While my daughter was still at camp, hubby and I took our son out for dinner at City Barbecue. We have wanted to go for a while, but driving to Carmel during rush hour always seems daunting (and the other locations are even further). But we sucked it up and made the drive one night.
We had eaten at City BBQ in Columbus, Ohio once while visiting hubby’s parents and really liked it, but it had been quite awhile. We were excited when we heard this one was opening. It hasn’t been open too long in Carmel, and I had heard there were pretty big crowds. On the night we were there (a Tuesday) it wasn’t too bad. You wait in line to place your order and they call your name when it’s ready (unfortunately hardly anyone there seems to be of age, so if you order a beer, you have to wait for a manager to bring it to you, which took longer than getting the food).
They have a pretty extensive menu and a ton of sides. Hubby and I made negotiations and ended up with a pulled chicken sandwich (me) ($7.49+ $2.99 for 2 sides) and a sampler platter of a mini pulled pork sandwich, a mini brisket sandwich and smoked sausage (hubby) ($13.99+ $2.99 for 2 sides). My son got the kids meal with mac and cheese, a side of baked beans and a drink ($3.99).
I had read about the pulled chicken online which is what inspired me to get it (that and the fact that I am pretty sure my in laws had it that time I ate it at their house). They smoke the chicken and then pull it and simmer it in what they call their “white” BBQ sauce that has a bunch of things in it like cayenne, vinegar and horseradish. This is easily one of the most tender pulled chicken sandwiches I have had. Honestly, you barely need BBQ sauce because the meat is so tender and flavorful, but they have a selection of sauces on the table for you to dress your BBQ as you wish. I tried the mustard sauce first because I tend to like mustard sauces, but this one was a little too pure yellow mustard for me. I ended up settling on their original sauce, which is your typical red BBQ sauce. It was nice and smoky with a hint of heat (they also have a pure sweet and a hot version).
Hubby’s pulled pork was also delicious—just as tender as the chicken, but with the richness you are only going to get from pork. We both loved it. I am not a huge fan of brisket—just a little dry to me, even with the sauce on top. My son however was excited that his baked beans contained bits of the brisket and he really liked it. He ended up finishing up hubby’s mini brisket sandwich. I didn’t try the sausage but hubby said it was good, just not as good as the pulled chicken and pork.
There are so many sides it is hard to decide which ones to get. Since my son got the mac and cheese as his main dish, I knew I could try his and got something else. I remembered the potato salad being good and I also ordered the corn pudding. I do like the potato salad even if it isn’t overly flavorful. It is kind of an old school version with celery, egg, and mayo. Reminds me of my Grandma’s. I liked a bite of it with a bit of the BBQ. I also enjoyed the corn pudding—it was sort of like a softer, buttery cornbread with bits of whole corn in it. Sweet, but not sickly sweet. The baked beans were good. There are pieces of the brisket cooked into it, which is what made my son decide he really liked the brisket. We also had an order of the hush puppies—they are corn meal balls that are battered and deep-fried. The batter was decent, but the inside of the hushpuppies didn’t really have any seasoning. I would pass on these next time.
All in all, I quite liked this place—especially the pulled pork and chicken. I would totally stop and get a pound of this carry out. I also liked their house bbq sauce and while none of the sides completely blew me away, I enjoyed the potato salad and the corn pudding. The mac and cheese, while pretty straightforward, was decent as well. Even though it’s a chain, it’s a darn good option. And hubby is looking forward to trying the ribs next time.
1356 Rangeline Road (and other Indy locations)
Carmel, IN 46032