I had previously written an entry on Loudlunch about Hog Tails BarBQue, Waterloo’s first down home barbecue restaurant, which is hidden in a small plaza at Laurelwood. If you do not already know, they are now double the delicious with a sorta-kinda new(er) place in Kitchener – Lancaster Smokehouse.
All our meats are locally sourced from Ontario family farms, many of them are in Waterloo County and Mennonite owned. Our Chefs shop the local farmers markets for the freshest produce. We are committed to sourcing from our community, and work with area suppliers to provide Ontario products wherever possible and in season. All our Southern ingredients are sourced directly from suppliers across the Southern United States and we have visited them all!
Hog Tails is tucked away from the major areas in Waterloo and rather tricky to find. I heard that this is something intended by the owner since the family restaurant is modeled after the best barbecue joints in the States; the good ones are always located at hard-to-reach spots.
Entering the restaurant, you will be greeted by walls covered with pictures of adventures and BBQ competitions which the owners had participated in the States. Brightly colored walls accented the jolly atmosphere. The place is not huge, with very limited seating so many customers prefer take-outs. Despite that, I have never had trouble getting a spot. Since the customer turnover is pretty fast, it will probably be about a 10 minute wait.
Lancaster Smokehouse, on the other hand, is massive. I guess they expanded given the popularity of Hog Tails. Despite the spacious parking lot at the back, we did not manage to get a spot even after circling a couple of times, and had to park across the street It was also quite the challenge to cross the road since the restaurant is located just off the very busy roundabout at Bridge & Lancaster.
Lancaster Smokehouse has considerately set up a waiting room with benches and menus for customers. We waited for at least 30 minutes, while the waiting room got pretty stuffy with the increasing number of people flooding in.
The interior was huge with an overall jolly atmosphere.
Owned by the same Corrigan family, you can expect the same price/quality at both restaurants. I compared the menus and found that Lancaster Smokehouse has a few additional appetizers, but the main menu is generally the same. On your first visit, I highly suggest getting their BBQ Platters, which will allow you to try a whole variety of their specialty barbecue such as ribs, pulled pork, brisket, chicken, pigtails and wings . There is the sample platter for one (LIE – it can probably feed three of me) of 2 or 3 meats at $17.99/$19.99. If not, there is also the 4/5 meats family platter at $31.99/$36.99. All of those come with your choice or sides and corn bread.
Food arrived relatively quickly given the crowd at both places. A typical wait is about 10 minutes.
On the Table for Maple @ Hog Tails:
BBQ sampler platter 3 meat – BBQ chicken, Southern Style pulled pork and Texas beef brisket with two sides (sweet potato fries and molasses baked beans) – $19.99
On their menu, they described the chicken as:
We bet this chicken is the juiciest smoked chicken around! Marinated overnight and slow smoked, our giant chickens are finished on the grill with our signature barbecue sauce.
AGREED. These are definitely the best barbecue chicken I have ever had. They were so tender and juicy and just… ohmygod. I enjoyed the other meats as well, since they all exhibited the same traits of bold saucy flavours.
On the Table for Maple @ Lancaster Smokehouse:
Barbecue Half Chicken with cajun corn and seasonal vegetables ($14.99)
I went all out at Lancaster Smokehouse by just ordering the barbecue chicken. My dining buddies ordered the Piggy Platter ($15.99) and 2-meat sampler platter ($17.99). Hearty portions so I managed to brown-bag half the plate. Their beer battered onion rings were massive!
***Note: Lancaster Smokehouse has live performance on Fridays and Saturdays evenings. This could be good/bad, since it was literally impossible to have any sort of dinner conversation. However, if you do enjoy a good live performance, here is their entertainment schedule.
If you have not already visited the place, I highly recommend it. Do not say I didn’t warn you… but this is probably not a date kind-of place since you will not want to share what is on your plate.
And spring/summer really needs to come already.