When most people go to Niagara Falls they go to the actual Falls themselves, because they are pretty impressive and all. Some people will go and then enjoy the lovely wine country and wineries in the area. Even others will go to check out the breweries, cideries, and distilleries. And then there are those who go for the nachos, and, if lucky, can also combine that with a trip to some place with tasty BBQ, such as Barker Brewing for example.
40 miles from the Falls lies the tiny town of Barker, population 533 as of the 2010 census, or 534 if you chose to count Barker Brewing as a human, and you should. A delicious, BBQ flavored human…. When driving up to the building you might question whether there actually is a restaurant in what looks to be an industrial area, but trust me, is there ever one. If it were not literally one block off the main road you could describe it as out of the way, but “Hidden Gem” is perhaps the more accurate term, if that gem was made of slow roasted meat.
If you arrive early enough in the day you can get yourself a nice table on the back deck, or not if you would rather eat inside in the air conditioning, you can do that too, it’s still a free country. The deck also seems to double as a stage for musicians while the large lawn behind it a lovely place to watch a show from, but I didn't witness any of this as I showed up as soon as they opened for lunch and lunch is not the usual time of day for bands at restaurants. What I did witness was a menu dripping with pulled pork, the greatest of all porks, and more importantly a Pork Nachos Supreme. I know instantly what I was ordering.
After a nice starter of soft pretzel sticks and a flight of beers the nachos arrived. I think the word “Supreme” needs a standardized definition as when I see that on a menu I expect something fantastic and out of the ordinary, and when I was an order of concession nachos covered in pulled pork arrive at my table I was a little disappointed. My hopes weren’t crushed yet, I knew the pulled pork could separate this from just being a plain old concession nachos to a perfectly passable order of concession nachos, and fortunately it was able to seal the deal with ease. It’s easy to get down on concession nachos, but sometimes all it really takes is one flavorful enough ingredient to turn something that would have been completely average into something pretty damn tasty. 9 times out of 10 that ingredient is some sort of tasty meat, and this time was no different. Pulled pork to the rescue once again!
The Pork Nachos Supreme was definitely the correct choice, but if I was someone of a pork free persuasion they also had some “Nachos w/ Cheese”. “Nachos w/ Cheese, as if there was some sort of nachos WITHOUT cheese. Having not ordered these I can’t know for sure but my guess would be that they’re just the same as the Pork Nachos Supreme but without the pulled pork, salsa or sour cream. Just really concession nachos at that point, and really you don’t say no to pulled pork.
You know me, I like nachos, but when you can either order a completely standard order of nachos that are fine but nothing special like these or some tasty BBQ, always go for the BBQ. You can, and should, also spring for the “Smac n’ Cheese”, which is a smoked mac and cheese and THAT is something special. You are welcome to order any and all of these things really, but combining them all in one meal if you plan on eating and drinking your way the rest of the region is not a great idea. Trust me, as man whose guts were bloated the rest of the day, don’t let your eyes be bigger than your stomach. Or go wild because Barker Brewing was delicious, even if the nachos were only average, the choice is yours.