Cuz’s Uptown Barbeque (Pounding Mill, VA)

I know I normally only talk about places in West Virginia, but I will make an exception for this location in Western Virginia.

First, the name of the restaurant is part of the joke as there is nothing uptown about Pounding Mill Virginia.  Cuz’s is located in a converted barn alongside US 19/460.  It’s about 45 minutes south of Bluefield and an hour north of Bristol.  It’s been there for 35 years and I’ve heard about it for years, but only made it the other day.

Second, the style is, um, eclectic.  You enter through a set of double doors with a hand painted pig, as you do.

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The inside is the same “whatever goes” attitude.  I grabbed a seat at the bar and was greeted to Pee Wee Herman’s backside (I know there is a joke there somewhere).

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Check out their website for more photos:   http://www.cuzs.com/.  This is either a style you enjoy or hate.  The food is equally eclectic.  There is a clear Asian influence (one of the owners grew up in Hong Kong) with egg rolls, Thai curries, Hong Kong seafood baskets and the like.  I did get a nice egg roll to start.

The menu features a number of steaks and seafood options, but I was in the mood to try their que.  I did the 3 way platter which was ribs, pulled pork and sliced beef (stewed in sauce).  The stewed in sauce bit is important.  Many barbeque places say their que is so good you don’t need sauce.  I never got to test that here as everything was heavily sauced:

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The sauce was a good tomato/molasses combination that was sweet and savory but not really spicy.  I was told this is the standard way they serve their barbeque; they will serve the pulled pork without sauce, but were out(?).  The ribs were meaty and the sliced brisket had a strong flavor, but the sauce overwhelmed the pulled pork.  They served the meal with homemade bread, which was very useful in eating the pork so as to reduce the impact of the sauce.

Cuz’s has been open for 35 years, so they must be doing something right.  And, if your favorite part of bbq is the sauce, this may be the place for you.  I do want to go back and try something else.  But, for now, this is a “nice place if you are in the area” kind of place.

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