Stevie Z’s BBQ is a small barbecue stand serving downtown Waynesville. It’s got a short-and-sweet menu of a few different kinds of barbecue and some sides to go along with it. The beauty here is in the simplicity. A little porch alongside the store is a place where locals hang out to sample the cuisine, and a smoker in the back is where the magic really happens. The place seems to be popular with the passerby, and a very friendly staff attests to the kind of small-town business you just have to experience to understand.
The barbecue itself is fantastic, I’ve always preferred my barbecue extra smoky and the stuff delivers just right. The beef brisket is soft and tender, it melts in your mouth like butter. It’s definitely got that back yard barbecue taste to it, just a little bit of sauce to top the stuff off is all you need. There are also options for barbecued ribs and barbecued pork as well; a few different kinds of choice barbecue meat. The sauce that it comes with is the vinegary, sweet type of barbecue sauce, much the same as Cincinnati’s well-liked Montgomery Inn makes the stuff. They also have an option with a little bit of heat to it.
I liked the green beans. I think they’re canned, but the restaurant does something to them and they’re really great. Myself, I didn’t prefer the mac and cheese though. I might have been given the corner of the pan or something, but it’s got a crust on it that is a little burnt for my taste. The mac and cheese is very cheesy and that’s great, but the crisp top sort of overshadowed that.
Like much of Waynesville, the place is just so easy to like. From the outside it’s easy to miss, a little house in a long line of nice-looking little shop fronts. Inside you might be able to fit half a dozen people, but the locals seem to love the place. The staff is very nice, and a lot of the people who came through the place when I was there seemed to be local friends and acquaintances. And let’s be honest; some nice barbecue on a porch on a warm day is hard to beat, especially when you’re walking along the Waynesville main stretch and enjoying the sights.
This restaurant knows its audience. The people are friendly both to locals and visitors and the food is a nice and fast stop between shops along the main stretch. It’s simple, it’s inexpensive and I think it’ll certainly do.
- Come out on a nice day; most of the seating is outside, and there are a lot of pleasant sights around the restaurant during the day, anyway.
- Like what you taste? Stevie Z has an introductory lesson to barbecuing on his restaurant website.
- If you’re just in the mood for something sweet, they have ice cream too.