I ate at QN4U last Friday night and finally, finally had a good meal. Several years ago when they opened I was eagerly anticipating my first meal there. The owner is an umpteen time BBQ champion and is a well-respected in the BBQ world. Back in the day when he first was starting out in Clovis (from what I understand he was catering prior), he was everywhere. His sauce was launching in stores, he was cooking in street fairs, and he was featured on local TV shows. Man I thought I was going to have a massive BBQ high after eating his food. I was sadly disappointed.
It turns out that being a champion on the BBQ circuit wasn’t helping to translate into good restaurant food. The first meal I had the side dishes were terrible. The ribs and brisket was fatty and certainly not even close to trophy material. On my second visit, which was a few months later and early in the week, the ribs were almost certainly day old. I was so disappointed. I felt like there was no hope finding good BBQ in Fresno. At the time, Ruben’s Rib Shack and Smoked Them Bones weren’t open and there wasn’t even a Famous Dave’s!!! I swore I would never go back.
Have you even had one of those conversations about where to eat when everyone is starving and no one can think of anything that sounds good? You’ve already eaten at the same places so many times and you just can’t stand the thought of another meal even though it’s good food. Well, long story short I blurted out in frustration, “Let’s just go to QN4U. If it sucks again, than that’s three strikes and I’ll really never go back!” It was settled and off we went.
So how was the food? I am happy to report that the food was actually good. The ribs were smoked nicely with the appropriate amount of sauce. The sauce is very sweet. Competition sauce is generally sweet and they’re probably using the same stuff in the restaurant. The mac-n-cheese had a nice tangy cheese incorporated with perfectly cooked noodles. Even the cornbread muffin was enjoyable. This was such a change from a few years ago.
My dining partners were also happy with the pulled pork. I tried it and found it to be nice and moist. The portion sizes are humongous so guaranteed you will not leave hungry.
So far so good. For now, QN4U is slowly making its way back into the circle of trust and I will probably go back again to verify consistency. Give them a try next time you’re in the barnyard shopping center. Does that shopping center name bother anyone else?