If you’ve got a hankering for authentic southern barbecue (didn’t quite get enough at the Med City BBQ competition, didja?), you’re in luck — Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is now open in Southwest Rochester.
The quick-service eatery opened a few weeks ago in the new Aspen Dental Building at 1290 Salem Road SW — in the corner of the TJ Maxx shopping center’s parking lot. The space is small but well used; it feels like a down-home spot with counter ordering and friendly touches like free ice cream for everyone after you dine in, or the fact that kids eat free on Sundays.
Dickey’s mission is to bring southern barbecue all over the country. In fact, you might have had it before, with existing locations in Mankato, Menomonie, Eau Claire, as well as several in the Twin Cities area.
The obvious star here is the slow-cooked meat. There are eight to choose from, including pulled pork, beef brisket, turkey or chicken breast, barbecue honey ham, spicy cheddar sausage and polish sausage, as well as untrimmed pork ribs. All the other dishes revolve around, or incorporate, or complement, the meat. You can get a salad here, but why would you? (Unless you get the smokehouse salad, which has chopped beef brisket on top.)
If you’re stopping by for lunch or dinner, check out the insanely generous meat plates. A two-meat plate features a choice of two meats, two sides, a roll, pickles and onions for just $12.50 — and it ends up being plenty of food for two people. (Or one insanely hungry person.) Some of the tasty side options include barbecue beans, coleslaw, potato salad, mac and cheese, fried okra, and green beans with bacon. BACON.
Sandwiches, “bakers” (loaded baked potatoes), and a few salads fill out the regular menu, but Dickey’s also specializes in catering, takeout, and parties. Basically, they want to feed you no matter how many of you there are.
We thought the pulled pork was excellent, and the brisket impressed me with complex flavors, a slight hint of heat with a smoky finish. The waffle fries are plentiful and fresh, and the dinner rolls are soft and warm. The restaurant is working through first-time-open pains, so be prepared to wait in line while demand is high and staff gets up to speed. But if you ask your friends and neighbors, they’ll likely tell you — it’s worth it.
Dickey’s is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
News and upcoming events
First, congratulations are in order for Executive Chef Justin Schoville and his team at ZZest Café and Bar in Rochester — they were recently honored by Open Table, the restaurant finder and reservation website, as one of the 100 Best Restaurants for Foodies in America.
The honor was determined by analysis of verified Open Table diners’ reviews of over 20,000 restaurants across the country. Congrats also go to owners LeeAnn and Jerry Zubay. Cheers!
I’m super delighted to let you know that Rainbow Café in Pine Island has started back up a series of wine dinners, and the latest one will be held on Sept. 15. This one looks like a lot of fun, featuring Chef Tony Miller serving up four unique pizzas for the main show.
The $65 per person price tag includes the pizzas, as well as two starter courses, dessert, and five wine pairings. Call 507-356-2929 for reservations.
And finally, mark your calendars for the real harbinger of autumn: The Tap House is hosting an Oktoberfest street party from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Sept. 26. So far we know they’ll have brats, burgers, beer, and music — more details to come.