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What makes a great banana pudding? We think it’s the perfect blend of fresh bananas, creamy pudding, and vanilla wafers, served in a caramel-drizzled parfait cup and topped with homemade whipped cream, a ‘nilla wafer crumble, and even more caramel sauce… in other words, everything that goes into our banana pudding! If you’ve been a longtime City Barbeque fan, you may have noticed that we recently upgraded one of our fan-favorite desserts by adding some of these extra-special touches. It turns out that Paula Deen noticed these changes as well—and liked them! The queen of Southern home cookin’ added our banana pudding to her “10 to Try” list in the February edition of Cooking with Paula Deen. We’re so glad our banana pudding made the cut… then again, we’re always excited whenever someone says they like our pudding! We’re awfully fond of it ourselves 😉

Need another reason to taste our take on a classic? Bananas have plenty of health benefits! They are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and nutrients like potassium. A medium-sized banana only has about 105 calories, but also contains resistant starch or pectin—both of which may reduce appetite and help keep you full. So if the cookies, caramel, or whipped cream ever give you pause, know that you’re getting a nutritional boost with this traditional treat!

Due to popular demand (but only for a limited time*!) we’ve brought back The Big Bone – a 9 inch long beef rib with about a pound of juicy, smoky, barbeque heaven – perfect for sharing.

“This thing is huge, when you get one you can only say – wow! We have been testing it for several months, perfecting the smoking time and seasoning.  Our fans really love it!” -Brian Hipsher, VP of Marketing

*The Big Bone will be available in Feb. & March on Saturdays only and as a special on Valentine’s Day! The Big Bone is smoked in very limited quantities, so get there early if you want to enjoy one.

New Year, New You, Same BBQ

January 31, 2017

While January is traditionally that time when folks decide to eat a little better, sometimes it takes a while for those resolutions to really kick in. We totally get it, and we’re happy to report that, no matter what month you get the ball rolling or what route you take to a healthier lifestyle, you can still enjoy your City Barbeque favorites. Here are some ways we can help you keep your “new year, new you” diet on track, all year long:

Cutting carbs? Order any of our mouthwatering sandwiches “naked” and we’ll serve you up all the slow-smoked goodness you’re used to—without the bun. This is a great opportunity to try our full-cut brisket! We promise you won’t miss the bread one bit: you’ll be too busy savoring all that bark-covered, full-flavored goodness.

Curbing calories? The holidays may be way over, but at City Barbeque, turkey is on the menu year-round! Our tender, award-winning turkey is low in calories, high in protein, and off-the-charts delicious. Round things out with some green beans with bacon (yup, bacon) and our sweet vinegar slaw and you’ve got yourself an incredible meal at under 550 calories!

Tracking your macros? If you’re living that IIFYM life, look no further than your City Barbeque joint! From our juicy hand-pulled chicken with ‘Bama sauce (36 grams of protein per serving) to our succulent pulled pork and  brisket (53 and 55 grams, respectively), we’ve got the goods to help you knock out your daily protein needs. Looking for even more of a protein boost? Our all-natural Gerber smoked chickens are where it’s at: 75 grams of protein for a breast/wing—or 120 for the full half-chicken!

We haven’t even mentioned how our our chickens are locally sourced (for all you new locavores) or talked up our flavor-packed baked beans with brisket (packed with fiber, too!). Come on in and see how City can help you stay on track!

Just eating more veggies? We’ve got your back with our massive premium salad! Fresh romaine-and-spring mix topped with everything: tomatoes, cucumber, onion, dried cranberries, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Looking for something a little warmer? How about some fresh collard greens, cooked down with our slow-smoked pulled pork? We promise, these are the veggies you’ll want to warm you up on a cold February day!

How do YOU do healthy ‘que?

Ever seen a hand-painted sign at City Barbeque and wondered where it came from? Odds are, it was created just for us by Ohio artist Jane DiGrandi! DiGrandi has been working with us for 12 years, creating everything from welcome signs and menu suggestions to floor-to-ceiling murals and pickle-painted propane tanks (seriously—visit our joint in Beavercreek to see what we mean!). Most recently, she completed a massive installation for our Polaris location, featuring a tractor, a City Barbeque silo, and a glowing sunrise.

