I actually fell in love with them before even stepping through the door. Due to health reasons, I have to eat gluten-free/wheat-free, so before we visit a restaurant I have to visit that restaurant’s website to see if it’s “safe.” If a restaurant doesn’t even have a website, it’s Strike One – because, in this day and time, not to have a website is just negligence. I found that MISSION BBQ has a beautiful website – this patriotic gal was immediately struck by their love of country and those who serve it.
I mentally whispered, “We’re going to get along just fine.”
The next step in the “Restaurant’s Safety Check” is to see their “Gluten-Free” Menu. Unfortunately, most restaurants feature a (sorry, I’m just keeping it real) really annoying list of food that you then have to follow a graph to locate a check-mark under the different allergens. Talk about time consuming and talk about a pain in the backside – especially when you’re on a phone. While these restaurants are a giant step above the ones that don’t even have a gluten-free menu (Strikes Two and Three), it is a headache.
MISSION BBQ is one of the few… the very few… that actually has a special, concise, and downright generous menu for gluten-free dining all by itself. As in, click one link and you see what you can eat!
This is when I mentally whispered, “We’re going to get along beautifully.”
Needless to say, if the food didn’t taste good, it would have been a huge bummer – but it wasn’t just good, it was great. Fantastic. Extraordinary…. perfect, even! When you’re searching for adjectives that are good enough for something, just go with perfect because it just doesn’t get any better than that – and restaurant food just doesn’t get any better than MISSION BBQ.
Michael got the brisket (he’s a brisket kind of guy) and I got my favorite, pulled pork. He ordered green beans and “cold slaw” and I went with fries and baked beans. I actually felt a little overwhelmed because I’m not used to choosing sides… they normally choose me. I even asked Michael (who has been to MISSION BBQ many times), “Which sides do I choose?!” When he smiled and said he suggested I choose the ones I want, I did just that. I’m a potato fiend and am fascinated with baked beans, so my choices were clear.
As you can see from the pictures, I got so overly-excited that I forgot to tell them to leave the cornbread off of my plate!
The first thing I tasted was the fries – because I’m a fiend and all that – and they were outstanding. They were seasoned perfectly and had more flavor than you come to expect from fries. The baked beans were next and they didn’t disappoint either. There were a few beautiful chunks of meat in them which only helped give them their beautiful flavor.
The pork was tender and delicious – it was some of the best pulled pork I’ve had. Smoky and full of wonderful flavor.
MISSION BBQ has 6 different sauces to test out and use on your BBQ and it was a lot of fun to try the different flavors out.
I also tasted the green beans, cold slaw, and brisket on the plate in front of me and they were each phenomenal as well. The “cold slaw” was probably the coldest slaw I’ve ever had and it was fantastic. I get nervous when coleslaw isn’t cold, so this one is now one of my favorite restaurant coleslaws. Make that cold slaws.
Even the sweet tea was delicious! I was even able to get it in a great-looking plastic American Heroes cup, which I love.
I saved the “human element” for last because it’s something that always stands out to me. The staff of a restaurant tells you a lot about the restaurant, itself. The food and decor hint at a restaurant’s personality, but its staff (its true ambassadors) really shines a spotlight on it. We once at a restaurant in Evansville (notice the “once”) where the workers were so rude that we never went back. Sorry, Charlie, but the best tomato soup in the world doesn’t cover up for being treated like you’re an intruder.
As soon as we walked in the door, we were welcomed by warmth and many smiling faces. The young lady who took our orders couldn’t have been friendlier to us if we were her family. She radiated personality, warmth, and friendliness. The young lady who served as hostess was equally sweet. Both were credits to their professions and I thought several times, “Whoever hired this young lady as a hostess was a freaking genius.” Great staff members leave a lasting, favorable impression – can you tell that these girls did just that?!
The Indiana location of MISSION BBQ is at 1530 N Green River Rd in Evansville and it is worth the drive from wherever you happen to be. There is also a MISSION BBQ in Nashville, TN. Unfortunately, there isn’t a MISSION BBQ in Kentucky yet, but I have added it to my prayer list.
The Brisket was Melt in Your Mouth Tender!