By Avery Rowlison
Heaven is a place on earth, and you can find your piece of it located on the corner of Main Street and 6th Avenue at Dragon Wagon.
Don’t be fooled by its modest exterior—Dragon Wagon is some serious barbeque. Open for lunch and dinner every weekday, the restaurant opened about two years ago and has been widely successful since then. It has been so successful, in fact, that owner Terry Anderson, who works as a pastry chef in Dining Services and runs the barbeque joint as a side business, is going to stay open for as long as he can this year instead of closing at the end of September. This means you can enjoy the deliciousness longer—hopefully year-round.
Most menu items cost between $6.00 and $10.00, and Anderson serves not only barbequed meat by the pound but also sandwiches, samplers and sides, with three different barbeque sauces.
“We try to make as many of our items ourselves as we can,” said Anderson.
Anderson barbeques chicken, pork and brisket fresh every day to incorporate into his yummy menu items such as El Toro, a pulled pork sandwich. The meats are so tender that they practically melt in your mouth, and each meat is smoked perfectly so that barbeque sauce becomes a nearly extraneous part of the meal. However, the tangy sweetness of the sauces makes eating Dragon Wagon’s barbeque an especially pleasurable sensation. Anderson makes three sauces of varying levels of spiciness, and each one leaves your mouth tingling for more.
To top off the experience, Anderson also makes his own sides, which include Mom’s pickles, baked beans, potato salad and coleslaw. Mom’s pickles are made from fresh cucumbers and white onions and are sweeter than your average dill pickles, and the potato salad has the critical mixture of mayonnaise and mustard flavors that will make your taste buds rejoice—you can’t lose with whichever side you choose.
On Fridays, Dragon Wagon serves their two specialties: burnt ends and ribs. Burnt ends are doubly smoked beef brisket that are a little crispy on the edges, and the ribs are so tender that the meat actually falls off the bone. Most weeks, the ribs sell out before the restaurant opens for dinner in the evening because they are such a popular item. Many customers order them days in advance to make sure that they get their fill of the delectable ribs.
Periodically, Anderson will also have homemade cheesecake for sale. As he is a pastry chef, you can imagine how incredible this cheesecake is. In fact, it is the one thing that sells faster than the ribs do.
This is barbeque that you won’t mind picking out of your teeth all day.
Dragon Wagon is open Monday–Friday from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.