Name: R.O.’s Bar-B-Q
Address: 1318 Gaston Ave, Gastonia, NC 28052
Order: Minced bbq pork sandwich, hush puppies, half sweet/half unsweet tea (link to menu)
After Kyle Fletcher’s, Mrs. Monk was cool with us checking out R.O.‘s Bar-B-Q while we were in Gastonia. Because frankly, we don’t make the trip from Charlotte to Gastonia all that often (slash ever), so might as well take advantage of it. Well me, not so much her; she stayed in the car.
I won’t say it turned out to be a mistake, because at the very least I was able to cross another joint off our list. But it was not even close to being good.
The menu board at the register listed an “oven roasted pork” sandwich, so at least there were no illusions whether or not this was true barbecue. I ordered a barbecue sandwich, hush puppies, and slaw, only to be told that the slaw came on the sandwich. Cool, I thought, since the sides were all a la carte and the hush puppies alone were $2.25 on their own.
Little did I know that the “slaw” that comes on the sandwich is a sauce of what appears to be a thousand island and diced cabbage. Had I known, I would have asked for it on the side. It more or less made the sandwich inedible for me. I had maybe 3 bites before wrapping it back up to throw away.
At least the hush puppies were good – in fact, they were better than the ones we had just had at Kyle Fletcher’s. By far, the best part of the meal.
There must be something that keeps the folks coming to R.O.’s Bar-B-Q since it originally opened in 1946, but I’m not sure what it is. If you are looking for true barbecue in Gastonia, don’t come here. Their version of barbecue is some mutant hybrid that doesn’t fit the definition of traditional barbecue in any way. If you are looking for a good value, you probably shouldn’t come here either. My total was nearly $10, which was more than my meal at Kyle Fletcher’s, and for far less food. That being said, if you are looking for something you haven’t eaten before and likely won’t see too many other places, feel free to check out R.O.’s Bar-B-Q.
(For another review of R.O.’s, check out Marie, Let’s Eat!)
Atmosphere/Ambiance – 2 hogs
Pork – 1 hog
Sides – 3 hogs
Overall – 1 Hog
5 thoughts on “R.O.’s Bar-B-Que – Gastonia, NC”
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My husband is from Gastonia and we don’t go there without stopping at RO’s .. We LOVE the BBQ slaw .. it’s what makes the sandwich..of course you must drink Cherry Lemon Sundrop to get the full effect… We were just there this past weekend and we stopped and got some BBQ slaw to bring back to Georgia with us!!!
Hey Denise – glad you and your husband enjoy. That style just isn’t for me.
If you grew up on that slaw, as I did, it is comfort food for you. I live in Charlotte now and regularly buy it by the tubs and put it on everything I can. So that is one reason how/why ROs has been open for so long. There is a strong cult following just for that slaw. And, its true, you can not claim to have been to RO’s if you did not order a Cherry Lemon Sun-Drop. The best and also what they are famous for (other than the slaw)! And I stopped drinking soft drinks 20 years ago so it is a guilty pleasure for sure. Roots are hard to break!
Thanks for the comment, Amanda. While it wasn’t for me, it was clear from my visit that day that ROs wasn’t lacking for business from loyal locals such as yourself. And while I didn’t have a Cherry Lemon Sundrop that day, I am definitely very familiar with it.