Three Tips for Eating at a Barbecue Restaurant Without Making a Mess

26 June 2017
 Categories: Food & Cooking, Blog


You can make the argument that part of the fun of eating at a barbecue restaurant is winding up covered in barbecue sauce. However, sometimes you really want to avoid the mess, such as when you're on a first date or when your group made a last-minute decision to grab barbecue, like from a restaurant like Grumpy's Bar B Que Roadhouse, when you're dressed in dry-clean only clothes. Luckily, there are ways to enjoy your meal without leaving covered in sauce. Take a look at a few tips for eating at a barbecue restaurant without making a mess.


Ordering ribs when you want to stay clean may seem like tempting fate, but sometimes they're just too delicious to turn down. If you really want to stay pristine while eating ribs, consider ordering Memphis-style ribs, or another style made with a dry rub instead of sloppy sauce.

If you can't do without the sauce, ask for a set of corn cob holders (or carry your own with you). You can insert the corn cob holders into the cut end of the rib bone, and this will give you a convenient, sauce-free handle to use when holding your rib. This will keep the sauce off your hands, cutting down on your napkin usage and lessening the chance that you'll accidentally transfer the sauce to your clothes. You may still end up with sauce on your face, but that's easily wiped off when you're done.

Grilled or Pulled Sandwich

At first glance, ordering a sandwich may seem like an easy way to avoid a mess. But if you've ever had a hamburger full of condiments fall apart on you, you'll understand the problem – a big chunk of grilled chicken or an over sized barbecue burger is even more unwieldy than the average fast food burger. Plus, pulled meats like chicken or pork can be so moist and saucy that they soak right through the bun.

There's a technique for holding a hamburger without losing any of the toppings that should also worked for a grilled sandwich on a bun. Japanese researchers found that when you hold the burger with your thumbs and pinkies on the bottom and your middle three fingers spread uniformly across the top, you can take bites of the burger without forcing all the toppings out of the bun and onto your lap.

For pulled meat sandwiches, try cutting them in half to make them easier to handle. Then flip them over so that the bottom bun is on top. The top bun is a little thicker and hasn't spent so much time soaking up all the juice from the meat, so it's less likely to fall apart while you eat it.

Chicken Wings

Sure, it's possible to eat a chicken drumstick fairly neatly. Just hold it in two fingers and nibble the meat off the bone. The wings, however, are not only messy to eat but also very awkward – it's tough to get the meat from in between the two bones without picking it apart with your fingers or pulling it apart with your front teeth.

However, there's an easy but little-known way to eat these tasty but troublesome snacks. All you have to do is loosen first the smaller bone, then the larger one, from the meat. If they're cooked correctly, you should be able to pull them out clean, leaving you with a neat, boneless chunk of meat.

You may need to get a little creative, but it is possible to enjoy a meal at a barbecue restaurant without being a total mess by the time you leave. Once you get the hang of it, you won't have to hesitate to stop in at your favorite barbecue restaurant.