Hillbilly BBQ: Comfort Food on Parked Wheels

Hillbilly BBQ joined the Limerick food scene in May of 2011. Credit Jennifer Hetrick

By Jennifer Hetrick | Patch.com

Hillbilly BBQ joined the Limerick food scene in May of 2011. Credit Jennifer Hetrick

For those looking to give into the savory call of comfort food on the run in the busy way of so many to-do-list musts in a day’s time, Hillbilly BBQ in Limerick answers, one delectable chomp at a time.

The food truck operation claimed its spot next to Kelly’s World Class Automotive near the intersection of Ridge Pike and Lewis Road this past May at the hands of JR Reinhart who resides in Lower Pottsgrove.

Reinhart opened the first Hillbilly BBQ location in front of Chuck Smith’s Auto Service on Route 100 in Bechtelsville in the autumn of 2008, all in gratitude to his wife and daughter.

The two picked out a small smoker as a gift for him for Father’s Day earlier that year.

JR Reinhert uses a large smoker on the outer portion of his food truck to slowly cook his meats. Credit Jennifer Hetrick

Reinhart decided to take his smoked samplings into his workplace at the time, Alcom Printing in Harleysville, where coworkers could not believe the impeccable taste of his first-time food efforts.

“They loved it and said you ought to sell this stuff,” Reinhart said, telling the story of when he cooked up some pulled pork, with his then fellow-printing press employees responding enthusiastically per bite.

As a self-taught barbecue connoisseur, Reinhart said he learned as he went, wisely implementing customer input. He hadn’t cooked at home much before his family gifted him that initial small smoker.

Traveling down through Tennessee inspired Reinhart to name his food truck endeavor Hillbilly BBQ.

“I started with pulled pork and beef brisket,” Reinhart said. “I make my own sauce and learned by trial and error.”

Reinhart selects his meats from a butcher in Topton, Berks County and even sells the pulled pork bones as popularly purchased dog bones.

He wakes up around 3 or 4 a.m., firing up the cooker, and labors all morning to be ready to serve sandwiches just before noon, often with help from his wife, Lori.

“I get a pretty good lunch crowd,” Reinhart said, with rolled down car windows working in his favor. “People just drive by and smell what’s in the cooker.”

Hillbilly BBQ has two shaded picnic tables with plenty of benches around them for those who have time to eat their lunch or dinner away from on-the-go means. Credit Jennifer Hetrick

Included in his sandwich supply, Reinhart offers pulled pork, brisket, sausage and jalapeño sausage in addition to a Hillbilly Special of pork or beef with coleslaw and Russian dressing and also a Tall Texan-Sausage & Beef Brisket.

“It’s a fast sandwich to get and is not as messy as eating a rack of ribs,” Reinhart said about what he thinks is the draw with his now famed quick eats.

His chicken leg quarters in platter form come with a choice of two sides, involving the possibilities of macaroni salad, coleslaw, baked beans and a baked potato.

The separately loaded Hillbilly Potato incorporates pork or beef, sour cream, cheese, Reinhart’s specialty Hillbilly Dust and barbecue sauce.

He described his Hillbilly Dust as a seasoning rub it took him four years to bring to perfection through continued practice.

The iconic menu inclusion of ribs is available in a full-rack, half-rack, quarter-rack and also a rib platter.

“It’s really tender, flavorful and melts in your mouth,” Reinhart noted as some of the most common responses he has from those who stop by to get their meals on-the-go from him. “And the ribs cut like butter.”

Reinhart sells meat by the half-pound and full-pound as well.

By October, Reinhart plans to introduce a breakfast menu, opening every day of the week, with a few other new selections such as jambalaya and Lori’s award-winning chili.

“It’s something that’s original and cooked right onsite,” Reinhart added about what he thinks makes his food truck a unique component in the local landscape.

Soon focusing on a full-time effort with his Limerick location means Reinhart will likely close his Bechtelsville food truck down within the next few months, he said.

People tossing him their animated feedback about how genuinely they enjoy his made-to-order menu options is what Reinhart said he finds so rewarding about being the man behind Hillbilly BBQ throughout his weeks.

Those glimmers lead to making his early mornings of preparation and the long work days all worth it.

Hillbilly BBQ is open Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, search for Hillbilly BBQ on Facebook.