Hempen Hill BBQ, Hagerstown


12754940_10153955042008011_901585224_oHempen Hill BBQ is an excellent spot for barbecue and much more located at 13208 Fountain Head Plaza, Hagerstown, MD. I stopped there on a ski trip on the way from Liberty Mountain to Wisp Resort (skiing is another one of my passions- these were my 118th and 119th ski mountains. I had already been to Whitetail Resort, which is also very close to Hagerstown). While skiing is generally thought of as a northern thing and barbecue as a southern thing, I had previously had a pulled pork sandwich slopeside at Ober Gatlinburg, Tennesee’s only ski area. This was a revelation for me; barbecue is perfect ski food. It is warm, hearty and filling.


Wisp Resort, MD.


Liberty Mountain, PA.

Maryland happens to be one of those rare states where you can find both good barbecue and good skiing. I ordered the crab chips to start, which are basically a form of crab nachos. They were absolutely delicious and added a nice Maryland flavor to the meal. For my main course, I ordered a mix of pit beef and pulled pork with mac and cheese.

12722318_10153955041903011_1154661404_oThe meats were perfectly cooked and the mac and cheese was hearty and delicious. They also have a wide selection of beer and other drinks (I ordered a Shiner Bock since I associate barbecue with hanging out with my cousins in Texas, which always involves Shiner) as well as a martini made with cucumber vodka and pickle juice, garnished with a pickle spear. The latter was certainly interesting but tasted a bit too much of pickle juice, even for my
New York culturally Jewish self. Hempen Hill also has a wide selection of vegetarian dishes, which means even my mother and sister could eat there. The decor is cool but very casual, and the place attracts a wide range of types, from suburbanite families to more country types. This is a great place to stop if you’re in the area.


The pickle martini