Sticking to Perfection with Sticky Lips BBQ

Sticky Lips

It’s finals week, and many of us will respond to the stress and anxiety in a number of ways.

Some of us will procrastinate, hyperventilate, and become overwhelmed with papers, presentations, and exams. Although these are normal responses, don’t forget that stress eating is the perfect excuse to indulge in comfort foods to lower those stress levels.

Since I was getting a bit overwhelmed with the end of the semester approaching, I embarked on my third and final barbecue blog adventure. I enjoyed large meals from Famous Dave’s and Good Smoke BBQ prior to this excursion, and knew these were tough restaurants to beat.

This time, I went for a Rochester classic: Sticky Lips Pit BBQ. This gem of a barbecue joint has two locations, The Original Sticky Lips Pit BBQ and Sticky Lips BBQ Juke Joint. Since I wanted the full experience, I decided to go to the original location, at 625 Culver Road. I went for a lunch this time around, as I heard they typically get rather busy on weekend evenings. After a quick ten-minute car ride, I immediately smelled incredible smoked meats from the large and moderately filled parking lot.

Sticky Lips is a large restaurant and this location has two levels of seating with old American memorabilia all over the walls. I was immediately seated upon arriving and was tasked to look over their outrageously large menu. I would recommend looking at the menu before coming because there are just so many options. Since this was my final barbecue review, I wanted to do something special. I, of course, ordered a large platter of food, but I started off with an appetizer that caught my eye.

I began my meal with the Mississippi Catfish Strips (pictured on the left in the photo above). These were hand-cut catfish strips, battered and breaded in a special blend of flour and southern style spices, paired with a tangy Cajun tartar sauce – a little pricey at $10.95 for five pieces. I then ordered my usual platter – at Sticky Lips it is known as the B-24 Bomber. This plate, once again, had it all. Heaping servings of Iowa State pulled pork, beef brisket, and three rib bones. For the choice of two sides (honey-glazed corn bread was already included), I chose the Sticky Lips Chili and the chorizo cheddar grits. The platter is priced at a decent $18.95.

The catfish strips were out in a matter of minutes. These tender and flaky apps were light enough to keep me hungry, but strongly flavored with spices that gave a tasty, spicy kick. The B-24 Bomber came out about 15 minutes later. Just from the presentation, I knew this was going to be good. All three meats were smoked and flavored to perfection. I had no complaints on any of them. The sides were also quite good. The chili was a bit too soupy, but it had a great taste. The cheddar chorizo grits were out of this world and gave me a new definition of comfort food.

Sticky Lips takes the crown, easily, in this barbecue series. With incredible service, memorabilia, and food, this restaurant is sure to soothe any worries for finals week.

And although this may be my final installment of the three-part tour of Rochester barbecue restaurants, I can assure all of you I will never stop looking for the best!



Brian Rosiek, a native of Buffalo, New York, is now a senior at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York (he apparently loves winter). He is completing a double major in political science and legal studies with a minor in environmental studies. Brian currently competes on Nazareth’s Division III tennis team, while works at a logistics and customs compliance firm (he clearly needs plenty of coffee). Upon graduation this spring, Brian looks to pursue a position in the international trade and supply chain industry. To procrastinate his academic, professional, and athletic endeavors, Brian loves incredible Rochester barbecue and embarrassingly takes pictures of it.


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