Step into the Burning Bridge Tavern and you'll find yourself walking into a bar that feels like home.
This Wrightsville restaurant prides itself on offering a fresh take on honky-tonk style while serving up killer cocktails and fill-your-belly smoked meats.
General manager Jodie Wise said Burning Bridge has been serving customers in this modern yet rustic bar for three years.
The bar, previously known as The Hometown, burned down in 2008. In 2012, the restaurant reopened and operates as the Burning Bridge Tavern.
Meats including brisket, pulled pork, pit beef, smoked turkey and pulled chicken are slow smoked right on site. Burgers featuring a variety of toppings are hand-patted by the kitchen staff. Guests can order a classic burger with fries all day Tuesday for $5.
While the bar features local craft breweries, it also offers patrons unique options. Try the Burning Bridge Red ($3.75 a pint), an amber ale created by the Lancaster Brewing Company just for Burning Bridge Tavern.
Crushes also top the menu as one of the more popular drink items, Wise said. Hand-squeezed orange juice is a favorite ingredient in the bar's orange crush ($6), featuring tangerine vodka, triple sec and Sprite.
During a recent visit to Burning Bridge Tavern, my husband and I settled on a seat-yourself table located near the front of the large bar. The downstairs is a surprisingly large space filled with tables, a wrap—around bar and a stage that hosts entertainment five nights a week.
The upstairs remains closed to the general public, and is available for special events, Wise said.
Exposed wood beams and large TVs combine a rustic and modern feel. Slick black metal bar stools surround rustic, wooden top tables with metal pipes as table legs.
We ordered the Hellam Jalapenos ($6) as a highly recommended appetizer. Four large jalapenos are stuffed with cheddar cheese and wrapped in bacon for a perfectly greasy yet flavorful pre-dinner bite.
Guests waiting for food or just sipping a drink can munch on free peanuts filling a large barrel near the front of the bar.
Our lunch baskets quickly arrived. My husband ordered the cheeseburger special ($5) — a hand-patted beef burger served with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and side of French fries. I had the pulled pork sandwich with fries ($7.50), topped with homemade barbecue sauce.
I sipped on an orange crush while my husband tried the Burning Bridge Red — both drinks went down smooth with our simple yet filling meals.
Diners can choose from a variety of other menu items. Jumbo wings featuring 10 flavors and four levels of hot sauce are available for the brave of heart (six wings $6 or 12 wings $9.50). Beer battered fried pickles ($5) and pan seared pierogies ($5) are other appetizer options.
Salads include the buffalo chicken salad with crispy chicken fingers ($7.50), the Uncle Donny Had a Farm ($5.50), and the Red Neck Salad ($5.50), topped with French fries.
Entrée items offer unique creations, including three varieties of quesadillas — the pit beef quesadilla with beef, coleslaw and cheddar cheese, the buffalo chicken quesadilla ($7.95), and the BBT quesadilla ($7.50).
If sticking with the smoked meat specialty is more your style, Burning Bridge is happy to give you a heaping plate. A Pierogie Plate ($8.95) features four pierogies, served with a choice of two meats. The Create Your Own Plate option ($8.95) offers two sides and two meat selections.
When you choose to visit Burning Bridge Tavern, be sure to check the website for a list of entertainment. Open mic nights and live music provide plenty of options to keep you occupied.
If you go
What: Burning Bridge Tavern
Location: 108 Hellam St., Wrightsville
Rebecca's pick: Pulled pork sandwich with fries ($7.95 + $1 for the fries), orange crush ($6)
Parking: Street or small lot across the street
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesdays; 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 1 to 9 p.m. Sundays
Price range: $3.50 cup of chili to $8.95 mesquite platters
Alcohol: Yes, full bar
Accepts: Cash and credit
Kid's menu: Yes