It took me this long to actually try the Q at this place after my original post last year. I kept getting confused by their "daily specials." One day it would say BBQ on their sign, the next Italian and the next Fish Fry. I kept trying to figure out the logic because they don't advertise in the area, to my knowledge. Found them on FB and they finally have a website: http://www.bay5diner.com/
Wednesday is BBQ night. Their regular menu is out the window on their special nights, apparently. I was torn between a BBQ pork sandwich with fries for $9, Ribs (half or full rack) with a roll, slaw and beans for $16 (the half rack), brisket with a roll, slaw and beans for $12 (all higher priced than listed on their website lists). Also available were pizzas for $16 and chicken strips. A can of soda costs $1.95 and it still appears they don't have a liquor license.
They have the most beautiful big smoker. I was excited.
Our party of two had the brisket and the ribs. The brisket tasted like pot roast with a bit too much celery seed and was drizzled with some bbq sauce. The ribs were ok. Mild in seasoning flavor, pink but a notable absence of much smoke flavor, and they were overcooked for my liking. They fell off the bone with a small tug from my fork. I like to eat my ribs off the bone with each bit requiring a little tug from my teeth. But I know some people love "fall off the bone" ribs. To each their own. Beans tasted like a can of Busch's regular baked beans with some bits of pulled pork. Roll was yummy and warm. Coleslaw was good and creamy, with a fair amount of sweetness.
They don't accept credit or debit cards. For a place that serves entrees at that price and charges $1.95 for a can of soda, I think it's being a little cheap.
So, we weren't overly impressed with their BBQ. Are they awful? No. I hope they stay open, as they really try to make everything from scratch and have a nice atmosphere. Their service is also good. If they want to have a rotating menu, they need to update the whole menu daily on FB or their webpage. It appears hit or miss currently. And they need to drop the price of their drinks and take credit cards. If they did those two things, I'd be more eager to return.Bob's BBQ in Arena has MUCH better ribs and beans, IMHO.
Go there next time you are headed down Hwy 14 on a Thursday-Sunday and are hungry for ribs. Don't be in a rush, service can be slow. They have a FB page, but no website as of now. I'm not a huge brisket fan, but we have taken BBQ focused vacations to KC and Texas, so I have some basis to judge an authentic BBQ brisket. Bob's is more authentic, in my view, but still isn't quite up to the best briskets I had in Texas. On par with some of the less notable stops in Texas. Both BBQ joints could work on their brisket. I'm just thrilled there are some options on the Hwy 14 stretch that are more interesting than standard Sysco diner and bar fare.