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“Very disappointed in food”

Gardner’s Barbecue Restaurant
Ranked #12 of 138 Restaurants in Rocky Mount
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$3 - US$15
Cuisines: American, Barbecue
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Groups
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Buffet, Takeout
Description: Gardner's Foods consists of three restaurants in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, as well as a catering and wholesale division. Everything began in 1972 when experienced food operators, Gerry and Jim Gardner, decided to develop a good ole country cooking restaurant that specialized in Eastern North Carolina barbecue, as well as Southern fried chicken and its famous Southern style collards. Our 301 North Location seats 250 people and has a huge buffet with such items as * Fried Chicken* Baked Chicken * Pork Barbecue* Turkey Barbecue* Brunswick Stew * Chicken Pastry* Cabbage* Squash* Peas* Boiled Potatoes* Rice & Gravy* Fish* Salad Bar* Dessert Bar Gardner Foods is USDA inspected. We cook only whole hogs, and our Barbecue is cooked Eastern North Carolina style. It's seasoned with crushed red pepper and vinegar as well as a few secret ingredients. Our barbecue is deboned and mixed by hand - prepared specially for you.Turkey Barbecue:Gardner's debones and mixes whole turkeys by hand, and is also prepared Eastern North Carolina style. Turkey barbecue is the perfect alternative for our customers who are not able to eat or do not prefer pork. Southern Style Collards:Gardner's southern style collards are cooked, seasoned, chopped. All Our southern style collards are a unique product that looks good on any plate. Gardner's also has a great thick and hearty Brunswick Stew that includes two meats and lots of vegetables. Our Vegetable Soup with chicken is also a local favorite. Voted Best BBQ in Rocky Mount 2012. Voted best hush puppies in Rocky Mount 2012.
1 review
“Very disappointed in food”
Reviewed 15 April 2014

We were on our way back to NJ from FL and anxious to try some NC-style barbecue. Perhaps I should have read the reviews more carefully because we were extremely disappointed. The fried chicken was the best item on the buffet although my husband said the short ribs were good. The pulled pork was dry without much flavor. However, where they really fell short was on the sides. The collard greens had obviously been doctored with sugar because they were old and bitter. The hush puppies were more like rubber puppies; the desserts were unappealing and overly sweet. However, the servers were warm and attentive. Wish the food would have lived up to the staff.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Fran M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GardnerBBQ, Guest Relations Manager at Gardner’s Barbecue Restaurant, responded to this review, 17 April 2014
Thank you for taking the time to inform us of the experience you had at our restaurant. We are sorry about the unsatisfactory impression the visit left on you.

At Gardner's, we strive to provide a delicious meal with great guest service and make every effort to create a safe, clean and friendly dining experience.

We appreciate the time you have taken to express your concerns. It gives us the chance to learn where we may need improvement and to resolve any problems that may arise from time to time. Feel free to contact our store at 252-446-2983 and speak to the manager on duty with any questions or concerns you may have.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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140 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    11
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“An OK Barbecue”
Reviewed 3 April 2014

Gardners has a barbecue buffet that offers a wide variety of choices. It is what might be called Southern comfort food. While the variety was extensive , we found the quality and taste was very average. The service was good and the waitress very friendly. It was a good place to try but I doubt we will be going back.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank Thomas T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GardnerBBQ, Guest Relations Manager at Gardner’s Barbecue Restaurant, responded to this review, 18 July 2014
Our buffet contains all there is to love about growing up in East Carolina. From collards to our famous fried chicken we have an extensive choice of items but we don't chose to over season our buffet so it can suit multiple palates. We have a few seasoning choices on the tables that are there for guests who like a little spice, salt, or some 'tang'.

We are happy to hear that your service was excellent and that overall you had a pleasant experience.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Salem, Virginia
Level Contributor
49 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“All types of barbecue”
Reviewed 3 March 2014

A local standard. Great lunch options, buffet or order in or out. Good pork barbecue, also chicken and loads of fresh vegetables. Pleant of parking spaces and loads of room both inside and out.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank George N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GardnerBBQ, Guest Relations Manager at Gardner’s Barbecue Restaurant, responded to this review, 17 April 2014
Our locals do love us and we have kept our tradtion going for over 40 years. Thank for mentioning the ample parking area at our 301 location for tractor trailers and RVs. etc.

We appreciate your 5 star review and hope to serve you again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Level Contributor
28 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Don't bother”
Reviewed 6 February 2014

I lived in North Carolina years ago and wanted some barbecue on my way south. I asked the staff at the Hampton Inn where I could get the best barbecue and she recommended Gardner's. She said that there were two and the one further from the hotel was the better of the two. We went there and found a tired buffet with few people. Granted, it was 7:30 PM on Sunday but the barbecue and chicken was dry and tasteless and everything looked like it had been sitting around for a long time. The bill came to over $30 for two of us and we barely ate anything as it was so bad.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Robert N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GardnerBBQ, Guest Relations Manager at Gardner’s Barbecue Restaurant, responded to this review, 17 April 2014
At Gardner's, we strive to provide a delicious meal with great guest service and make every effort to create a safe, clean and friendly dining experience. We recently underwent a management change and we hope you will give us another try.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Service Excellent...”
Reviewed 26 January 2014 via mobile

My family and I stopped by after a funeral we attended at January 25 we had Nikki and we ate buffet around 2pm and the food was great. We go out to eat a lot and have had many waitress and waiters but Nikki really stood out she made us feel at home very good hospitality. Thank you...

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank lidaddyma1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GardnerBBQ, Guest Relations Manager at Gardner’s Barbecue Restaurant, responded to this review, 17 April 2014
Thank you for your wonderful review. The General Manager and District Manager have both been notified about how happy your were with your waitress Nikki. Names go a long way in helping reward those who made a difference in your experience. Thank you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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