“I’m thankful for being given the space at the Polaris store to show what City Barbeque means to me,” she says. “I knew I wanted to do something on a large scale and immediately started thinking of how to portray City Barbeque’s rural roots of bringing barbeque to the city, and of their commitment to fresh and homemade food.” DiGrandi settled on an iconic tractor to center the piece, but wanted to give things a modern feel—so she constructed the work so that tractor is coming straight at you! She loves the silo and the sunrise in the background, too: “The sunrise perfectly portrays City Barbeque’s saying, ‘It’s a great day to eat barbeque!’”

The piece took four weeks to complete, and is made up of 310 individual pieces of wood, fit together one by one. While DiGrandi has used a wide range of materials in her work for City Barbeque (“markers, wood, paint, metal, chalkboard, paper, barn wood, and even chicken wire”), she admits that she loves working with wood the most. As anyone who has seen this latest piece on display can tell you, that love absolutely shows.

Our craft is barbeque, Jane’s craft is large-scale rustic art with an industrial and natural vibe—and we just can’t get enough of it. Next time you’re at City Barbeque, take a moment and look around. You never know what masterpiece is hanging up right over your shoulder!

Interested in her work? Jane can be reached at janedigrandi@gmail.com. Interested in working with us to display your craft? Reach out to Chris Blain at cblain@citybbq.com.

Founder and CEO Rick Malir, Bonnie Coley-Malir, Vice President of People Services Ronnie Berry, Director of HR Jennifer Hamilton, HR Manager Jillian Armstrong, Board Member Jim Budros, Regional Marketing Manager Beth Berkemer

We know we have a workplace culture that can’t be beat, but it’s always exciting when other folks notice it, too. Case in point: we were named the Best Employer (under 500 employees) in Columbus CEO’s Best of Business awards for 2016! Vice President of People Services Ronnie Berry accepted the award for the team at an awards ceremony on November 9.

Columbus CEO’s results are voted on by the magazine’s readers, and 16,500 folks weighed in on who should win. Thanks to all who helped us reach the top spot! And of course, we were thrilled to be recognized for our ‘que, too: City Barbeque was also awarded second place in the Best Caterer category for the second year in a row. (Check out our catering and see for yourself!)

But that’s not all! Columbus Business First just named us one of their Best Places to Work in Central Ohio for 2016—we’re in the top five in our category (Extra Large companies with at least 250 local employees)! Business First received 200 nominations for companies to consider, and the final honorees were chosen via independently administered workplace satisfaction surveys. Director of Training Frank Pizzo, HR Manager Jillian Armstrong, and HR Assistant Christine Swisher accepted the award at a luncheon on November 10.

businessfirstDirector of Training Frank Pizzo, HR Assistant Christine Swisher, HR Manager Jillian Armstrong

Vice President of People Services Ronnie Berry says, “These awards reflect our core culture, which is made up of leaders who live to serve. They’re really a testament to the principles we’re founded on: empowering people, giving them the freedom to think for themselves, and ensuring they’re able to live a life where they’re engaged both at work and at home.”

Both the Best Places to Work award and the Best Employer title are new ones for City Barbeque, and we couldn’t be prouder. Columbus CEO and Business First recognized more than 100 amazing organizations throughout Central Ohio; we’re just honored to be among them. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees!

Want to join our team? Click here to learn how!

Thursday, folks across the country will gather around a table to enjoy Thanksgiving with family and friends. But the picture may be different for the more than 42 million people in the United States living with food insecurity. In 2015, there were 15.8 million households across the country unable to get the food they needed at some point during the year—and the percentage of food-insecure folks in Ohio, Kentucky, and North Carolina is above the US average.

How can we help? Well, at City Barbeque, we’ve adopted the Food Rescue model. Food Rescue connects restaurants to food pantries and similar organizations, who can get our food to families who need it. We freeze surplus food at the end of each day and volunteers arrive weekly to transport the frozen food to local pantries. Just like everything we serve, the smoked meats and scratch-made sides we donate are held to the highest standards, and they freeze beautifully, allowing them to be safely transferred from our kitchens to the plates of folks in need.

Ronnie Berry, our Vice President of People Services, is on the board of Food Rescue, and was responsible for getting City Barbeque involved in the program. “It gives our joints a real opportunity to connect to families in need, right in their backyard,” he says. Berry estimates that, in 2016 alone, City Barbeque has provided more than 30,000 meals to food-insecure folks in the areas we serve.

Learn more about City Barbeque and Food Rescue from our founder and CEO Rick Malir—who calls our participation a “no-brainer”—and team members Jason Cox and Jennifer Jean-Baptiste:

Sources: Food Rescue, the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service