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Burton Village BBQ Company

April 1, 2022

  • 803 Burton Street SE
  • Grand Rapids, MI 49507
  • (616) 202-7240
  • No Known Website
  • Menu

It’s employee review time. Typically, my immediate supervisor has done my year end review. He’s pretty casual about it. If I’m in Grand Rapids, he’ll just pull me in to the conference room and go over the review then we both get back to work

We have a new big boss this year. The way he’s getting to know people is through the reviews. Instead of handing off the responsibility to department heads, he’s doing them all.

With so many reviews to do, time is limited. Since I work in Kalamazoo, my review kept getting pushed back until it got to the point that we had to get it done as the corporate deadline was fast approaching. That’s not really a big deal but, like I said, his time was limited.

The only way he could fit me in was at 2:00 on a Friday afternoon. Essentially, I’d have to start my shift in Kalamazoo, drive to Grand Rapids for my review then come back to Kalamazoo to finish what we had started in the morning. Not ideal but it needed to be done.

My Kalamazoo colleague and I got a good chunk of our work done before noon. He was at a point that I could leave him for a couple of hours to do what he needed to do then I’d come back and pick up the assignment from him to finish.

I had a little bit of breathing room so I decided to leave for Grand Rapids a little early and grab something to eat.

I didn’t really have a plan on what I was going to eat. BBQ sounded good and I know there’s always new BBQ shops popping up around town so I started searching Google Maps until I found one I hadn’t been to.

I picked Burton Village BBQ Company on the corner of Burton Street and Eastern Avenue on the Southesast Side of Grand Rapids. The small carry-out business is on a very odd shaped lot right on the corner. It kind of sits on an angle stretching from Burton to Eastern with a triangle shaped parking lot in front of it. The building has been a couple of different restaurants over the last few years. The last time I was in there it was Wing Avenue. Before that, it was one of many Wing Heaven restaurants that only seem to last a couple of years.

The menu is fairly common for this kind of neighborhood BBQ joint. Tips and Rib slabs are the main menu items but they have some BBQ chicken and turkey knuckle options as well. I’m a big rib tip fan so I ordered the Rib Tip meal which came with two sides.

There’s not much cooking to do after ordering so my meal was boxed up pretty quickly. The total for the very heavy box of food was just over $12 before tip. The restaurant is pretty much just an order counter with some space that used to be used kind of like a lunch counter but there are no seats anymore. I grabbed my box and headed in to the office.

I couldn’t wait to dig in to the tips but I can’t eat them in the car. As soon as I got to the office, I grabbed some napkins and headed to the break room. There was a pretty hefty pile of tips swimming in a thick, sweet BBQ sauce. Some of them were very tender and just melted in my mouth. Some of them were pretty tough though and took some work to chew through. Nothing went to waste though, I ate all the meat in box and soaked up as much of that sweet, tasty sauce as I could.

The side choices were all southern comfort food choices. There was no option for fries so I picked the Macaroni and Cheese and Grilled Corn.

The Macaroni and Cheese is macaroni noodles in a thick creamy sauce with little bits of shredded cheddar mixed in after the fact. The pasta was good but there wasn’t a whole lot of flavor outside of the cheese sauce which had broken down a little bit.

The grilled corn is pretty much what it claims to be. I’m guessing the corn was grilled while on the cob then cut off for serving. It had grill marks on some of the kernels and the whole thing was covered in a buttery sauce.

Burton Village BBQ Company is pretty typical for a neighborhood BBQ joint. There’s a smoker outside in the parking lot wafting smoke throughout the just calling for you to find your way to the shop. The rib tips that were tender were delicious but not all of them were that way unfortunately. The ones that were a little tough were still delicious..the flavor was there. It just took a little more effort to eat.

I always seek out places like Burton Village BBQ Company for the rib tips. You just can’t find them at bigger BBQ chains. There’s just no comparison to a big commercial smoker and a guy standing out in the parking lot with a big offset. There’s more room for error but it’s worth the risk.

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