For roughly two years, Aaron Warner operated Official BBQ as a mobile kitchen showing up at private events and businesses with an array of smoked meats and sides. It’s easy enough to see on the business Facebook page that those visits to places like South Mountain Speedway and Stan’s Beverage grew the fan base. Now, a new storefront location opens a new chapter for this promising restaurant.
At this point, restaurant is maybe a tad of an overstatement only because the food is available for delivery, pick-up and dining outside at picnic tables behind the building. With music playing over the gravel parking lot and a line of trees to separate the tables from neighboring businesses and homes, the seating area offers a surprisingly peaceful place to enjoy a meal even though Official BBQ is located on a busy road at 848 N. Hanover St., Carlisle. Official BBQ occupies a space on the left side of the building that also houses Z-Band Technologies.
I loved the simplicity of the a la carte menu. First choice: which meat? All the usual suspects for barbecue joint fare are here, like pulled pork, baby back ribs and chicken served both as a half-chicken and as wings.
There are a few more unusual options for a barbecue place. My sister, for one, opted for the ribeye steak. We were cautioned upfront that it would be made to order and would take some time. Judging from her reaction to the first bite, it was well worth the wait.
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I chose the sliced, smoked turkey breast and, honestly, there’s every chance in the world that I cheat this Thanksgiving and pick up some of this for dinner. The “slices” are thick and come in rectangular pieces that I piled onto a fresh Kaiser roll and topped with barbecue sauce. As good as the sandwich was, I was perfectly happy eating the turkey plain.
Back to ordering. Once I chose a meat, the next option was to choose between a small meal with one side or a large with two sides. I went with the two, choosing my go-to side of macaroni and cheese, which was just what you want macaroni and cheese to be – familiar, cheesy and enhanced ever so slightly by a touch of the Signature Sweet Heat seasoning offered on the side in a tiny plastic container.
The other was a little unexpected. It’s not often garlic green beans are offered, but these long green beans were full of garlic and complemented the turkey dinner perfectly.
Other available sides include seasoned potatoes, smoked bacon baked beans, coleslaw and fries. Bacon, cheese and smoked peppers and onions are also available as extras.
The menu board inside listed a few combo options including pulled pork or chicken, beef brisket and a whopping half-pound burger available for lunch between 11 am and 2 pm that check in with prices that easily come in under most fast-food places.
So, why Official BBQ? Warner served as an official wrestling in the state for 20 years, so the name and the striped shirts worn by employees is a nod to that history. Hopefully, his barbecue business will last as long, or longer.
Photos: Project SHARE Fare for Share Food Truck Festival
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