Writer, traveler, blogger and avid photographer/teacher based in Connecticut (US). Blogs: www.TheTravelingPeacock.com and www.MeredithImages.Wordpress.com.
Published February 2nd 2019
BBQ & Crab specialities at the same restaurant? Yep
New England is known for its seafood, and in recent years, it is also becoming known for its traditional-style BBQ. B.J. Ryan's BANC House (BANC stands for BBQ-and-Crab) is located in downtown Norwalk, CT, in the midst of the busy business district on River Street. They are heading into their eighth year of serving up regional BBQ and crab favorites, along with a large assortment of appetizers, sides and homemade desserts. They also sell their own line of sauces for you to enjoy at home.
We started with appetizers, Poutine (French fries covered in gravy and cheese curds) with the optional beef brisket on top. It was served in a large bowl with lots of gravy and melted cheese. The brisket was tender and had just the right amount of smokiness while letting the beef flavor shine through. The gravy wasn't as thick as we've had on other Poutine but still tasted quite good.
I wanted to try the Giant Nug (nugget) Crab Cocktail featured on their website. The lump crab meat was tender and was served with three dipping sauces. The Chipotle Aioli was just a little spicy and was my favorite. The house-made cocktail sauces had a nice sweetness along with the horseradish kick.
Poutine for appetizer.
For the entrée, we decided on the Smoked Meat Sampler, which supplied an ample offering of all of their smoked treats (St. Louis Ribs, Baby Back Ribs, Lazy Bacon, Beef Brisket, Pulled Port, Pulled Chicken and BANC House Sausage). We rounded out the meal with sides of Skillet Cornbread, Mac N Cheese and Beale Street Beans with Pork.
The cornbread was served in a small cast iron skillet giving the edges of the bread a nice crunch. It was served with a side of maple dipping sauce that added a nice sweet touch to the cornbread. The Mac N Cheese was very creamy with a blend of several cheeses and a light topping of bread crumbs. I don't eat baked beans, but my husband thought the pork was the best part of that dish.
Everything on the Sampler Platter was nicely smoked without being overpowering. The flavors of the juicy meats came through in every case. The Baby Back Ribs were the more flavorful of the two styles of ribs, though both were yummy. I had never had Lazy Bacon before – it was leaner than I expected and was almost like a pork jerky, but tender.
While this platter was meant to serve two, it could easily feed four with the sides. We had enough leftovers for another complete dinner. We will definitely return to try some of their other menu items.
Prices were in line with other BBQ restaurants we've visited (the Sampler Platter was $29.95). They do offer a Kids Menu with nine selections at $7.95 each, and a nice selection of salads and sandwiches in addition to entrees. Their "Prohibition Menu" has an extensive selection of cocktails, bourbon and whiskey tastings, wines and more.
Great article Hazel, I did enjoy the early dinner we had, everything was really good. The Sampler Platter was very good. I think your writing style will help many possible diners, choose The B-AN-C House.