BY CHELSEA CORDES
Lancaster’s BBQ has been operating in Mooresville, NC since the mid 1980’s, making it a favorite local spot for decades. It provides a friendly, fun, and relaxing environment for enjoying authentic slow-smoked eastern North Carolina barbeque. The business moved to Rinehardt road off route 150 in 1992 where it continued to expand and still stands today. Walking into Lancaster’s you are immediately greeted by their original game room featuring coin machines like Ms. Pac Man and The Fast and the Furious. In the beginning this was a place for customers to be entertained while waiting for their orders, as lines got so long that they would wrap around the sidewalks. In 1998 owners Jeff and Terry Lancaster added the large restaurant dining area where they drove in the famous yellow bus and enclosed the walls around it. Today, the restaurant entry way is lined with numerous autographed race memorabilia and pictures. The whole atmosphere is a NASCAR lovers dream with authentic hoods, signs, helmets and much more to check out while dining in or grabbing takeout.
Once we sat down in one of the race themed booths, we began our meal with the delivery of a fresh basket of hush puppies. For starters, we ordered their Maui chicken salad and house salad. All their salads, with the exception of their house salad, are served in a fresh fried flour tortilla shell. The Maui salad had a plentiful amount of teriyaki glazed chicken and was topped with grilled pineapple and sesame seeds. The house salad had fresh mixed greens with veggies, cheddar cheese, and an egg cut in half topped with ample bacon crumbles.
Next up, we had what is said to be their most popular item on the menu, jumbo wings! You can order their wings in 10, 15, or 25-piece orders and choose from over ten options of house made sauces. The most popular sauces are the original and Jamaican honey. Ours were tossed in the original sauce which was a flavorful, mild buffalo taste. The wings were fried to perfection, crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, served with your choice of ranch or bleu cheese dressing.
For the main event we chose from their “The Meals That Made Us Famous” menu section. The baby back ribs were our favorite item of the entire meal. We were not surprised to hear it’s one of their top three most popular items! Smoked with hickory wood, these savory ribs were fall off the bone tender and melted in your mouth. They had a subtle spice that was well balanced with the sweetness and tang in the sauce. There is also the option to get them as a half or whole order and are served with a slice of garlic bread plus two sides of your choice. You can also do a build your own combo with two sides and two protein options, with one of many options being the baby back ribs!
The other two entrees we checked out from this section of the menu were the BBQ pork dinner and fried chicken tender dinner. The BBQ pork dinner was tender and tasty, complimented by the tangier, vinegar based eastern NC style sauce. We opted for collard greens and steak fries for the two sides. The chicken tenders were some of the best that we have ever had! They were juicy and fried flawlessly, not too heavy, with a perfectly crispy outside. For this dinner’s sides we had the onion rings and mac and cheese. Out of all the sides that we tried, the mac and cheese was our personal favorite! It was abundantly creamy and had plenty of that cheesy flavor.
Last but not least, we tried the BBQ pork sandwich with homemade curly chips. Similar to the BBQ pork dinner plate, but this time on a steamed bun to make it a handheld sandwich style. We also added a layer of barbeque sauce that is conveniently provided on all the tables. The chips were sliced extra thin and spiraled together in long strands like a curly fry, a very unique and fun spin on homemade chips!
We had an amazing time at this authentic barbeque spot that has been a staple in the Lake Norman area for so many years! We love when a restaurant not only has remarkably delicious food but a family atmosphere that provides you with a one-of-a-kind experience. Their menu has such a wide variety of barbeque selections and meal combinations that you could go countless times and never have the same meal twice! If you reside closer to Charlotte and want to try these tasty meals don’t worry about making the trek up to Mooresville, because they also have a location in Huntersville that was opened in 2006 and was remodeled eight years after that. Thank you, Jeff and Terry, for creating an exceptional place for Lake Norman locals and travelers!