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3 Guys Basement BBQ: A Review of the Best Dishes You Have to Try

Sep 06, 2012 01:23AM ● By Erin Frisch

3 Guys Basement BBQ: A Review of the Best Dishes You Have to Try


Are you craving some finger-lickin’ BBQ? Look no farther than down the street at 3 Guys Basement BBQ. Opened in April of this year, the 5 South Main Street, Hanover, restaurant is already a hit with Dartmouth students, local families, and hungry Appalachian Trail hikers alike. And for good reason! All the food is homemade by BBQ professionals. My dad and I visited with big appetites, searching for some true Southern flavor. And boy, were we in for some tingling taste buds!

From the moment we walked in the door, we got a taste of the South. Friendly servers were eager to seat us at old-fashioned, picnic-style tables and benches, each one equipped with a metal pail of silverware and napkins. With low lighting, a full bar, and a neon “Pork and Blues” sign, we felt like we had stepped out of Hanover into Memphis.

Even though the menu is simple, we had a hard time choosing because everything sounded excellent. We ordered “Pick 3 Guys,” which was a sampling of three of the six meat options, along with “Tiny-Ass Corn Bread Muffins” and a side. Although the house-cured pork belly sounded tempting, we chose hand-pulled chicken, 12-hour brisket, and “burnt ends” (smoked daily–YUM!). You can also order any of the meat options by the half-pound (about $8.50) or by the pound (about $17) for sharing. For sides, we went with good old baked beans, collard greens, apple cider slaw (a Southern staple with a New England accent), and hand-cut fries. I added a local-greens salad with bourbon vinaigrette (or buttermilk) dressing to balance out all that meat. Sides we missed but will be sure to sample on our next trip include buttermilk biscuits, corn on the cob, and “Red Beans and Dirty Rice.” My dad wanted to try an appetizer of hand-breaded onion rings, but I would have opted for the crispy fried pickles. We took a pass on both, figuring that with three types of meat and five sides, we would be lucky to fit out the door.

Another bonus on the menu? The vegetarian “Sammy” options—a far cry from the embarrassing, meatless patty and bun you might expect at a BBQ joint. In fact, a “True Grit Burger,” made of “grit sticks, smoked cheese curds, pickled red onions, fried egg, and apple compote” sounded no less indulgent than any carnivorous option on the menu. There is no shame here in loving your burger and your swine or bovine friends.

As for our dinner—a definite hit! We loved the baked beans, which featured another Northern surprise—maple flavor. Most of the meat is served dry-rubbed here in true Memphis style, so we lathered up our pork with the three sauce options—sweet, spicy, and ketchup. Our favorite was definitely the spicy; with only a moderate kick to it, we were even craving more spice. But what the sauce may have lacked in heat, the collard greens certainly made up for in flavor. This classic Southern dish was served just how I like it—nice and juicy, with a strong smoked-bacon flavor. Wicked good! The big pile of thick, sizzling fries was obviously homemade and fresh out of the fryer. They were a big hit with my dad, while I preferred the small dish of mixed greens lightly tossed with a sweet dressing—a perfect foil to the smoky burnt ends, my favorite meat. The bite-sized corn muffins were loaded with sweet kernels, but a word to the wise—you will definitely need more than one! We didn’t dare try to down a “Big-Ass Red Velvet Cupcake” with cream cheese frosting and candied pecans for dessert, but I expect it would have lived up to its name.

Although it was great to be able to sample several kinds of meat, the “Pick 3 Guys” is definitely more of a solo portion, especially if your appetites are as hearty as ours. Next time we’ll come with the rest of the family, and we’ll order more meat, probably by the pound. I’m sure my mom will want to try the St. Louis Style Ribs for, as the menu puts it, “sharing by the bone.” None of the portions was overwhelming, which is atypical of Southern cuisine. The meal didn’t leave us stuffed—just full of delicious, home-cooked food. This is what we consider “high-end” BBQ—generous flavor without the heaping platefuls found in the South. It’s refreshing to visit a BBQ that stands on flavor rather than quantity.

Now that your mouth is watering, you’ll be glad to know you won’t have to break the bank to enjoy all these delicacies. In fact, there is only one item over $20 on the menu, and that’s a full rack of ribs, which could probably feed a family, if not a lumberjack. After eating our fill, plus drinks, our total was only about $18 per person. You really can bring the whole family!

Perhaps this basement restaurant’s only downfall (in summer at least) is that it is, after all, in a basement. While the décor and atmosphere have both Southern charm and Northern hip, we would have preferred dining outside, enjoying the warm summer evening. If, like us, you prefer eating outside for as long as our short summers last, just pick up some take-out on your way home and enjoy your own backyard BBQ. Or if fried chicken puts you in the mood for some Southern hospitality, invite your friends over for a BBQ catered by 3 Guys. Just make sure you’ve got plenty of napkins on hand.


What is your favorite menu item from 3 Guys Basement BBQ?

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