Bar-B-Q Heaven has been serving up slow-cooked, made-on-site barbecue in the heart of Indianapolis since 1952, making it a bona fide Hoosier institution. And yet, I just ate there for the first time last week. What the hell’s wrong with me?
The menu at Bar-B-Q Heaven includes all of the classic barbeque items like spare ribs, pork chops, chicken, and rib tips. They use hickory, apple, and cherry wood to roast their meats right inside the restaurant. Side items include macaroni and cheese, greens, baked beans and homemade chili. They also offer desserts like sweet potato pie, chess pie, and cheesecake.
For my initial visit, I decided to try the pulled pork sandwich (which the folks here call “pork on bun”). They offer a choice of three homemade sauces—hot, mild, and sweet. Throwing caution to the wind, I decided to order the hot sauce. Usually I find “hot” sauces to be “not so hot.” But, the hot sauce at Bar-B-Q Heaven actually brought a little heat! It certainly wasn’t unbearable, but it was good and spicy. The pork itself was delicious, tender and flavorful. To counteract the heat, I also ordered a side of potato salad. It did the job of cooling down my mouth, but otherwise it was just pretty standard mustard-based potato salad. It wasn’t bad, but nothing great. I also ordered some sweet tea, which I assumed would be brewed in-house. To my dismay, I was handed a bottle of Gold Peak tea. It wasn’t undrinkable, but it was a far cry from freshly brewed.
Be advised that this is not the kind of place where you’re going to have a seat and dine-in. For one thing, there are no tables or chairs. For another, the walk-up ordering area is pretty small, so there’s not a lot of room to dilly-dally.
Overall, I was quite pleased with the food at Bar-B-Q Heaven. The barbecue itself was delicious and the sauce was tangy and hot. I’ll definitely be back for more before another 59 years go by! Next time I’ll probably just make my own tea at home, though.