Fred’s barbecue sauce on the chicken, which somewhat of a saving grace, as it provided a nice smoky punch with a perfect hint of sweetness.
But the Fred Plate was uphill from there, as the corn muffin and garlic bread were slightly above average, and the Cowboy beans were, once again, excellent. The muffin was much different from the one I had last time, which appears to be a trend among many BBQ Fred menu items.
Aside from the aforementioned items, choices include burgers and hots, salads, wraps, subs (including a pizza sub section of the menu), sandwiches and a host of other chicken dishes.
Overall, BBQ Fred is a serviceable choice for food in the Hilton/North Greece vicinity, an area where barbecue is not very prevalent. It has fairly generic barbecue, but its novel concepts make for a compelling menu.
Service/Atmosphere: It’s not much of a sit-down place, but there are a few tables. The food is ready at a reasonable rate.
Food: A lot of choices, many of which are very unique. Some of the popular meats – pork and ribs, particularly – are pretty good, but the chicken is below average. Good sides, especially the Cowboy beans.
Value: Large portions, reasonable price.
Overall: A lot of the food is generic, but BBQ Fred fills a niche this area doesn’t really have. It’s worth returning to based on its novelty and food concepts alone.