River View BBQ in Seymour, have any of you chowhounds tried it?
- Pipenta Jul 26, 2010 05:27 PM
Driving down Rte 34 today I spotted the sign for the River View BBQ in Seymour. The restaurant is set back from the street and is on a shady pleasant spot on the bank of the Housatonic. The building itself is quite small, but there are a series of large and attractive patios underneath tall shade trees. The view of the river is lovely and there is a floating dock for boaters who might hanker for some Q.
The location is so charming that the food would only have to be pretty decent for it to be worth a trip on a summer afternoon or evening. Sadly, it was closed. Well, it is Monday. And another thing that made me sad is that the menu made no mention of beer, only soft drinks. Barbecue is one of those meals that really does call for a nice crisp beer like an IPA. (No, don't give me that sweet tea piddle. I am too much of a yankee to drink that stuff.)
I would hope that one could, at least, bring one's own beer.
So, has anyone tried it? If so, what did you think? Do tell. I so want it to be good. In New Haven, we have fine pizza, but BBQily, we are lacking. This is not a long drive and it is such a pretty spot. One of the things that is kind of sad about our area is that we have so much coastline and so few restaurants where you can sit out by the water. It would make me so very happy if this place was GOOD.
So I finally got to try the River View BBQ in Seymour last night. I went with a friend and her kids. Both adults had the pulled pork sandwiches, which we liked. The kids had hot dogs, mac n' cheese, burgers, that sort of thing.
The pulled pork was moist and flavorful and not greasy. It came sauced (red, probably tomato-based, sweet). The sweet potato french fries got a thumbs up from the others (I don't do sweet potatoes.) The collard greens had white kidney beans in them, which was new to me. Is this a southern thing I have never run across before? Because it seemed kind of Italian, albeit with a nice smoky note. The mac and cheese was quite good.
The coleslaw was utter rubbish. The last time I had coleslaw this icky was at Chick's in West Haven. (Yeah, I know, it's what I deserve for going to Chick's. But I was down at the beach and with a group that included hungry kids, so...) At River View, I asked the server what the deal with the cole slaw was. She said they'd made their own the previous year, but it was southern style and the locals hadn't liked it. So rather than stick to their guns and educate the local palate, they'd decided to buy it premade. Probably comes from the same place as Chick's. It has a sweet chemical taste that makes one think of food poisoning. But it was not typical of the rest of the menu. When they are doing their own cooking, with actual food from farms and ranches, it is good.
They have a nice selection of soda, sugar not corn syrup. The coffee was good. I do want to go back and try the rest of the menu. It was such a nice spot.
The server was delightful. But all of the servers are going to be let go mid August. As it stands, there is only table service on weekends. Otherwise you order at the window. It is, and this is important, BYOB. BBQ needs beer.
I'm going back. If you are in the area, I'd suggest you give it a try. I believe they are open through October.
I'm the only one writing about this place, the only chowhound poster who has tried it, which is a shame. By now you all probably think I have a share in the place. I don't. My stake is this:
First, I would like to have good BBQ in the area. We have a history of fine pizza. BBQ, not so much. When I have visited places like Louisville and Austin and Kansas City, I have really enjoyed the authentic BBQ. Why not have such wonderfulness here?
So when I see places opening up that have potential, I'm there like a shot. I will even travel a bit out of my way, as long as it is in the state. Louisville, KY, however, is, sadly, too far out of my way. When "Stick to Your Ribs" was around, the old one off the Honeyspot Road exit, I was all over it. Sad the way that turned out. And I haven't had BBQ in the state since that scratched the itch.
So yeah, The Riverview BBQ. Went again last night. Slight nip in the air, which made it all the better. The location is GORGEOUS. You are right up on the river bank and the view of the hills, with the leaves beginning to change, is killer. The light sparkles off the water and it is so so nice. That is my second reason for wanting this place to survive. Unlike most Connecticut folks, I LOVE to be outside. I like the woods and the mountains. I adore the beach. I've lived out west in high desert and please, please, please give me a vista that is not all about humans and the crap they build. So I could just sit under the towering oaks here and soak in the view. It feeds my soul. But this joint feeds my tummy too.
Last night was biker night! Bikers for Jesus, it turns out. They rode in on outrageous motorcycles and held raffles to raise money for handicapped children. I would have wished for some more upbeat music, instead of country Christian dirges. I wanted to say, "You're BIKERS man! How about some rockabilly? How about some Johnny Cash at least?" But it was not fated to be. I looked, in vain, for signs of Peewee Herman, hoped he'd jump up on a picnic table and dance. I strained my ears, but no "Tequila". Heck these guys didn't even drink beer. They hadn't gotten the biker memo, apparently.
