PEMBROKE, Va. – “Virginia’s not necessarily known for its BBQ. We’d like to change that.”
Cody Journell and the folks at Bluegrass BBQ are off to a really good start putting Virginia on the BBQ map.
He adds, “We’ve had plenty of people from Texas, North Carolina and Kentucky come in and compliment us.”
This Giles County spot opened a little over a year ago, adding excitement and flavor to Pembroke. This is partially thanks to the experience of Chef Chad.
“Chef, I mean, he’s a wizard in the kitchen.”
The relationship between Cody and Chad started when Cody was just a little kid. Cody was best friends with Chad’s son and would often get a taste of the wizard’s BBQ after the games. Now business partners, this duo is committed to bringing something different to the New River Valley.
Journell says, “We’re not just a pork and brisket place.”
They’re even venturing into the fried amphibian game with frog legs. Just learn from my mistake, and don’t bite into the bone.
Chef Chad, like many other pit-masters, starts, “Low and slow in the beginning and then it becomes fast and furious.”
Journell adds, “It sits in those juices all night long, so when we come in in the morning it’s just ready to pull and serve.”
Chef throws the baby back ribs, pork shoulder and beef brisket in the smoker for hours, but he does a little something different after they come out.
“After being smoked, all our meat is grilled.”
This adds a crunchy exterior while keeping the juice and tenderness inside. Follow that up with a large list of sides, and you’re sittin’ pretty. The hushpuppies are “a must try,” according to Chef. These puppies are full-grown dogs! Add that to the mac n’ cheese, sweet potato casserole, baked beans and collard greens, and you have all the fixins.
If you want to give them a try, Bluegrass BBQ is open 11-7 Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday and 11-8 Thursday through Saturday. The team recently added outdoor seating to keep thriving throughout the pandemic. In addition, they now have a food truck that they hope to take throughout the NRV.
In the past, Bluegrass BBQ has helped feed seniors and frontline workers during the thick of the pandemic.
Helping each other
They’re also known to help each other. This past Sunday, Erica Williams who works at Bluegrass BBQ surprised the team with a mural that she painted herself.