West Virginia is known for a lot of things: scenic beauty, Coal Country, Civil War history, the Hatfields and McCoys, The Greenbrier, and being the home state of Jennifer Garner. One thing that people would probably never think could come out of West Virginia is amazing BBQ. However, I beg to differ.
The original Rollin’ Smoke BBQ is located in Big Chimney along the Elk River. Imagine an eclectically decorated carnival food truck and huge black smokers with a porch and now seating built around them on the side of a mountain overlooking a beautiful river. That’s where Rollin’ Smoke BBQ sits. If you blink, you could pass it. Once I was introduced, I fell in LOVE!
My fiance had already been to the location a time or two taking the advice of a friend’s grandfather. He looked at my fiance (who was single at the time) and said, “Are you married?” to which my fiance replied, “No, not married.” The man nodded and said, “Good, go to Rollin’ Smoke BBQ and get the brisket.”
One evening my fiance said, “Do you have an issue with restaurants that look like nothing much?” “Are you kidding!? They have the BEST food!” So for date night, he took me to the carnival food truck on the side of the road. I decided that since it came so highly recommended, I would order the brisket as well. The dinner came with 3-4 thick cut pieces of brisket, 2 sides (I chose coleslaw and macaroni salad) and a dinner roll with butter – we live in WV, all dinners should come with a dinner roll and some butter.
At the time, this location did not offer much seating for dining so we drove down the street to Coonskin Park. We found a picnic table that overlooked the duck pond and as I reached into the white plastic “Thank You” bag, I was surprised by how heavy the To-Go boxes were. I opened my box up to be greeted with a heavenly aroma smoked meat and a sweet and smokey BBQ sauce. I have eaten BBQ in some of the most talked about BBQ joints in the South and I have never had a brisket so tender and moist (yes I cringed as I typed that word). It’s been a love affair ever since.
This past weekend, we made a visit to our favorite little red carnival style food truck to discuss the possibility of them catering our wedding. Yes, I am not ashamed to say I am not a “Fru-Fru” $50 a plate bride. I’m low key and casual and BBQ is where it’s at! I decided if I’m going to serve my guests BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, I may actually want to try it first. Normally, I go for the brisket or Cornish hen. This pulled pork sandwich was HUGE and served on a fluffy, yet strong, bun. The meat was sweet, but rich in smoke flavor – real wood smoke people, not that crappy liquid smoke that some BBQ joints will douse their food in. The potato salad was made of big pieces of red potatoes and they weren’t sopping with mayo. Their baked beans are the things of dreams – thick, rich, decadent. I didn’t want to stop eating, but at some point you reach the “full” point. Just thinking about it makes my toes curl. An employee stopped to ask how everything was (which really, if you had seen the look of joy on my face, the question wasn’t necessary). All I could manage to say was, “This is the kind of BBQ Prince would sing about.” I meant every word.
If you are ever in the Charleston/Sissonville/Elkview/Pinch area, you have GOT to at least go there once in your lifetime. Seriously though, try to go as much as you can! Friendly staff, delicious food, hearty portions for not a lot of money, and some of that famous beautiful West Virginia scenery.