This Rib Country BBQ review is NOT sponsored.
It has been a while since I’ve done a restaurant review, but it has also been a while since we went out to eat anywhere where everyone has cleared their plates. We did go to Murphy, North Carolina recently, though, and went out to eat, and no one had leftovers. Hence, this Rib Country BBQ review was born.
This is noted above, but I just wanted to note it again. This Rib Country BBQ review is not sponsored. We found Rib Country BBQ on our own. And I had no intention of blogging about it. But we actually did really enjoy it, and my mom happened to take a lot of photos while we were there, so I decided to do a full review.
Rib Country BBQ has no idea this review exists or that we were even at the restaurant in Murphy, North Carolina. So it’s completely an organic review.
Rib Country BBQ Review
Rib Country BBQ is a small chain with four locations: Blairsville (GA), Cleveland (GA not OH), Hayesville (NC), and Murphy (NC). We went to the Murphy location (2121 E U.S. Highway 64 Alt), so our review is based solely on that location.
We found the restaurant online when we were looking for somewhere to eat in Murphy. My parents like Main Street USA in Murphy, and we went there for lunch on day one, but we were looking for somewhere for day two.
As I was searching online, I saw a picture of a baked potato topped with bacon, cheese, and sour cream. I was sold.
We scrolled through the Rib Country BBQ menu online, looking to see what else we might order and I came across the country-made onion loaf.
It was described as “hand-breaded and fried to a golden brown.” That’s it. No more words.
So of course, we had to order it as an appetizer.
We split the half loaf between four of us and still had leftovers. That thing was huge. There is a full-sized onion loaf on the menu, and I can only imagine how big it is.
When the onion loaf arrived, it was basically a bunch of onion rings, shaped into a loaf form, and deep fried together.
It. Was. Amazing.
Honestly, the onion loaf is the main reason I’m writing this Rib Country BBQ review. I want you to go and I want you to get the onion loaf. You can really order that and leave happy. You’ll be so thrilled that you found this review, listened to me, and ordered the onion loaf.
Go just for the onion loaf.
But really, don’t. Because if you leave after the onion loaf, you’ll be bummed that you missed out on all the other barbecue Rib Country BBQ offers.
Everything at Rib Country BBQ is basted with a secret sauce, then barbecued over hardwoods, smoked in a wood burning smoker. That method produces a pinkish color on the meats, which you may not be used to if you don’t eat smoked barbecue often. That doesn’t mean it’s undercooked (which pink chicken usually indicates). It means it’s smoked correctly.
We went for lunch, so we ordered off the lunch menu. There’s a dinner menu too. And Rib Country BBQ serves breakfast, but only for catering orders of 25 or more.
I ordered the pulled pork imitation sandwich. The imitation sandwich means that it is served on Texas toast instead of a bun. It doesn’t mean that the protein is “fake meat” or “imitation meat.” It’s the same protein, just different bread. I also ordered the aforementioned baked potato as a side instead of French fries.
When it arrived, I completely forgot that we were in Western North Carolina until the barbecue sauce arrived.
So, here’s a thing that I didn’t know until moving to North Carolina. The state is really divided by barbecue sauce. There’s Eastern BBQ sauce, which is vinegar based, and then there’s Western BBQ sauce, which is ketchup based. Our favorite barbecue food truck, which is how we were first introduced to this phenomenon, offers both.
My pulled pork arrived with Western barbecue sauce. I actually prefer that (even though I really do like Eastern barbecue sauce), so I was happy.
My mom ordered a half rack of ribs and swapped her French fries for a baked potato as well. But no bacon or cheese for her. She finished her entire plate — but then reminded me that ribs are a lot of bones, so she didn’t really eat that much food.
My dad and Pete both ordered the brisket — which is listed on the menu as “beef.” So if you’re in the mood for brisket, look for beef.
My dad got it as an imitation sandwich (again, with Texas toast instead of a bun), which he got with fries, and Pete got it as a plate, which came with two sides. He ordered coleslaw and baked beans. The beans were a little sweet and had a lot of bacon in them and were exactly the kind of beans you’d want at a barbecue joint. The coleslaw was a little watery (even for me, and I like watery coleslaw), so I would suggest swapping it for fries.
My dad finished his lunch and Pete didn’t, so that’s worth noting. The plate comes with more food than the sandwich. So if you’re really hungry, order the plate. And if you’re a normal hungry, order the sandwich.
No one ordered the barbecue chicken or smoked turkey breast, so we’re going back for those.
Or maybe the feast for two. My mom was thinking about ordering that for her and my dad to split. It’s pulled pork, beef, 1/2 chicken, and a full rack of ribs, plus two orders of fries, baked beans, coleslaw, and garlic toast for only $37.99.
And maybe for dessert. We didn’t save room for it this time, but there was a chocolate pecan pie on the menu that has been calling my name every since we left town.
Whatever we order when we go back to Rib Country BBQ, we know it’s going to be delicious.
Are there vegetarian options at Rib Country BBQ?
Since publishing this, I’ve gotten questions about vegetarian options at Rib Country BBQ, so I wanted to address that.
There are a few vegetarian options on the menu, the aforementioned onion loaf being one of them. There are also fried green tomatoes, French fries, a baked potato, Southern fried okra, and onion rings on the menu. But, I can’t promise that these won’t come in contact with meat because it is a barbeque restaurant. So if you are completely against eating anything that may come in contact with meat, these options won’t work for you.
Instead, there’s a fresh garden salad on the menu. It is a side salad that’s usually added onto meals, so it might not be completely filling. And you can order the applesauce as as side.
If your kids are vegetarians, there’s a grilled cheese on the kids menu.
Are there pescatarian options at Rib Country BBQ?
If you’re a pescatarian, you’ll be happy to know that there is the Rib Country Fish Sandwich. There’s also fried shrimp, which you can get as an add on or as a full meal.
Are there gluten free options?
I did some research to answer this one. The main proteins — ribs, pulled pork, brisket, chicken, and wings — are great options if you’re gluten free. They weren’t breaded in anything that we could tell. But of course, you should ask just in case there was something we didn’t notice.
From what I can find, the fries are not cooked in a designated fryer, so out of an abundance of caution, anyone who is gluten intolerant should avoid that. There will most likely be cross contamination.
Order the coleslaw, beans, or applesauce as your side instead. The baked potato is a good option too.
Also, be sure to ask that no bread is placed on the plate with your order.
Want more barbecue in North Carolina?
If you want to try more barbecue when you’re in North Carolina, we also really like Moe’s Original BBQ in Wilmington, NC.
Have you eaten here before? Leave us a comment with your Rib Country BBQ review.
Wednesday 24th of February 2021
We used to frequent Rib Country often when we traveled into the Blue Ridge area. Although we frequented the Murphy, NC location more often the Blairesville, GA location is just as good. Never disappointed. Just to clarify: The sandwich referred to in this article as the "imitation" is actually called the "intimidator" which is a bigger, more meat sandwich server on grilled Texas toast. Never ever been disappointed ever. Super nice folks. Feast for two is enough for family of 4. Enjoy