Hometown Eats: Canale’s Ham & BBQ in Roanoke

Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 6:08 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Canale’s Ham & BBQ has been open in Roanoke for a year, but for the most part, it has been kept a hidden secret just outside Grandin Village.

George Canale opened it in the summer of 2019 to carry on a 40-year family tradition of barbecue in Memphis, Tennessee. Canale, a former Virginia Tech baseball standout who went on to play professionally for the Milwaukee Brewers, knows a thing or two about barbecue.

“All of your flavors are usually on the outside of the meat,” he said. “Ours are all the way through the meats.”

That holds true to the ham, turkey and pork they’re smoking. One of the most popular smoked meats on the menu, though, is the bologna. They season it, smoke it, and then cut it nice and thick before deep frying it for their outrageous bologna sandwich.

“It’s just like a burger. He puts everything on it, the works. Lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, mustard, onion, slaw. Great bologna sandwich. Fried and smoked,” said Rick Leftwich, who religiously eats them each week.

The sandwiches are so popular that people drive over an hour just to grab one.

Canale is open to trying new things at his restaurant, too. Take for example the barbecue pork egg roll, a newer menu item that has quickly become a hit. They put their homemade barbecue and coleslaw inside an egg roll, deep fry it and serve it next to a special dipping sauce.

“Never did I think I’d see the day where you put barbecue pork in an egg roll, but it works,” said WDBJ7′s Josh Birch. “They make their own special sauce for it. It’s popular, and for good reason.”

You also have to try out their famous banana pudding and mac and cheese, which has a little hot sauce in it to give it a kick.

Canale’s is at 1731 Grandin Rd SW, Roanoke, VA 24015. The phone number is (540) 556-8500.

If you have a local restaurant Josh should check out next, send him an email at or connect with him on Facebook at Josh Birch WDBJ7.

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