Hole in the Wall Barbecue
3200 W 11th Ave
Eugene, OR, 97402
In his epic book "Peace, Love & Barbecue," Mike Mills only recommends two barbecue restaurants on the West Coast, and this is one of them. It is definitely a decent place, but I wouldn't call it one of the top two places in Oregon, let alone on the West Coast. I had a pulled pork sandwich, and my brother had a combo of ham and pulled pork. The pork was good, but nothing special. It had plenty of smoke ring, but was dry and lacking in any real flavor. The game was rubbery and cold. Their sides were good, especially the cole slaw.
The had two kinds of sauce on the table, spicy and mild, and of course they both tasted the same to me, basically like ketchup. The waitress, who was very nice, said they had three different hotter sauces in the back and asked if we would like to try them. I enthusiastically said yes, hoping she would bring out some kind of vinegar sauce. Unfortunately, two of the three sauces she brought out were just the original two sauces with hot sauce added. All this did was add a bit of heat, not any flavor. The third sauce was a very spicy chili sauce. It was good, but didn't really go with anything on the menu.
Look, I don't demand that a barbecue restaurant serve mustard sauce or vinegar sauce... but if you're going to serve five different kinds of barbecue sauce, is it too much to ask that they at least be slightly different from each other? Or at least different from the bottle of ketchup?
Again, this was a good restaurant that, if I had discovered it on my own, I probably would have raved about. But I had built up my expectations too much. You would think I would have learned my lesson about unreasonable expectations after the NBA Finals. I guess not.