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OT’s Up-N-Smoke B.B.Q. – Capital Avenue

May 16, 2010

  • 450 NE Capital Avenue
  • Battle Creek, MI 49107
  • (269) 963-7777
  • Website
  • Menu

There’s not much you can’t get me to do if you bribe me with BBQ.  J knows that.  I was awakened bright and early this morning (well, 11:30, but bright and early for me) by a very cheerful J.  She wanted to go to the Binder Park Zoo.  We’ve been talking about since we lived in Lansing, but never made the time for it.  While I was sleeping, she looked up hours for a BBQ place we knew we liked in BC and found they were opening at noon, so she did her best to convince me to get out of bed.

After a little prodding, she finally got me up and we headed to Battle Creek.  There are two locations for OT’s Up-N-Smoke BBQ.  We stopped at the cart on Beadle Lake Road on our way to Mt. Pleasant a couple months ago.  This time, we decided to check out the storefront on the corner of Capital Avenue and Wabash Avenue just Northeast of downtown Battle Creek.

Like the cart, there is no dining room at OT’s.  It’s a strictly carry-out business, but they do have a couple old wooden picnic tables in the parking lot.

Inside, there’s a three foot counter that searates the small waiting area from the kitchen.  There are trophies and plaques on display from all the BBQ competitions they have been to and placed in.  There are also a few chairs if you have to wait for your food.

Most people that were coming in on this Sunday morning seemed to be regulars.  They all knew to call ahead and when they walked in, they were greeted by name.  We were the odd balls. 

When we walked in, I saw four people behind the counter, but only one acknowledged us and said she’d be right with us.  She was running around frantically trying to fill several orders, answer the phone, and work the counter.  She told us later she doesn’t usually have anyone in the store before 2:00 on Sunday and already in the fifteen minutes or so the store had been open, she was swamped.

It took five minutes or so for her to come to the counter and take our order.  We both wanted pulled pork, but she said she wasn’t sure if the pork was ready yet.  I think she saw the disappointed look on our face because she said she’d go check on it.  A few minutes later, we heard her yell from the kitchen that she could pull off enough for a couple sandwiches.

We both ordered the pulled pork combo which comes with fries.  We had drinks in the car already, so there was  no need to go for the basket.  I kept the fries that came with my order, but J substituted baked beans which cost a little bit more.

Our order was put together in the order it was received.  The lone employee that seemed to be handling the whole store by herself went back to filling the call in orders, so it took another ten minutes or so to get our food.

Once it was boxed up and ready to go, we headed outside to eat at the picnic tables.  I grabbed our Pepsi’s from the car and J went to sit down.  When I got over to join her, I plopped down on the bench and wondered immediately if that was a good idea.  I thought maybe I plopped too hard and wondered if I was going to go through.  The bench was a little old, but it serves it’s purpose.

The food is fantastic.  Just like last time, we both learned right away there was no way we were going to be able to pick up the sandwich.  There was a good portion of meat between the hamburger bun and there was a lot of sauce.  The whole sandwich was drowning in the thin, vinegar based sweet sauce.  Luckily, there were a couple forks in the bag so we ate our sandwiches open face.  After finishing off the tender, juicy pork, we used the top bun to sop up any remaining sauce in the to go container.  Back home, we call that a sauce bun and it’s delicious.  Bread and BBQ sauce.  Sounds simple, but really delicious.

The fries were a skin on with a light batter.  They too were delicious, crunchy, and perfectly cooked.  I used a little more of the left over sauce to dip them in.

I think J was really surprised by the baked beans.  She really liked them and said they may be the best beans she’s ever had at a BBQ joint.  There were no pieces of meat in them, but there was a lot of sauce.  She offered me a taste, but I’m not really a fan of beans.

Our meal cost a little over fifteen bucks.  The drawback to OT’s is there’s no dining room, so if you’re traveling from Kalamazoo, you really need a place to go eat.  If you live in Battle Creek, it’s a great carry-out place.  The BBQ is some of the best in the area and that’s something that’s really hard to find in Michigan.  It’s the kind of place we will find a reason to go to Battle Creek for.

Pulled Pork Sandwich w/Fries

BBQ Baked Beans

Ot's Up N Smoke BBQ on Urbanspoon

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