In my quest to try local restaurants in hopes of finding places to take visitors or to frequent when I’m looking for a dinner out, I went with a friend to Kevin’s Hog Heaven for “barbecue.” Notice the quotation marks please. It was unlike any barbecue I had while living in the south for 37 years but I attribute that to being up north. Kevin claims that they cook meat 24/7 and, in fact, has opened a second location. As the “Home of the Fried Oreo,” it is apparently very popular since its opening about a year ago. The restaurant is open 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, so if we wanted dinner, it had to be very early. To be fair, I was not all that enthusiastic about going in the first place. For those that know me well, you are aware that I don’t like barbecue! Also, I do not care for eating early. So Kevin’s Hog Heaven had two strikes against it before I even left my house at 4:50! When we first made plans to go to Kevin’s, I told my friend, Nancy, that I felt like the people in Miami who rush out to get the early bird specials. She said emphatically, “It’s not age, it’s location.” You know from an earlier post that places here close very early before Memorial Day and after Labor Day.
I was used to Sonny’s Barbecue which for me was tolerable and I loved their cole slaw and beans. At Kevin’s, we were served large portions of dry meat. When we asked for sauce, the waitress said, “Sauce?” as if it was a foreign concept, then reappeared with three squirt bottles — hot, hickory, and barbecue. The meat desperately needed something so hot sauce it was. The sides were macaroni and cheese and cole slaw — very small portions. Clearly people go to Kevin’s for the large portions of meat, not for the sides. It is obvious that if a place is only open until 7:00 PM it is not a good bet for dinner. I felt like the waitress couldn’t wait until we left so she could go home. Having dedicated my brisket to Nancy’s dogs, we prepared to leave with the check in hand. When we got to the register, the waitress couldn’t figure out how to break up the ticket even though we were all paying cash! She couldn’t open the register to give change, so it took longer to pay than it did to eat our meals!
Just before we left, Kevin cook/owner came to our table (we were one of three occupied tables) to see how we liked our meal. Beer in hand (oh, how I wish I had one — it’s a bring your own), he told us how he had just opened another location. It is apparently very popular around these parts. For me, it’s another restaurant that I likely will not return to even if it is “The Home of the Fried Oreo.” In fairness to Kevin, my guess is that it does a big breakfast, lunch and take-out business. Maybe living in the south for so long I am used to a different kind of barbecue and that explains my reaction. I definitely should have brought beer and had the fried Oreo!