With mid-terms coming up, I think everyone on campus has been feeling the crunch. Whether it’s biting your nails, chewing your hair, or playing your 50th game of PUBG without even checking Canvas, everyone has a coping mechanism. For me, I’m a huge stress eater, and I love comfort food. That’s why I picked the most comfortable place I could find: the House of ‘Que right on fourth and Frank Sinatra Drive.
I usually stay away from the riverfront because well… river means BOUJEE. Which is why I was so excited when I checked the menu for House of ‘Que and found it was actually affordable, and not in a Bear Burger way. The value deals alone are enough to pique your curiosity (5 pounds of wings for $55!!) but if you’re not buying for 4 the individual meals are well priced as well. On top of that, while their interior is classically country/southern décor, you can also get a seat outside and enjoy a meal on the water. Truly, college is the time to live decadently.
Between the 5 pounds of wings, the Long Horn combination plate, (serves 8) and the Pithouse Pick (serves 4), I was at a loss. Is everything here Texas sized? Fortunately, they also have a sandwich/burger menu and a smoked meats menu, both of which deliver hard. Going for maximum southern aesthetic, I got a Sloppy Texan, while my friends got a half smoked chicken and a signature HOQ burger. Of course, we also got a singular order of wings to test out the waters before we ever commit to a bucket.
We got our order taken just as the band was kicking off “Achy Breaky Heart”, and we had our wings right by the time Cliff’s fist was telling Bill’s lip that he never liked him anyway. Digging in, my heart could not have been less achy; the muscular, crispy wings were slathered in a generous amount of chipotle BBQ that zinged your mouth with southern heat while slapping you with the smoked out power of the chipotle. I’m not usually a wing fanboy but credit where credit is due: I’d buy TWO buckets.
By the time we finished our line dance and sat down, our food was already out and waiting for us. Biting into the Sloppy Texan I figured I could forget my table manners and started absolutely savaging it. The shredded brisket and ground beef were incredibly high quality, and everyone knows the first step in good food is good ingredients. On top of the wonderfully prepared smokiness of the meat, the chili-inspired seasonings gave the burger the kind of Tex-Mex feel that I wasn’t expecting, but gladly welcomed. However, the true tour de force for me was the House of ‘Que signature sauces, and boy oh BOY are they something. Part one gave a more traditional barbecue taste with more accented tartness, while part two gives a mustardy sweetness behind an onion and garlic inspired savory-ness that is mild enough to make you think it’s not in there. Both were perfect, either slathered on my brioche bun or on the side with my fluffy yet crunchy fries. My friends’ dishes did not fail to wow either.
Whether you want to go out on an affordable date on the water or you’re trying to leave all your table manners at home, House of Que is a delicious, southern inspired joint perfect for your Texas needs. Also, unlike places in Jersey City, it’s right next to lower campus. The only requirement? You better like barbecue.