Vassar Student Association

Exploring the Hudson Valley: Jackalope BBQ

Jackalope BBQ


So last week was my birthday (thank you, thank you), and it was decided that rather than frequent the same old feedbags that we, um, frequent, I thought it would be nice to branch out a bit to find something other than pizza, pizza, sandwiches, pizza or inedible Chinese food. As one who happily sloths it up, I chose the easiest thing to spell: BBQ. Well, what I actually sought was “fan-freakin-tastic pulled pork,” but you get the point.

And wouldn’t you know that about 30 minutes south of campus on Route 9, in Fishkill, there’s exactly that—Jackalope BBQ. Now it should be noted, before I go on to rant about how good my meal was, that, in my opinion, you can never really go wrong with a barbecue restaurant that’s shaped like a triangle and named after a fictional species of rabbit that has the antlers of a deer and can run like an antelope. But you wouldn’t be reading a review if you didn’t want to hear about the food, so here we go.

Let me put it this way: The pulled pork sandwich, which comes with homemade sweet-barbecue chips, was almost as good as the check I got from my grandma as a birthday present—that’s a pretty darn good pulled pork sandwich! There was enough meat on that thing to choke a donkey, but I also somehow managed to consume an appetizer of firestarters, which consists of spicy pulled chicken in fried dough with a cheesy, ranchy dipping sauce. Awesome.

Other meals I tasted included 24-hour slow-cooked ribs (two different kinds!), a tortilla salad topped with chili and the pulled pork platter, which was pretty much just more of what I ate, but it was so good that I wanted just one more bite.

Other things that I didn’t order that sounded tasty included coconut shrimp, sliced brisket, beer can chicken and the burgers. And there’s a kids’ menu!

The only thing I regret is not ordering more side dishes. While I was able to try the cornbread, sweet potato fries, baked beans and cornbread pudding, I was unable to try the mashed potatoes, green beans, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, macaroni salad or corn on the cob.

Jackalope BBQ, first and foremost, has great, great food. But also, just as important, the place has a great atmosphere. Different sauces, both sweet and spicy, line the walls around the tables. Everyone was really friendly, and my water and sangria (which was cheap and delicious) never went unfilled.

Also, my grandpa was able to barter with the owner, trading an old deer-head trophy for half the price of the meal. Seriously. No, seriously.

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