While we were in Pennsylvania, Tom and I tried out several new-to-us places to eat. The first place we ate was Mission BBQ in York. We are always on the lookout for great BBQ or an interesting story.
Mission BBQ has the interesting story. Mission BBQ opened its doors on September 11, 2011, in Davenport, Iowa. The two founders, Bill Kraus and Steve Newton, wanted a way to give back to first responders and military personnel after 9/11. They traveled all over the United States trying to decide what makes great BBQ. They chose the best from each region and incorporated it into their restaurant. There are currently 90 locations located primarily on the East Coast and in the Midwest. There are six locations in Ohio.
The founders say, “We believe there is nothing more American than BBQ. And nobody more American than the brave men and women who have sworn to protect and serve Our Communities and Our Country. We do what we do for the love of our soldiers, firefighters, police officers, first responders—all our loved ones in service.” Mission BBQ has fund-raisers for all kinds of groups that support first responders and the military. You can see a list of the groups they support (it goes on and on) here.
Each Mission BBQ location is decorated with memorabilia from local military groups and veterans. There are pictures of veterans and their website highlights stories of first responders and people in the military. Every day at noon, they play the national anthem and have everyone stand and salute the flag.
Mission BBQ has a great story, but what about the BBQ? The BBQ is served without sauce and then you add sauce at the table. They have six different kinds of sauce on the table, representing different styles of BBQ across the country. Tom and I tried all of the sauces and we had a hard time telling the difference between most of them. The only one that was really distinctive was the Texas Twang, where I could taste the Worcestershire Sauce.
The pulled pork was good, but not great. The sides were okay. The food didn’t really have anything to recommend it above any other BBQ place. But we felt very patriotic eating there, which is a big thing these days.
If you are close to a Mission BBQ it is worth a try. The atmosphere, not the food, is the biggest selling point. I appreciate all the things the company is doing to support those who serve our country and our communities.