This is certainly not the best BBQ I've ever had, but it's far from the worst, and probably the best in Winchester. The fatty brisket was actually very nicely cooked and in my opinion was the most impressive part of the meal. I also ordered 1/2 rack of baby back ribs, which the manager informed me after I had ordered that they were currently sold-out, but that he had more on the smoker he was waiting for. Since I ordered my meal to go, I asked if he could swap them out for spare ribs instead. He also threw in a couple of extra ribs since the spare ribs were cheaper. Overall, the spare ribs were still pretty good, and it didn't bother me that I had switched. I'd come back here again.
On Sunday, August 28, 2016, my daughter and I had lunch at Winchester’s newest restaurant, Mission BBQ, which had opened on August 22 at 2630 South Pleasant Valley Road. Hours are Monday-Thursday, 11:00 AM-9:00 PM; Friday & Saturday, 11:00 AM-10:00 PM; Sunday, 11:30 AM-8:00 PM.
The phone number is (540) 771-5686, and the Web site is www.mission-bbq.com. Dining in, take-out, and catering services are available.
The entrances are at the left corner of the building, next to a concrete patio for dining alfresco. There are no vestibules at the entrances, and as you go in you discover that this is a fast food operation.
You can pick up a paper menu before you walk down the aisle on your left to the counter where you place your order, or you can wait until you reach the counter to see the menu boards displayed on the back wall.
The menu includes such categories as Meat Market (Brisket, Pulled Pork, Turkey, Pulled Chicken, Chicken, or Meat Market Sampler); Racks, by the Bone, 5 Bone, or 10 Bone (Bay-B-Back Ribs or Spare Ribs)
Also, Sandwiches (Brisket, Chopped Brisket, Pulled Pork, Turkey, or Pulled Chicken); Make it a Combo for Meat Market, Racks & Sandwiches (XL Combo, or XXL Combo); Salads, Entrée or Side (Garden Greens or Plus Meat); Sides and Drinks, and a Kids Menu.
En route to the counter, a long tub of ice on your right has an assortment of bottled beverages to select from, unless you wish to wait to get your drink from a pair of dispensers in the seating area. After you place your order and pay for it, you leave your name to be called when it is ready, and find a place to sit while you are waiting.
Seating is by booths along the sides and tables of various sizes elsewhere. The floor has a dark color, and the exposed black ceiling shows the roof supports and air conditioning ducts.
The lack of acoustic treatment resulted in a rather noisy situation. There was no music, but three of the room’s corners had TV screens showing different programs. The trash receptacles were black 55-gallon drums on wheels.
Wall decorations included photos and emblems of US military and our country’s law enforcement officers, along with inspirational messages and mottos of various types. All kinds of military and police shoulder patches were exhibited where space could be found for them.
A sign headed ALL RISE advised that the national anthem would be played at noon, and everyone should rise and stand at attention. This happened while we were there.
The table had six different squeeze dispensers of barbecue sauce in a cardboard caddy: KC Classic, Bay-B-Que, Tupelo Honey Heat, Texas Twang, Smoky Mountain, and Memphis Belle. There was also a large bottle of vinegar. Instead of a napkins dispenser, a block with a vertical piece of pipe held a roll of brown paper towels.
My daughter ordered a Pulled Pork Sandwich, Cold Slaw, and a Frostie Vanilla Root Beer. I also had a Pulled Pork Sandwich, with a Potato Salad Side and a Boylan Black Cherry Soda. When my name was called, my daughter brought our orders to the table in two metal trays.
The buns for the sandwiches were smaller than the usual hamburger bun, but were piled high with the pork. My daughter didn’t add any table seasoning to hers, but I felt the need to put Smoky Mountain seasoning on mine. I rated the sandwich as merely OK. I prefer that the seasoning be added to the barbecue before it is cooked, and not afterwards.
Nutrition information is available at the Web site if you click on the MENU link, scroll down to the bottom, and click on the NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION link. This provides a condensed presentation, but if you scroll down to the bottom and click on the VIEW FULL NUTRITION INFORMATION (PDF) link, you get a 53-page detailed PDF presentation.
Frankly, I was disappointed to discover that Mission BBQ was a fast food operation, and was also not pleased with the ambience. The noise from the lack of acoustic treatment, with the staff shouting the names of people whose food was ready, plus patrons going back and forth to the counter was disturbing.
My daughter found the air conditioning too chilly, despite wearing a sweater, and left to wait for me in the car as soon as she had finished eating. I wanted to know what the place was like, and now that I do know, I’ll probably not be back.