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“a BBQ gem of an experience” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Eli's BBQ

Eli's BBQ
3313 Riverside Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45226-1012
513-533-1957
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Ranked #2 of 1,727 restaurants in Cincinnati
Cuisines: Barbecue
Dining options: Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night
West Chester, OH
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“a BBQ gem of an experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013

We went to Eli's on a recommendation for a great bbq place and knew that it was byob, but was not convinced this would be the norm...well...it is... this place is like showing up at a family reunion:) It was a Saturday evening so we did have to wait in line to place our order and wait again 45min for our food...but with your favorite bottle, this is quite an enjoyable wait as there was live music playing and friendly people to squeeze in next to in the large, tented area of picnic tables. We're not big kid fans, but enjoyed the little ones dancing and seeing families sprawling blankets on the lawns picnic style to enjoy the beautiful evening. We ordered pulled pork sandwich and ribs with cornbread and grits....added some extra sauce to our basket and dived in! Everything was delicious!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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142 reviews from our community

95% Recommend
    104
    32
    5
    1
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Northern New Jersey
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
“What's the hype about!!!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

After reading all of the great reviews online we went to Eli's for what I thought would be some great down home barbecue. But that's not what we got. First of all there is only one meat option for those that don't eat pork-turkey on a bun. My boyfriend did not like the turkey at all. I had pulled pork on a bun and coleslaw. The coleslaw had way too much vinegar. The pulled pork tasted charred and wasn't moist and very tender like I like it. Also it needed more barbecue sauce. On a positive note the food is very inexpensive, the seating area under a tent with picnic tables reminded me of childhood family barbecues and loved that the coca cola came in classic bottles. Definately would not return when in the Cincinnati area. The barbecue is just not good.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Good food, longggggggg wait”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013

I went to Eli's with friends on a weeknight (Tues) about 7:30 pm. I know the place is popular and the food great, but to have to wait 45 mins was a bit extreme. And that's how long we had to wait. BBQ can be planned ahead for, so I really have no idea why things took so long (making the sides?). It seemed poor planning and organization to me. Still it was a nice night, and the pulled pork sandwich was outstanding. Maybe not the best I have had, but pretty darn good. I also had burnt ends (good), jalapeno cornbread (ok, nothing special). My friends had the baked beans (very good) and grits (didn't try them or mac and cheese). Sides are pretty small. Also the bbq sauce is only set at the servers table (it was a nice day so people were all outside), but we were seated far away and this was less than convenient, esp. as the servers would not give us something to pour some sauce into. Please. The whole experience seemed like people who run the place have the food side down, but have no real idea how to run the customer service part. Unfortunate, b/c this place could probably do even more business were it better run.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Cincinnati, Ohio
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Patience required”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

We had recently put our boat in the water which is docked just down the road from Eli's. After spending the afternoon cleaning it up from the winters storage, we decided to walk up the road to grab a bite to eat and see what all of the popularity of this restaurant was all about. It was like a Sunday afternoon picnic . . .a lot of people at picnic tables eating or drinking, waiting for their name to be called to pick up their food. Most of the seating is outdoors at picnic tables in a park like setting. After waiting in line for around 10 minutes we were informed that it would be about an hour until our food would be served. Not a problem, we walked back to the boat uncorked a bottle of wine, added two glasses to a basket and returned to await our dinner. The food was very good . . .the cornbread was spicy (jalapeno), slaw was interesting and the smoked ribs were outstanding. I am told the mac and cheese is creamy and cheesy. Not a place to go if you are in a hurry, but fun and interesting!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Greater Cleveland
Top Contributor
256 reviews 256 reviews
173 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 130 cities Reviews in 130 cities
149 helpful votes 149 helpful votes
“Cool establishment - BYOB, great to sit outside”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

This was a fun place to visit. The prices are good. A sandwich and two sides for $8 is a good price for legitimate BBQ. I got rib tips and two sides for $11 and my wife got a sandwich. The tips were great. There is one BBQ sauce and it has a good balance of flavor and heat. The pulled pork was good. I wasn't crazy about the mac and cheese but my wife liked it. I like some herbs and it had a Velveeta type taste to me (although I don't think they are using it.) The beans were great. The cornbread was average and fell apart a little too easily. We walked in and ordered inside. There are a bunch of tables outside. It felt like being at a backyard BBQ. You can bring your own beer. I didn't know that but luckily I had some bourbon in my trunk so I enjoyed that. They said the food would take 30 minutes but it arrived in about 20. When you're enjoying yourself outside drinking your own beer though, who cares? Bring a few and enjoy yourself with friends. It's a great place to chill. There was also a gelato truck parked there serving dessert. I'll be eating here everytime I am in Cincinnati, especially during nice weather. It might eclipse Terry's Turf Club as my always go-to spot in Cincinnati, but I'll still do both if I can!

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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