The place: Five Star BBQ, in an old white house, at 70 N Geneva Rd, Orem, UT 84057
- Lunch: Mon – Thurs / 11 – 3
- Lunch/Dinner: Fri / 11 – 9
- Lunch/Dinner: Sat / 12 – 9
About: It’s true, JT has a heart as big as all outdoors and a big, big love of family and friends. That’s why he’s spent years experimenting, tasting, studying, and getting the flavors and meals “just right” for everyone he loves. But you’ve probably figured out that JT LOVES BBQ too! If you ask him what he had for breakfast, 9 times out of 10 he’s sure to tell you “Pork Sandwich with a side of Chicken.” His new Five-Star BBQ and Catering Company is JT’s lifelong dream… something he’s envisioned for years… BBQ 24/7. What could be better? (source: Five Star BBQ website, http://5starbbqcompany.com/aboutus.html)
The ambiance: The first time I ever drove by Five Star, on our way to a large recycling plant, I mentioned to Husband, “Look at that placce — it’s a big, old house. It’s gotta be amazing.” Because for whatever reason, restaurants that look campy on the outside (not to be mistaken for dirty or old or not well-kept up) tend to have really delicious food inside. We continued to drive by and finally decided to enter its doors for lunch. It’s a fairly stark interior with tile floor, one large menu on the wall, vintage art, and red/white checked tablecloth-covered tables with folding chairs. Despite our arriving around 1:00 pm to miss the lunch rush, there were still quite a few full tables and diners continuing to come through the front doors during our entire meal. The first thing we noticed was the SOLD OUT sign over the Smoked Sausage — any time a place runs out of food, that’s a really excellent sign. Although BBQ is notoriously messy food to eat, the entire restaurant was pleasantly clean with freshly wiped down tables and not a lot of mess on the floor.
Although I don’t mention service very often, I have to say theirs was impeccable. The gentleman who helped us was extremely knowledgeable about all the food he was serving up, with excellent recommendations for each customer, and a willingness to answer any questions people might have. When I gave them kudos for such delicious food, they were all very gracious about it, despite the fact that I’m sure they realize they’re the best BBQ restaurant in Utah.
The Munch: Husband insists that he’s not much of a BBQ fan, and I’m not quite sure as to why that may be, so it actually took some prodding to get him there in the first place — he just never “felt like it.” When we first walked in, however, we were greeted and immediately offered up samples of each meat since we were first-timers. BBQ restaurants are always touting their “melt in your mouth” meat, but their brisket, pulled pork, and smoked chicken transcended even that description. It was extremely tender, with an almost buttery texture, and a deep, rich flavor. They have several delicious looking sides, as well, which are prepared fresh. We ordered:
- The Brisket Plate with creamed corn, smoked beans, and cornbread with honey butter
- The Pulled Pork Plate with mac & cheese, coleslaw, and cornbread
The portions were enormous — since I’m not much of a food weigher, I can’t say whether we each got 1/4 lb. or 1/2 lb. of meat, and the sides were plentiful. Husband’s coleslaw, sauced only once it was served to keep the cabbage fresh and crisp, took up half his plate alone, and I was unable to finish my smoked beans. As aforementioned, the meat was remarkably tender, the type you could eat with just a fork or even your fingers because it fell apart so easily.
Their house BBQ sauce was rich and delicious with a tangy kick — not too cloying nor smoky. I overheard a customer asking if the sauce could be purchased, and I couldn’t blame him — if I were to bring a bottle home for myself, I’d eat it on everything. Cardboard. Paper. Dry cat food. They have several other sauces available, all made in-house, like smoky chili, Carolina, and JT’s Alabama, which we were told was a peppery, horseradish-based white sauce. I ate my meal too quickly to be able to try the other sauces, so I’ll need to try them when we return.
I’m a sucker for creamed corn, purchasing it bulk at the grocery store, and I always order it at restaurants when I can because Husband doesn’t eat corn (I know). Theirs is a popular option with diners, and I understand why. It’s very creamy, well-flavored, made with corn fresh off the cob in a slightly cheesy sauce. I gobbled that right up and will probably order it every time I go. The smoked beans were rich, flavorful, and deep, and you could taste the molasses and brown sugar in them. I’ve had negative experiences at BBQ places in the past because the baked/smoked beans were in a base that clashed with the BBQ sauce, but that was not the case at Five Star — the complemented each other very well.
I initially shied away from ordering the coleslaw because it wasn’t pre-sauced — although I understood why they’d want to keep it fresh and crisp, I was worried the flavors wouldn’t have melded well together, and I was incorrect. It had a great, well-mixed flavor, a little on the vinegary side, and their method did keep the cabbage so fresh that it remained a star in the dish. His mac & cheese was also very delicious — cheesy, creamy, and smooth, although he made the good point that mac & cheese is pretty difficult to ruin. I’m excited to try the other sides, such as Brunswick Stew, Applesauce, Homemade Chips, and more. The cornbread was good; the honey butter made it great.
The bill: $25.90 with tax and tip. For the portion sizes, their prices are verging on ridiculous (but don’t tell them that). Not only is it one of the most delicious restaurants at which I’ve dined, it was also one of the most reasonably priced.
Total score: 10/10. This will remain the best BBQ I’ve ever eaten (and trust me, I’ve had a lot of it, from Oregon to Utah). In fact, he mentioned that sometimes customers from Texas will come in and mention that it’s better than what they can get at home. I’m apt to believe them. If we’re going to get really nitpicky, the only complaint I have is their usage of styrofoam cups, which aren’t very environmentally friendly (when I complain about cups, you know it’s good). I look forward to making it a regular date night spot for us.