This was my fourth visit, and I strengthened my resolve to try something other than the pulled pork. Every time I have gone, I've ordered the pulled pork. The folks I have been with have ordered the pulled pork. I tend to order pulled pork whenever and where ever it is offered. I think we could, as a society, find more uses for pulled pork. Dare I suggest that Sally's, venerable Sally's, could offer a pulled pork option as a pizza topping? I might even start going to Pepe's if they made pulled pork pizza. F*%$ me, if Ashley's had a pulled pork ice cream, I'd probably try that too.
But I decided last night was the night to try something else, for the sake of the cause. I ordered the ribs. OH MY GOD! For a moment, wretched heathen that I am, I joined the Jesus bikers and sang praises to the almighty. The ribs! Succulent as to be falling off the bone, melting in your mouth, yet crispy with a bit of carmelized carbonized goodness. Oh oh oh Matsushima! I must have them again.
The pulled pork is good. The ribs are marvelous. I must go back before they close for the season. I will not be trying the other things on their menu until next spring when they open again. I need more quality time with those ribs, I do, I do.
Full disclosure: I ended up chatting with the owner on the way out. I mentioned Chowhound and he laughed and said they'd given him a hard time about his slaw. I admitted that had been me. He asked me if I'd noticed the improvements he'd made. Why gosh, I hadn't even tried the slaw again, I had no idea it had been tweaked. Will do when I go back again for more yummy ribby goodness.
And he also asked if I had tried the banana pudding. I hadn't. Not so much a banana pudding gal. So here, I must confess, he gave me one to take home.
Later, I split it with my mother. Mom has reached the age where she speaks her mind. She is a ruthless critic.
"Did you get a lot of bananas in yours?" She asked.
I hadn't. But the pudding was fun. It had bananas and nilla wafers folded into a whipped creamy base with perhaps a soupçon of Marshmallow Fluff in the mix? And something else I couldn't quite put my finger on...
"It's good, " Mom said, "but it needs more bananas."
I agree, and we both looked down into our now empty plates and sighed and wished for seconds.
So, okay, it turns out I AM a banana pudding kind of gal. Who knew?
And that extra ingredient? I'm thinking it's crack.
The Riverview Restaurant & Bar
13 Port St, Hudson, MA 01749
FWIW, Pipenta, I saved your review when you first posted and have since shared it with another BBQ lovin' friend of mine. Seymour's not my neck of the woods, but this place is on my radar for any time in the future when I am (barring winter they close). I used to feel as though I were talking to myself about certain restaurants (Samurai!), but know that we, collectively, are reading along and taking note. :) And I'd eat a pulled pork pizza, too, but I'd never hear the end of it from certain indiduals in my life...not that that would make me hesitate even for a second. And pig (in its bacon form!) tastes good in chocolate chip cookies, too, so ya know...and magic cookie bars, for that matter.
I know you are big on this place. I tried it about a month ago.
Unfortunately, I didn't have a good meal.
I ordered the BBQ chicken....
$11 for a plate of scrawny overcooked dried out chicken just didn't make it.
I saw others eatig ribs, which looked good and smelled great.
Unlike you, I DON'T like dining outside at picnic tables, even if it overlooks the river.
So, this just isn't high on my 'be back soon' list.
But, if a friend said let's go there for BBQ, I wouldn't reject it based on one experience. I know that chicken is hard to keep moist.
I hope you all will be happy to know that I regularly make BBQ pulled pork (and/or chicken) pizza and nachos with our BBQ leftovers. I too, am a sucker for Pulled Pork and order it at least 80% of the time we get BBQ. We will definitely put this place on our must try list- its almost time for the annual fall foliage drive anyway!
I finally went to the River View this past Friday. We were there around 5pm and there were only two other tables occupied. As Pipenta mentions, this location is very nice. I was with my 78 yr old dad and my 6 yr old son.
My dad had asked if they had hotdogs, and the waitress told him only if you're over 65 or under 12. Well luckily for my dad he met the criteria. I found this a little odd as don't people between the ages of 12 and 65 enjoy a hotdog from time to time?
anyway, my dad got his hotdog, I got the pulled pork and my son got the chicken tenders, another under 12, over 65 item. All of our food was delicious and all three came with handcut french fries which were very good. I had tried my son's chicken tenders and for chicken tenders they were very moist and crispy. I wish I had known it was BYOB as I would have loved a nice beer to go with my meal while enjoying the view.