Name: Ten Park Lanes
Address: 1700 Montford Dr., Charlotte, NC 28209
Order: Speedy: Burnt ends plate with fries and green beans; Monk: Pulled pork plate with slaw and mac and cheese (link to menu)
Price: Speedy: $13; Monk: $11
Monk: You might be asking yourself why the Barbecue Bros would bother reviewing barbecue from a bowling alley. I mean, you think of bowling alley food and you think of greasy pizza and hot dogs that have been cooking on rollers for too long and served on stale buns. Well, we assure you that is not the case here – Ten Park Lanes was actually named one of the best new restaurants in Charlotte in 2012 by Charlotte Magazine and was included in the Charlotte Observer’s Barbecue Bracket last spring, making it to the Elite 8 before being defeated by eventual winner Kyle Fletcher’s.
Speedy: Of course the atmosphere differs from most ‘cue joints, since it’s a bowling alley. Honestly, I wouldn’t go eat at Ten Park Lanes unless I was bowling, but the menu is perfectly suited for the atmosphere. Monk and I were having a guy’s night with a few buddies and the combination of bowling, beers, and barbecue was perfect for the event.
I decided to order the burnt ends, since we don’t often see them here in North Carolina. And I wasn’t disappointed. They were tender and didn’t need any additional sauce, but the flavor was lacking of any smoke or true barbecue taste. I was a little surprised that they were pulled instead of chunked, but it didn’t negatively affect the flavor. Overall, I thought my order was good – I might even order it again – but it doesn’t stack up to the burnt ends at Midwood Smokehouse, which is really the only other place I’ve had them (at least until my Kansas City trip this summer…)
Monk: The pulled pork was very moist and had decent smoke. It didn’t need it, but I did try it with some of the Piedmont Blonde housemade sauce. I mean, this was legitimately solid barbecue coming from a bowling alley (who do smoke their barbecue in house, presumably in a gas smoker). Although the slaw was mayo-based, both it and the mac and cheese were also quite good. Ten Park claims that all of the food is scratch made, and I believe it. The one thing that I do want to try next time is the Que Stacked Mason Jar, which is a jar stuffed with pulled pork, southern slaw, and BBQ baked beans.
Speedy: At the end of the day, you go to Ten Park Lanes for the bowling, but it turns out that the barbecue is a very pleasant surprise. I’m not ready to crown it king of Charlotte barbecue, but it’s a great compliment to rolling a few (in our case, very few) strikes.
Monk: Sorry Speedy, but this is not ‘Nam. This is bowling. There are rules. And you were over the line on those rolls…
Atmosphere/Ambiance – 3 hogs
Pork – 3 hogs
Burnt Ends – 3 hogs
Sides – 4 hogs
Overall – 3 Hogs