Special Specialties at R.O.'s

1315 Gaston Avenue, Gastonia, North Carolina

By Patricia B. Mitchell, 2006.

R.O.'s Barbecue

R.O.'s Barbecue, Gastonia, North Carolina

My family and I ate at the highly acclaimed R.O.'s Barbecue (see map, and their website) in Gastonia, North Carolina. We were impressed with the “famous sauce, slaw, and dip,” a mixture of ketchup, mayonnaise, cabbage, pickle relish, and “secret” spices (curry powder? dill?). Three of us chose the Barbecue on a bun ($3.25 for regular size, $4.70 for large). The pork was very mild and not smoky. We thought the portions of meat were quite skimpy for the price.

I chose the homemade Pimento Cheese on Toast ($1.95). Actually I ate half of Henry's sandwich, and he ate half of mine. Again, the quantity of pimento cheese was rather dainty, but the sandwich, dressed with tomato, lettuce, and pickles, was tasty. I got some of the famous sauce/slaw/dip on the side. Jazzed up with Texas Pete and lots of black pepper, that stuff really “made” the cheese sandwich.

Sarah selected the Liver Mush Sandwich ($1.95). Liver mush is kind of like scrapple, or a liver-y meat loaf. That at R.O.'s was good, though the patty was a bit overbrowned. Sarah had it dressed with lettuce, tomato, pickle, cheese, and a touch of mayo. She recommends the sandwich.

She also ordered Cherry Lemon Sun Drop, an R.O. speciality. Sun Drop is a commercial soft drink. That at R.O.'s is enhanced. Sarah found the beverage to be akin to fruit punch, but better. Sarah took a cup of the drink with her when we left, and, hours later, it was still delicious, even when much diluted by the melted ice.

The unusual sauce, which R.O.'s sells in large quantities (even by the gallon) is, in my opinion, the most worthwhile food item (of what we sampled) at R.O.'s. The restaurant has counter service (and nice order-takers) so it is probably worth a special trip there, though not for the meat.

R.O.'s Barbecue

Barbecue sandwich.

R.O.'s Barbecue

Pimento Cheese sandwich.

R.O.'s Barbecue

Liver Mush sandwich.

R.O.'s Barbecue

Cherry Lemon Sun Drop.

R.O.'s Barbecue

Interior view of R.O.'s Barbecue.