Dining Out: Visitors will be hooked by Goldies BBQ

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Why: Charles Bibens was already selling barbecue from inside the Shell station at 11200 N.E. Fourth Plain Blvd. when he decided to open a dine-in alternative. The new Goldies BBQ opened in February. Diners who are already familiar with Goldies’ original menu will be happy to discover a few more items at Bibens’ sit-down restaurant, including burgers, chicken, fish, fried okra, onion rings and sweet potato fries.

Atmosphere: The walls are painted lavender and accented with blue-speckled Italian glass pendent lights. Other than a few bar stools at the counter, seating consists of tables and chairs that have just a hint of 1950s flair with red-upholstered round seats. The smoky aroma of a wood-stoked fire fills the air and readies the senses for a genuine barbecue meal.

What I tried: I decided on the pulled pork and the chicken dinner with a side of greens and barbecue beans. For dessert, I took home peach cobbler.

I purchased a half-pound of the pulled pork, which I found was enough to make two meal-size sandwiches. The pieces of meat were large instead of chopped and very lean, moist and tender. There was enough sweet barbecue sauce to enhance the delicious flavor without squelching the smoky essence of the meat. The chicken breast was served over a slice of Texas toast and drizzled with mild barbecue sauce. I tried the hot sauce on the side and found it wasn’t extremely hot, rather just enough to generate a hot impression.

The side of homemade greens was particularly flavorful with an appetizing and slightly spicy character. The greens are a good pairing for meat selections, but they’re not pretty. If you are not familiar with Southern-style greens, just look past it and dig in — one bite and you will be hooked.

Although the beans are not homemade, they do possess a nice flavor. It tasted like cinnamon to me, along with the traditional barbecue bean flavor.

The peach cobbler comes in a single-serving pie tin, which I reheated in the oven. I was skeptical because of its somewhat crude appearance—but then, the best things in life don’t always come in pretty packages. The homemade crust is filled with a layer of peaches along with the cobbler sauce to create a scrumptious finish (or start) to any meal.

Other menu highlights beyond what I tried: Homemade sides include macaroni and cheese. Family specials come with two large sides. Combo plates include combinations of two or three meats. Ribs, gumbo and beef brisket sausage are on the menu as well.

Other observations: Bibens and family work the barbecue and the counter. Their warm personalities made me feel right at home. As for the food, it surpassed my expectations and I’m looking forward to going back.

Cost: Dinners and combos come with two sides and range from $10.49 to $31.50. Sandwiches and baskets are $3 to $9.49. Sides and desserts start at $1.50 and top out at $4.99. Pulled pork and beef brisket are $8.99 for a half-pound and $15.99 for a pound. Sausage links and chicken are $7.99 for a half-pound and $13.99 for a pound.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Telephone: 360-253-2836.

Where: 15640 N.E. Fourth Plain Blvd., Vancouver.

Health score: Goldies BBQ received a score of 20 on Oct 7. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants that score 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.