Pick your own ‘poison’ at Staten’s

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By Sharon Graves

There’s a new BBQ joint in town, and everyone is officially invited to give it a try.

Staten’s Old Time Barbecue opened a few weeks ago on State Hwy. 36/U.S. Hwy. 42 in Prestonville, at the location old-timers and long-time residents would know as the old Dairy Queen.

But owner Adam Guenther – the man behind the smoke – says not to let that fool you. “This place is new from the ground to the roof.”

He has been working on the building for months, recently passed the health department inspection with flying colors and now is open and ready for business – lots of business.

“All our meats are 100-percent natural with no hormones, no steroids and no fillers,” Guenther boasted. “The beef brisket, pork shoulders and ribs are hickory smoked, hand-pulled and chopped.”

The meat is smoked daily on site and is brought to the table without sauce. You pick your own poison from bottles containing six kinds of sauce. The bottles, stored in “Crush” soda pop cartons on each table include two made on site – the “Memphis,” which is a sugar-free sauce, and the “North Carolina.

The other four sauces are made in Louisville, using Guenther’s recipes.

In addition to the traditional ribs and pulled-beef and -pork sandwiches, the menu features such sides as cheesy fries, corn on the cob and coleslaw. With a wink, he also points out his “world famous” banana pudding.

Vonda Fox of Trimble County is the manager of the Prestonville eatery; she and Guenther have worked together since he opened his first restaurant in Prospect 16 years ago.

The interior walls of the restaurant are decorated  in authentic black barn wood. “I tore down a barn for the wood,” Guenther said.

There are flat-screen TVs on the walls, and though you might find yourself watching re-runs of the classic “The Andy Griffith Show,” the restaurant also is a wireless Internet hotspot. A convenient convergence of the old and the new.

Guenther started his career in the barbecue industry while he was a student at Jefferson Community College. He was studying to be a teacher when he went to work for  Vince Staten, a barbecue restaurateur and Guenther’s stepfather.

He put the dream of teaching on hold when he fell in love with the business.

He said he loves the constant change of the restaurant business. “It’s so much fun meeting so many characters,” he said. “Who knows what tomorrow might bring?”

Staten is a retired newspaper columnist with the New York Daily News and the Louisville Courier-Journal. He has penned 12 books of humor, including a traveler’s guide to barbecue, first published in 1988 and recently updated.

Guenther named the restaurant to honor Staten.

Guenther said he chose to locate in  Carroll County because he believes it is a good fit for his products.

Visit the store in person, call in an order at (502) 732-8521, or visit online at Statenbbq.com.