Sunday, 26 May 2024

Foodie Freak: Andie

Every Friday I cook the lunch for my daughter’s school (don’t be impressed, it’s only four students and a couple teachers), and after I delivered their lunch recently I decided that I wanted to have something new for myself.

So I started driving around looking for somewhere to eat, getting hungrier and hungrier. After a while I started getting a feeling of anxiety, like when your gas tank is on empty, and you passed up the last gas station thinking the next one would have better prices, but that was a long time ago and now you’re not sure if you’ll even make it to the next station before your engine sputters out and you’re stranded on a desolate stretch of highway waiting to be rescued ... OK, not quite that anxious.

I finally decided to stop in on Andie’s Hickory Smoked BBQ in the Oaks. I had never been there before but I’d heard good things about it.

It’s a very small place and the menu is quite concise. Ribs, wings, links, cole slaw, potato salad, baked beans, and you can have a couple different combinations of them, but essentially that’s the menu right there. That’s the way I think barbecue ought to be, simplicity at its finest. You know what they say, why guild the lily?

The staff is friendly and was immediately ready to take my order, and the food was ready within a couple of minutes. When I got my food served so quickly, I thought that this is the perfect place to head during a lunch break. You can pop in, get your food and zip back to the office in no time.

I got the combo with a little of everything, but I didn’t select the baked beans. Trust me, you don’t want me to eat baked beans. Avoiding them is my contribution to helping reduce the global carbon footprint. (Hmmm ...was that TMI?)

The ribs, wings and links are all great. The barbcue sauce isn’t one of those ketchupy, thick, artificially smoky, supermarket-type sauces. This is an amazing sauce! And the heat! The spiciness is fantastic and doesn’t stick to your tongue like napalm. This is more like a baseball bat hit: the spiciness whacks you full in the face, but then after a few seconds the burn turns to a tingle and then is gone. Some sauces have a burn that wraps around your tongue and masks any other flavor that comes along for the next fifteen minutes, but not this sauce... You ordered ribs, you get to taste ribs; you ordered wings, and you get to taste wings!

This was true about the smokiness of the food also, it was just right. Too often you eat something that is “smoked” and all you taste is a forest fire. Here it was just enough to accent the overall flavor of the meat. The ribs and chicken wings are tender and pull from the bone nicely with some resistance; they don’t fall off of the bone like they have been over-cooked all day long.

The cole slaw, potato salad and couple of slices of wheat bread included were decent, just the side items you expect to come with barbecue. They weren’t remarkable or exciting, but then again most people aren’t combing the streets looking for a good side order restaurant. “Honey, let’s go out to dinner, I’m really in the mood for cole slaw,” is not an often-repeated sentence in America.

I’m glad my search for someplace new led me to Andie’s. I wonder where I’ll wind up next time.

Ross A. Christensen is an award-winning gardener and gourmet cook. He is the author of "Sushi A to Z, The Ultimate Guide" and is currently working on a new book. He has been a public speaker for many years and enjoys being involved in the community.


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