Epic Eateries & Sweeteries – Roadside Willies Smokehouse & Bar – Truro, NS, Canada

It does not matter where your travels take you in Nova Scotia but one thing for sure is that you will most likely have to travel thought the hub town of Truro, which we featured in last month’s issue as part of our Downtown Truro Partnership article, to get there.

If you had the opportunity to read the Downtown Truro Partnership article you are aware that this hub town has always been rich with history, culture, and community pride. In recent years Truro is making major strides towards being one of the most vibrant and thriving towns in Nova Scotia and when it comes to the business community it offers a unique mix of local shops, restaurants and cafés owned by the people who call Truro home.

When most people think of Truro and the surrounding area they think of the Stanfield’s factory, the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition Grounds, the Truro Raceway, the amazing Tidal Bore and the beautiful Victoria Park, but they should also be thinking about bar-be-que.  We know what you are thinking, Truro and bar-be-que do not go together, well we feel that one trip to Roadside Willies Smokehouse & Bar the next time you are in the Truro area will change your mind about Truro being a destination for great smokehouse bar-b-que.

Roadside Willies offers its valued patrons casual dining with a touch of class, but don’t worry it is not the kind of place that you are not going to be able to get your face covered in bar-b-que sauce and they have lots of napkins.

Whether you are stopping by to grab a bite on your travels, heading out for a full course meal with family and friends or simply looking to unwind after a long day with your favorite beverage, Roadside Willies offers up something for everyone.  Their menu features tastes from around the world filled with incredible salads, appetizers, sandwiches, seafood, pastas, gourmet pizzas and of course all your smokehouse favorites, but remember to leave room for their homemade desserts.  Willie and his team take great pride in serving fresh homemade meals, the only thing they serve that was frozen is the ice in your drinks, so you won’t have to worry about eating cookie cutter pre-made frozen factory food here.

Willie’s philosophy is simple, dining out should be an enjoyable and unrushed experience in a cozy, relaxed setting.  So, Willie’s offers candle lit tables, along with a warm décor, tasteful music and friendly and helpful staff that create an inviting yet casual ambiance which allows you the time to view their vast menu of items from both land and sea offering something for just about everyone. 

We recommend that you start off with Willie’s Potato Skins, which are thinly sliced potato skins jazzed up with Willie’s famous Skinz spice, smoked bacon, green onions, and a mixed cheese and served with sour cream.  For those looking for something from the sea to kick off their meal, Willie’s Haddock Bites, are delicious bite-size pieces of Atlantic haddock dipped in Willie’s light and crispy batter and deep-fried to a golden brown.  Just thinking about it gets my mouth watering as both are great ways to start off your meal before diving into one of their many amazing entrees.

To be honest, you cannot go wrong with any menu item, but if you like bar-b-que the ribs, pulled pork or the brisket are must haves.  All offer an authentic Southern bar-b-que flavor that comes from being smoked in-house long and slow over real hickory wood before being slathered in BBQ sauce to finish off.  The ribs are fall off the bone tender and not too smokey to take away from the natural flavor of the meat.  Then they are finished off perfectly with just the right amount of BBQ sauce, you know the amount we are taking about, the amount that allows you to lick your fingers, because that is bar-b-que.  The true test of any bar-b-que joint is in their beef brisket and Roadside Willies does not disappoint as theirs is buttery and juicy from being dry marinated and smoked low and slow over hickory wood for 12 hours, give it a try you will be happy you did.

However, if southern bar-b-que is not your thing, then you can select any one of the steaks or burgers from the menu, we recommend “The Big Willie,” which is made with double ground chuck, double cheddar and double bacon. Cooked-to-order on the griddle and served on a gourmet bun with lettuce, tomato, fried onions, and Willie’s famous burger sauce and then topped with a crown of onion rings.  You will not go away hungry after that one.

If seafood is your thing, no better place to get it than in Nova Scotia as Willies offers world famous Five Islands Clams along with Atlantic haddock.  Both are dipped in Willie’s light and crispy batter and perfectly fried to a golden brown.  The haddock can also be served pan fried or baked.

In that wasn’t enough menu to think about when ordering you still have pasta and pizza options which will make you equally as happy with your selections.

Remember to leave room for one of their homemade desserts before rolling yourself out to the car.  It goes without saying that this is one of our personal favorite places to eat in all of Nova Scotia, when we are travelling.  To be honest you cannot go wrong with anything you order as everything on the menu is amazing and absolutely delicious and made from local fresh ingredients whenever possible.  The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, and the service is on point, leaving you wanting to come back again and again for either dine in or take out.

Great people. Great atmosphere. Great food. Period.  So, if you have never been to Roadside Willies Smokehouse & Bar make sure it is on your foodie bucket list for 2021 and remember to tell Willie we said hello.

by Lee Atwater