The restaurant, which opened on May 14, serves a variety of slow-cooked meats and comfort-food sides such as potato salad, corn bread and chili cheese fries. Bestsellers include the Beef Brisket Dinner ($9.75), cuts from a slow-cooked shoulder roast, and the Pork Rib Dinner ($9.75), both served with two sides. The Chicken Dinner ($8.75) is another popular choice, cooked with a secret recipe that gives it what owner Mark Yarbough describes as a “beautiful smoked flavor.”
Diners seeking seafood may enjoy a deep-fried catfish dinner plate ($13) or sandwich ($10). Barbecued meats are served in a tangy, sweet and smoky homemade sauce prepared with locally bought spices.
Hearty breakfast plates, served until 11 a.m., include Biscuits and Gravy ($5.20), a Giant Stack of six pancakes ($6.79), and a breakfast sandwich ($5.29) with a choice of bacon, ham or sausage. Gram’s also cooks up excellent hash browns.
Homemade Sweet Potato Pie, which can be bought by the slice ($3) or as a whole pie ($12), is another Gram’s BBQ favorite. And don’t overlook the home-baked Peach Cobbler ($3), or creamy Banana Pudding ($3). The menu offers a variety of specials such as corndogs and tacos for local students while school is in session.
Yarbough spent many years working in corporate America before following his passion for cooking. He and his sister entertained the idea of opening a soul food restaurant together many years ago, but instead followed a different path. After achieving success in such diverse fields as security, project management and as a building engineer for an autism clinic, Yarbough broke with that side of the business world and became a manager and cook at his sister’s restaurant, Grandpa’s Grub. “I’ve been cooking since I was 9 years old,” he said. His intuition was rewarded: “I’d change recipes around and folks liked it.”
Yarbough barbecue ribs grabbed the attention of the owner of an unused building, and he renting it to Yarbough, who said the fully-equipped kitchen is what sold him on the idea. Gram’s BBQ opened to great success in the community, attracting many regular customers and catering opportunities for businesses, parties and public offices. Yarbough hopes to find further opportunities to work with local businesses and schools to help foster community spirit.
“Barbecue is special,” he stated. “It really is.”
His customers agree. As one satisfied patron declared, “It’s good stuff, I’ll tell you that!”
Gram’s BBQ, located at 1600 G St. in Antioch, is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.; closed Sundays and Mondays. Call 925-706-8100 or visit www.gramsbbq.weebly.com. Catering and take-out are available.