315 EATS: Bone Yard BBQ Bar and Grill – Utica, NY

We have tried several barbeque places but never this one in the past four years – Bone Yard BBQ in Utica, close to the Chanatry’s.

Before I went, I honestly did not have any expectations. I have tried many BBQ when I was in other places around the U.S., including Texas, where BBQ is quite popular. I was surprised that I thought I might have found probably the best BBQ place in this area after I had it. I have been there three times in the past months and each time, they were quite consistent in service and food quality.

Little place, great food, and fast service.

We had the rib tip sandwich, pulled pork sandwich (both regular and the Carolina style), their version of Rochester’s famous Garbage Plate, and chicken and ribs so far.

Garbage Plate – Bone Yard BBQ Bar And Grill – Utica, NY

The Garbage Plate is a mix of pulled pork, beans, coleslaw, mac & cheese, and corn, with two pieces of cornbread. The barbecued pork was tender and flavorful. It is not the usual kind where the flavor heavily relies on the BBQ sauce while the meat itself is dry and bland. It was also not overly salty or overpowered by the BBQ sauce or the sweetness from the sauce. The Garbage Plate looked yummy and changed the impression I had on the dish, as many times they look meh (messy and not enticing).

The rib tip sandwich looked a bit thin at the first glance. However, after I bit into it, the bread to meat ratio was actually perfect so I could enjoy the entire sandwich. The stronger taste of the rib was very well balanced by the toast. And the flavor of the rib tips was just excellent.

I enjoyed their pulled pork. Though I could not taste much smoke flavor, it is quite juicy and flavorful. There is a seasoning in the pork that gives a nice but nuanced taste to the pork so that it can be enjoyed without the BBQ sauce or just a bit of sauce. For people who would enjoy more of such taste, I would recommend trying some without the BBQ sauce. This is different from many other pulled pork which relies heavily on the BBQ sauce to be enjoyable. For people who like their BBQ to be stronger and richer with more BBQ sauce, the flavor of the meat also won’t overpower or make the meat too strong with more sauce.

Rib & Chicken (half) – Bone Yard BBQ Bar And Grill – Utica, NY

The ribs had a rich smoky flavor and I could taste the nice flavor of the dry rub. The rib was cooked perfectly, tender and juicy with good flavor. I didn’t add extra BBQ sauce and the rib tasted great to me. The chicken also had a nice smoky flavor as you can tell from the skin. I didn’t see much of a burnt area on this piece and the majority of the chicken showed a consistent smoky tan.

I first had the wings and then the breast. The wings were tender and perfect, though I’m not a big fan of the vinegar flavor of the skin. When it comes to the breast, I have to say I’m not surprised that the breast is less flavorful and dry. When cooking the whole chicken, the breast has been the toughest part because it is easily overcooked and the seasoning usually cannot make it through the thick piece.

The fries were ordinary, not the best crisp ones but also not the soggy type.

On thing I would say though, the coleslaw has been very consistent with its peppery taste; very strong with black sesame-sized black pepper pieces in them. When eating it alone it can be too strong.

Fun story: I told the guy who served us the first time that this is great food and he told me that is why he gained weight. He told us he was 110 pounds when he came here – he is a big guy now, haha.

Unfortunately, there were no smoked wings or hawg wings even, when we went on weekends. Sounds like they had a hard time sourcing the meat for hawg wings but not sure about the “award-winning” smoked wings. I will try to ask for it again next time.

Based on the past three visits, The Bone Yard ranks among the top BBQ places I’ve tried so far in this area.

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