Pop's Old Time BBQ

“Put on the feed bag and prepare to do some serious eating when you step in the door!” That should be the slogan for Pop’s Old Time BBQ.

Located east of School Avenue on 15th Street, close to Hiland Dairy, Pop’s is an unimposing white building with a cooker outside and a no-frills inside atmosphere. What you can expect is outstandingly delicious, down-home cooking and plenty of it.

Bill (Pop) and Karen (Mom) Starks opened the place two and a half years ago and have been serving up Pop’s special recipe barbecue ever since. However, when I complimented Karen on the mouthwatering ribs I was inhaling, she informed me, “It’s Pop’s legendary barbecue recipe but Mom’s cooking.”

Karen is the one responsible for the slow cooked fall off the bone and right into the mouth ribs that they serve up at the restaurant. The ribs are not overwhelmed with barbecue sauce either. It is just the right amount to make the ribs savory.

A lot of places will have a signature barbecue and then have cheap sides but at Pop’s, when you order mashed potatoes, you get “real” mashed potatoes and heaps of them. The corn is right off the cob and during Farmer’s Market season, the side vegetables are purchased from local growers, so the side dishes will vary according to the season.

The Chicken Fried Steak ($9.50, small; $11.75, large) is also well worth the drive to the restaurant. Specials change daily according to what Mom and Pop want to serve, but some of the tempting offerings frequently include Smothered Steak, Beef Stew, Pot Roast and Chicken and Noodles.

The main menu holds a lot of down-home favorites to choose from including BBQ Sandwiches ($5.75-6.25), Grilled Cheese and BLT, BBQ Plate selections of Sliced Beef ($7.75), Pork Loin, Sausages, and Hot Links or Ribs. All plates come with a choice of two sides. There is also the gut busting Big Ben Combo (pork loin, beef brisket, smoked sausage, hotlinks, ribs, potato salad and coleslaw; $13.95) for those with a bigger appetite or who want to “try it all.” Did I mention the potato salad and the coleslaw are both awesome? And, the Corn Nuggets ($2.75) are to die for — be sure to try these! There is also a child’s plate for $2.99.

The pies and cobblers are made in-house and the cobblers ($2.95) are topped with melt-in-your-mouth butter crumble topping. If they have it the day you are there, the Blackberry Cobbler is hog heaven. Some of the other pies and cobblers are Peanut Butter, Coconut, Chocolate Cream, Cherry and Rhubarb. These are all seasonal, so be prepared to be surprised and tempted. Be sure to save room or take a piece home for later. Carry out is no problem and Pop’s does catering. Domestic and imported beers are also available.

Although you may be a new customer, when you walk through the door at Pop’s, the “new customer” wears off the minute you sit down. Karen is quick with a smile and Pop, when he is not in the kitchen, will openly welcome you with a friendly, ongoing conversation. This, in itself, is guaranteed to bring you back for the bodacious food served inside this unimposing little restaurant. Don’t let the exterior fool you, Pop’s is definitely habit-forming.

Categories: Legacy Archive