The $10 Challenge: Finley’s Hickory Smoke Barb-Q

Family can really come through for you sometimes.

There are the times they haul your daybed, overstuffed couch and other hefty items down two fights of steps, into a U-Haul, and back up two flights of steps when you decide to move.

There are the times they form a caravan of Cadillacs, Saturns, and decades-old Mercury Cougars to watch you graduate from college.

And there are the times they pick up the tab when you’re out of cash for the $10 Challenge.

My mother bought me a meal from Finley’s Hickory Smoke Barb-Q during a recent visit to my childhood home. Because it was a surprise, I didn’t get a chance to research the restaurant beforehand, a rarity in my Challenge history. So please excuse this shorter-than-usual post.

But a brief look at a take-home menu and a conversation with Mommy Eats provided some information about this small barbecue joint. Most dinners, which come with two sides, are only $7.99 and include meat selections such as pulled pork and slabs of ribs. The side dishes reminded me of the items someone might pull out of a wicker picnic basket: macaroni salad, potato salad, baked beans and coleslaw are just a few available.

Fortunately, it doesn’t take much research to know some good barbecue when you see it.

Daddy Eats and Uncle Eats (see what I’m doing here?) each had the rib dinner. There was definitely some food envy going on when I saw them pick up bones covered in juicy pork. The bones reminded me of something in the extras of a Flinestones DVD.

For me, Mommy Eats ordered the pulled pork sandwich dinner with coleslaw and baked beans. I expected to receive just one sandwich. Instead, I opened the Styrofoam container and was greeted with two buns (the bread kind – get your mind out of the gutter).

Pulled pork sandwich, coleslaw and baked beans.

Tender pulled pork slathered in a rich sauce was piled on two hamburger buns. The meat was plentiful, messy and good. These were sandwiches that needed silverware, a moist towelette and a Tide stain remover. It was my kind of meat.

But the joy ended with the side dishes. The coleslaw was soaked in mayonnaise, leaving it almost inedible. The baked beans weren’t bad, but they didn’t have a distinct sweet or savory flavor – they just existed.

The meat alone was worth the $7.99 Mommy Eats paid. I just wish the sides could match the greatness of the meat.

The Stats:

  • Finley’s Hickory Smoke Barb-Q, 1504 Berry Boulevard, Louisville, Ky.
  • Pulled pork sandwich dinner with coleslaw and baked beans: $7.99
  • Total (with tax): $8.47

Mission: Accomplished