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I took a quick ride over to check out this new location for a revered old fashioned bbq shop. It's been discussed from time to time on the other place.


The business used to be the food concession at a bar in nearby Mine Hill, it's now a small restaurant. Eight seat bar with smoking allowed, River Horse smoky ale on tap. Restaurant looked to be about 12 tables, smoking not allowed. Lots of auto racing memorabilia around.


The pulled pork sandwich was good. It was moist, but not wet. The meat had a peppery taste to it, with shreds of pink and brown meat. Generous helping of shreds. Served on a hamburger roll.


I'd like to bring a few people back and try out the whole menu.


Can't beat the prices. $8.29 for the sandwich with one side dish, similar prices for brisket, chicken, peppers or meat loaf. "Smothered in southwestern cheeses" is an option. Buck a rib for ribs on the side.


Wraps, including cheese steaks, wings, nachos, etc. Various combos of ribs ($20), half plus a half chicken ($17) etc available. Beer was $3.25 a pint.



Closed on Mondays, just off I-80, at 19 North Main Street in Wharton. 973-361-5050


Hot Rod's

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  • 3 weeks later...

We made a quick pit stop at Hot Rod's this afternoon.


The joint was definitely jumping. The dining room opens at 3, by 330 it was half filled, by 4 pm it was 75% filled. I think the bar opens around noon on Sunday, and several bar patrons looked like they might have been left from last week. :lol:


Slab of ribs was very good. Dark chocolate coating, very moist inside, rich, slightly juicy grease to it. Not a drippy grease, but enough to let you know this is pork. Half chicken was very wet, but fully pink inside. I'm guessing it was marinated before smoking. Side of garlic mashed potato was OK, but the red beans and rice plate was very good.


Current specialty beer is Anchor Steam on tap, it had been River Horse Hop Hazard on my last visit. Price, all in, was $52 including a $10 tip


Toby (one of the owners) mentioned they've already begun to expand the kitchen due to volume of business. They're looking for a second smoker, and another walk-in fridge. For now, they've limited take-out on Saturday nights due to the strain on the kitchen, and their need to assure quality control.


If any MFers are interested in checking out the place, PM me.



(Earlier in the day, we were out in the Poconos. The Delaware River is at flood stage following six inches of rain this week. We saw trees rushing downriver, houses marooned amid rising water, and major damage. Even small streams up toward Tannersville and Cresco were alive with 3x and 4x the normal flow.)

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  • 6 months later...

Hot Rod's now has a $7 lunch special.


Pulled pork sandwich, or sliced brisket, maybe shredded chicken plus a bag of chips. Choice of a roll or a wrap. Good sandwich, went well with a pumpkin ale. Pork was moist, not wet, peppery, added a little vinegar hot sauce. About five minutes off I-80


Under $30 for two people, with tip


Their usual platters of ribs, wings, turkey legs, etc are still available, priced from $12 into the upper teens

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paul, have you ever been to the river horse brewery, in (or near) lambertville, nj.


it makes for a nice sunday drive. a little shopping in lambertville and new hope. some pretty cool stores devoted to various things artsy and otherwise like a feline shop, candle shop, many gift stores, and retro clothing and toys, etc..

then it's off to sample some of the brews, and eat lunch at the landing or mothers.

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  • 2 years later...

Excellent, moist, almost wet chicken leg. Pink smoke ring. Picture perfect.


Good dry smoked pulled pork sandwich, tomato-vinegar sauce on the side. Good technique on the pulling (lots of different strands, different lengths, some brown bits, little bit of grease). I usually prefer more grease in my pulled pork, but this was exceptionally fragrant stuff.


Anthony mentioned business has slowed a little bit since Thanksgiving, but the catering and office parties, etc are going gang-busters. Lots of party platters, etc. He's experimenting with some wine dinners, and has broadened the beer list, with several Stoudt products on tap rotation. Several Harpoons, Dogfish (including their winter lager), and the local Cricket Hill amber are on the bottle list.


He's also been tinkering with happy hours, including free wings, pulled pork, brisket, etc. While it's expensive to put out a spread, he's been getting good response.


More on the wine tastings with bbq. The next is December 18 (Tuesday) with several Argentine wines selected for their compatibility to bbq. Last week's version sold out, this week has a few seats left, I understand.


Hot News

Edited by Rail Paul
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  • 5 years later...
Hot Rod's made it to Food network, with the "Restaurant Stakeout" program


Appears again on Saturday night at 8pm




Thanks for topping this and the update. I had heard about this from friends and unfortunately still haven't been able to make it.


I called a friend tonight and we are trying to make plans to get there -- so thanks again. You're a great resource and I appreciate your contributions.

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  • 4 months later...

Stopped by Hot Rod's for dinner last night. Many improvements.


Expanded beer service, with six beers on tap. Greatly expanded selection of bottles with a Kolsch, several German and Czech, etc. Also a $4 closeout on bottles of beer (I had an Ithaca Brewing Company selection, Dee had a Fleur de Lehigh from Philadelphia brewing). Good deal.


Surf and ribs was excellent. Dozen large steamers, steamed in Yuengling, served with a small container of butter, another small container of their sweet bbq sauce, and a plate dusting of their magic bbq dust. Really good flavors. Full rack of ribs, good bark, not as moist as I'd like, but extremely tasty. I tend to like my ribs wet, so this may be an issue of personal taste. $28. FWIW, I'd like to see a half ribs alternate, this was a LOT of food. Served with excellent large fries, in a size between regular fries and Texas size.


Dee had the baby backs. Very moist, deeply flavored, served with two bbq sauces (sweet and a less sweet) on the side. Good sweet potato fries. $18, IIRC.


Nice selection of desserts from Mara's in Denville. Chocolate covered smoked bacon was offered. That looked really good, and the next table was delighted with their order. Dee had a chocolate mousse, which was 4 or 5 layers of chocolate and peanut butter. Extremely sweet. I could see them developing an after the movies business with Guinness etc served with dessert until 11pm, etc. The bar is open, and the desserts don't require kitchen time, etc.


Fine service, all the waitstaff were on their best demeanor, very engaging, even bringing out some samples, complimentary bread and maple butter, etc. One guy couldn't decide, and got a small plate of trimmings to help him make up his mind.

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