Hometown Eats: Pok-E-Joe’s BBQ

Published: May. 26, 2022 at 3:38 PM EDT
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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - There’s something about summer that gets you craving barbecue.

To feed that craving, I checked out an authentic Texas-style barbecue spot in Lynchburg ready to bust your guts and show off lots of awards in this week’s Hometown Eats.

“Like grandma said, if you leave hungry it’s your own fault,” said Pok-E-Joe’s BBQ owner Cory Welch.

I got good news, granny, you ain’t leavin’ Pok-E-Joe’s BBQ in Lynchburg with any room left in your stomach.

“Started off as a hobby, turned into a passion, turned into an obsession,” joked Welch.

Welch bought this barbecue joint in 2019 but Pok-E-Joe’s has been smoking ribs and slicing thick cut brisket since 2005. That’s when a Texan transplant named Walter Hughes moved to Lynchburg with a food truck.

“That food truck right there is the very first food truck in Lynchburg,” said Welch. Then in 2007, he opened the current location at the Boonsboro Shopping Center.

That circles the wagons back to Welch, a Memphis-born, Vinton-raised barbecue-lovin’ good ol’ boy who unleashed his “Tour of America” style of Texas brisket, Carolina pork and Memphis ribs for the masses.

“My dad was in the Navy, so we toured around a lot. Got to taste a lot of different flavors,” said Welch.

The wide range of flavors keeps this little restaurant packed and walls full of awards including a dominant performance at Uncle Billy’s Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ 2021 competition in Altavista.

“First place brisket, first place pork, first place ribs, second place chicken and overall grand champion,” Welch proudly said.

While the hardware is nice to show off, that’s not what puts a smile on Welch’s face.

“Watching their face when they first bite into the brisket,” said Welch. “Once they (the customer) bite in and their eyes go from big to rolling back in their head from deliciousness. That’s the most rewarding part about it.”

Pok-E-Joe’s doesn’t skimp on portions, either. Welch says they send out roughly 100 pounds each of pork and brisket every day.

“We want to fill your belly and get your money’s worth out of it. We’re called the best kept secret of Lynchburg really,” said Welch.

Pok-E-Joe’s BBQ in Lynchburg, an award-winning hometown eat where the secret’s out.

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