Making a visit to Woodpile BBQ Shack in Clawson just before Memorial Day this past May made me feel, in retrospect, like I was ushering in the summer. Because for me, summer isn’t summer without barbecued meat!
I love ribs. I love their tender, fatty, savory, fall-off-the bone goodness, their flavorful dry rubs and rich sauce.
All of these adjectives describe ribs done right, of course – it’s possible to get ribs wrong. Fortunately, as I discovered during my visit, Woodpile BBQ Shack does ribs right!
The barbecue joint offers all manner of smoked meats: chicken, cheddar sausage, beef brisket, pulled pork, and spare ribs grace the menu. Combo plates are available, including two-meat and three-meat options (each of which include two sides), as are sandwiches and group-centered meals such as the Feast for Four.
Woodpile BBQ Shack is not just in the smoked-meats game; they also serve ice cream – made by Treat Dreams!!! If you’ve ever tasted this local purveyor’s wares, you get what a big deal that is (I still dream about its Dark Sea Olive Oil ice cream I enjoyed on my birthday two years ago). I admittedly can’t imagine having room for dessert after gorging on barbecue, but if I did, I’d go for the Bourban Pecan Pie ice cream, which is labeled as a signature flavor crafted for Woodpile and described on the restaurant’s website menu as “sweet and salty and sticky and boozy!” [cue drooling].
During my visit to Woodpile BBQ Shack, I had the Two Meat Combo plate with pulled pork, spare ribs, and sides of the Mac & Cheese and Roadside Pit Beans. It was DELICIOUS, all of the rich, tender, fatty, savory bliss described above.
Ordering at Woodpile is done at a counter. Seating is available in a dining area that is open-air during the warm-weather months, as it was during my visit. It’s got a fun, rustic feel, all wood beams and corrugated metal, with tables incorporating wooden barrels into their design. There’s a bar out there that serves beer, wine, and liquor.
Mourning summer’s end as I write this post on the last day of August (R.I.P., Summer 2019!), I’m reminded that barbecue can – and should – be enjoyed at any time of year. Places like Woodpile Barbecue Shake make that deliciously possible.
303 S. Main St.
Clawson, MI 48017