While in Dover, as in any city I visit, the goal is to try to eat at as many different restaurants as I possibly can. My coworkers and I thoroughly enjoyed the Dogfish Head Brew Pub the day prior, but wanted something a little closer to our hotel. We pulled up Google Maps to survey the restaurants around the city. The options were limited, but ultimately came down to Mission BBQ or The Greene Turtle. We ended up choosing both restaurants, but Mission BBQ would be the first one we would visit. Mission BBQ is a chain restaurant with locations covering a wide-ranging area from South Carolina to Connecticut to Wisconsin.
My initial thought when I entered the restaurant was that it was exactly like Rudy’s BBQ that we have in Texas. I will now dub Mission BBQ as “Rudy’s of the North”. Being from Texas means we did everything first (or at least bigger), right? The set up was mostly the same, except Mission BBQ did not have a gas station attached to it. Another thing that stood out about Mission was all of the military memorabilia adorning the walls. I assumed corporate paid for the items, but I found out later that I was way off.
The menus were located by the main entrance. This was smart, as it gave guests a few minutes to look over the food before arriving at the counter to place an order.
As I continued, there was a tub of various sodas and water. If you want to drink a bottle soda or water, this was your place. If not, there was an assortment of fountain sodas available.
When it was my time to order, I confidently ordered brisket, pork ribs, and five-cheese mac. My coworker ordered jalapeno/cheese sausage, pulled pork, green beans, and cole slaw. All meals were served with a piece of cornbread. The cashier stated that she would call our names when the food was ready. Having never visited Mission BBQ, this gave me time to look around.
The restaurant had quite a few tables and booths inside.
Patio seating was available outside.
It was still chilly in Delaware so we opted to sit at a table along the far wall of the restaurant. There was a roll of napkins and an assortment of sauces waiting at the table. I like the themed barbecue sauces. Especially the Tupelo (Mississippi) Honey Heat because I was raised just south of the city.
Our names were called a few minutes after settling into the table so we went back to the counter to pick it up. The food was served a metal tray, which was lined with a thin piece of paper. All of the food look appealing.
I enjoyed the flavor of the brisket and everything that made up the five-cheese mac. Apparently, the owner’s daughter came up with the recipe for the macaroni and cheese. She did not like what the restaurant offered so she made her own. Did I mention she was only nine years old?! Talk about impressive. The “icing on the cake” was the breadcrumbs, this gave the mac and cheese a consistency similar to what my aunt used to make. It was simply amazing. The pork ribs, on the other hand, were bad. Bad in the sense that I did not expect them to be so wet. It was almost as if the ribs were boiled rather than smoked. I only ate a few bites. My coworker did not have any issues as finished EVERYTHING on her plate.
Throughout dinner, there was a nice staff member walking around checking on guests. She gave me the info about the nine year old making the macaroni and cheese. I tried to acquire the recipe from her, but that did not get far. She also told us about the memorabilia on the walls. It seems as though guests donate their personal items for inclusion. The idea was really neat.
As I mentioned earlier, Mission BBQ was very familiar to me even though it was my first time visiting the restaurant. The staff was friendly and helpful throughout our visit. We enjoyed almost all of the food, except the ribs. This was more personal preference than anything else. All things considered, “Rudy’s BBQ of the north”, was not bad at all.