Hometown Eats: Bull & Bones Brewhaus and Grill in Blacksburg
BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Bull & Bones Brewhaus and Grill has been a must-visit in Blacksburg since 2008, but like so many restaurants, it was hit hard during the pandemic and forced to close for almost a year.
But now the doors are open again and they’re luring in customers with some of the best smoked meat in the New River Valley and a newly-renovated dining room and bar.
“We refinished every single table in here,” owner Jon Coburn said. “Everything got fully sanded, fully refinished. We took down this entire bar, 110 foot of bar with an ice rail, the only ice rail in the region and the largest bar in the region. We took the whole thing out and rebuilt it from scratch.”
There are new TVs, new flooring, a fresh paint job and a renovated outdoor seating area.
“We just opened for the first time in 2021 and we’re trying to make a run at it,” Coburn said.
But to be successful, Bull & Bones offers more than just a great atmosphere; they also smash it when it comes to the food!
“Now we’re in the kitchen with Jon’s son Nathan,” WDBJ7′s Katey Roshetko said. “Nathan, you are the chef today. Tell us what you’re going to be making for us.”
“I’m going to be making the Bull Burger,” Nathan Coburn said.
Two quarter-pound patties seasoned and then smashed to perfection.
“Whoa!” Roshetko said as Nathan flattened the burger with a smack. “You literally just smashed that burger.”
“I’ll do a pancake flip for the camera,” Nathan said.
“Woo,” Roshetko laughed. “Look at him showing off for the ladies over here.”
But what’s even more impressive than Nathan’s skills with a spatula is the rest of the smoked goodness that goes on top of the Bull Burger. Cheese, bacon, onion rings, barbeque sauce, a pile of pulled pork and more barbeque sauce.
“Wow. That is incredible looking,” Roshetko grinned. “I get to eat that.”
“To one of the best burgers in Blacksburg, cheers,” Roshetko and Nathan clinked burgers and took a bite. “Holy Moses. That’s phenomenal.”
“I feel like I need one of the napkins tucked into me,” Roshetko laughed. “Look at all that juice. So you know how to do a burger right and then you mix up the toppings just to have that personal touch.”
And Bull & Bones wouldn’t be anywhere if wasn’t for a hunkin’ piece of machinery.
“This is what all the big boys use,” Coburn said about the giant smoker in the back of the kitchen. “Anywhere you watch on Food Network, when you’re watching these cooking channels, seeing these barbeque restaurants from Memphis or Kansas City or Texas, this is the smoker they all use.”
“So on your busiest days, how full is this?” Roshetko asked.
“Full,” Coburn said matter-of-factly. “Completely full.”
That’s because almost every appetizer and entrée comes with smoked meat, including this brisket-topped mac and cheese.
“Mac and cheese sauce,” meat expert Nick Stuth said as he ladled a large portion into a pan.
“Oh baby. I would take a bath in that,” Roshetko laughed. “That looks real good.”
“More cheese,” Stuth said.
“Because you can never have too much cheese,” Roshetko said. “Oh, and those are my favorite noodles, too. Yes! "
As Stuth began flipping the sauce and pasta together, Roshetko said. “Oh, the skill. You won’t be outdone by Nathan.”
“No, I will not,” Stuth laughed.
“He’s still the young whippersnapper over here,” Roshetko bantered. “He’s got to earn his stripes.”
Once the mac and cheese is ready, the freshly sliced and diced brisket gets doused in barbeque sauce and loaded on top of the noodles.
“I’m not even going to try and be pretty,” Roshetko took a big bite. “Oh, my gosh. That is so good. Like, I’m going to cry, it’s so good. That’s amazing.”
As she went in for seconds, Roshetko said, “The thing that ruins a mac and cheese is when it’s not stringy like that. Do you see that? Look how stringy that is. You don’t want a dry mac and cheese.”
So go for the food and stay for the friends.
Bull & Bones is open Monday-Wednesday 4-11 p.m., Thursday-Saturday 11 a.m.-1 a.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
The brewhaus will also be hosting Rocktoberfest Oct. 21.
Copyright 2021 WDBJ. All rights reserved.