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Mission BBQ (Grand Rapids)

December 1, 2022

  • 2190 E. Beltline Avenue NE
  • Grand Rapids, MI 49525
  • (616) 828-4833
  • Website
  • Menu

In addition to spending a lot of time on the road recently, I’ve always spent a lot of time in Grand Rapids. I was trying not to eat out as much because it seems like I’ve been eating out a lot lately. But one day, the smell of BBQ got to me.

I was at a job in Grand Rapids Township near Knapps Corner. There are a lot of chain restaurants out in that area including some that are new to me. I could smell BBQ as I was working and even though I didn’t really need it nor did I really have time to stop, I let me nose lead the way.

Mission BBQ is Maryland based BBQ chain started to help first responders. The first store opened a little over 10 years ago on 9/11 by a former UnderArmor executive and a former Outback Steakhouse executive. The chain donates millions of dollars to local and national charities.

The Grand Rapids location of Mission BBQ is on the East Beltline just north of Knapp Street. It’s in a large shopping plaza with several other restaurants. The BBQ joint opened in the fall of 2019 in what used to be a Bagger Dave’s Burger Tavern.

Mission BBQ’s mission is to support first responders. That’s evident as soon as you walk in the door. There are pictures on walls throughout the restaurant beginning in the entry way of local police and fire departments.

Along the wall separating the order area from the dining room, patches from various first responder departments are lined up over a fire hose.

Mission BBQ is like a lot of chain BBQ places in that it’s counter service. You order your meal at one end of a long counter overlooking the kitchen and pick it up a few minutes later at the other end.

There is a large dining room for dine in that looks, again, like many other BBQ restaurants. BBQ places seem to go for a look with a lot of metal decor, concrete floors, and high exposed ceilings.

I was really in a hurry so I was really glad to see counter service when I walked in.

I put in an order for a brisket sandwich and an order of fries. The cost was right around $18 when I made it an XL Combo with fries and a drink.

I was filling up my Pepsi when I heard my name called so it was pretty quick to put together. The lady who handed me the food asked if I wanted sauce. I asked for a spicy sauce and she suggested the Tupelo Honey Heat sauce.

I needed to get back to the office and I wanted to eat the fries with the sauce so I left everything alone until I got back to my desk.

I went with the fries first while they were still hot. These delicious fries are deliciously golden brown skin on fries with a heavy dose of salt seasoning. They were good on their own but I love dipping fries in delicious BBQ sauce. There wasn’t enough sauce in the little cup for all of the fries so I ate about half that way. The Tupelo Honey Heat sauce is one of those that’s sweet at first but then that heat hits you.

When I ordered the brisket, they asked me if I wanted lean or juicy. I went juicy which is the point of the brisket. This sandwich was sliced brisket which is really the best way to serve it. The meat was juicy but it wasn’t super fatty. It was that amazing melt in your mouth brisket that I try so hard to make at home but can never get as good as the professionals.

Mission BBQ didn’t really stand out to me as far as chain BBQ chains go but that really didn’t matter. It was delicious. It just means they take a really traditional approach to BBQ and they do it really well.

I wasn’t really hungry when I stopped in nor did I have the time but I’m glad I listened to my nose.

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