Before my trip to Salt Fork State Park, I was given a suggestion to try out a place called Hog Heaven which is a BBQ restaurant with three locations, two of which are off of 77 South. My favorite BBQ joint in Ohio for the past two years has been a place called Old Carolina BBQ which I discovered during my trip to a local annual rib cook off. Old Carolina has great ribs but what has set them apart from the rest of the BBQ I’ve tried is their sweet sauce.
Since we enjoyed our visit to the first location located in New Philadelphia Ohio, we decided to visit their Canton location. During our first meal, I consumed a plentiful pulled pork sandwich. While the meat didn’t have any distinct flavor, the sauce is what made it pop. I can only describe it as ketchupy but with a sweetness to it such as honey or molasses. There is no spice to it what so ever and is the only sauce they have. I continuously found myself drowning my pulled pork in the sauce. During our second trip, I ordered a half slab of ribs. The first thing I noticed with these ribs is that when I picked up the bone to start eating them, the meat fell off without any of my assistance. This impressed me and told me these folks know how to cook a rack of ribs. The meat had a glaze of their sauce while also having a crispy texture to the top of the meat from the grill. These ribs were delicious. In fact, they were so good that now my fiance believes she has found a BBQ sauce that is better than Old Carolinas which we are still hotly debating.
While their Canton location is farther south than Old Carolina, it just might be that good for me to make the drive. I’ve found myself drinking from the sauce bottle as if it were Mountain Dew, it’s that good. While the new Philadelphia location was more like a biker bar, the Canton location was geared more towards a restaurant atmosphere. If you’re heading on I-77 South, stop by the Canton or New Philadelphia location for some excellent BBQ. Before the suggestion, I’ve never heard of Hog Heaven and now I consider it a hidden gem in Ohio.