Last week my IT guy Bob, (and also good friend) his wife Susan along with their niece Sara joined me on a little road trip to Bethany, Ontario to visit a BBQ Joint in the small little town that is on Hwy 7A in between Oshawa and Peterborough called Bethany Hills Heaven on Seven.
How did I find this little slice of heaven? During the winter I was with my friend Herman that had to visit one of his customers in that area and I went along for the ride, and in driving by I saw this little building that promoted both Ice Cream and BBQ, they were closed that day but I hoped to return another time.
Then a few weeks back Herman called me on his phone saying that he went in and had the most glorious Pulled Pork sandwich from there which aroused my food eating glands even more!
So a couple of days later my buddy Joe and I drove over there for lunch one day And we met co owner Andrea Ross who was super nice and willing to talk about her restaurant and how it came to be. Andrea and her partner started the restaurant as an Ice Cream store and also selling Coffee and Tea and the first couple of days sales were less than $100 a day but then they fired up a smoker (which I believe is a Southern Pride which I should double check on) and began selling Ribs and other BBQ favorites and instantly they were selling out every day and bringing in close to $700 a day.
Andrea was proudly telling me of how she was able to cater lunches for 2000 people at the International Dragon Boat Races in June of 2010.
In the past 5 years Heaven on Seven has sold over 16,000 racks of Ribs in a small little town in Kawartha Lakes without any social networking or other wide spread advertising. I was so engaged in conversation with Joe and Andrea that I forgot to take pics of the food that we ordered!
Joe ordered a half rack of Ribs that he could not stop talking about all the way home he just thought they were perfect ribs! and saying that they could very well be the best Ribs he has had in a very long time. He also tried Andrea’s Alaskan Char smoked fish and Though Fish done that way is not what Joe likes as a rule Joe told me that is was nicely cone and prepared.
I went for the Pulled Pork Sandwich which was just like the sandwich that Herman raved about. To be honest I was very surprised to hear that they do not use Pork Shoulder or the Boston Butt to make their Pulled Pork but rather they told me they smoke the Pork Tenderloins instead, I admit it tasted good but I wonder how many Pork Tenderloins they must go through for making the Pulled Pork not to mention that the whole idea of Pulled Pork is to render the fat in the shoulder to achieve a juicy tender meat. From what I read in an issue of Zest magazine where they Profiled Heaven on Seven they smoke the Tenderloins for 17 hours. Again left me a bit confused as that seems like a long time for such a small piece of pork.
I also enjoyed a Smoked piece of Chicken served with a honey mustard sauce that was very tasty and perfectly smoked and a Smoked Potato which was fantastic and I enjoyed the smoky flavour in the what most would see as a baked potato. I also had one of the Ribs from Joe and I could see how much he liked it and I could concur that they were a very good rib!
Just before leaving Andrea also had us try her Jerk Smoked Chicken which was also heavenly with a real nice bite to it that hit you a bit later on.
Joe and I went home quite satisfied and willing to return again with no hesitation.
Fast forward to last week now when I drove Bob, Susan and Sara over to Bethany for a dinner on a Friday night.
When we arrived there was one customer in the restaurant and Andrea and her partner were not around but their employee Nari was ready to serve us and was very friendly. However it being what I considered to be a slow time I found that he was somewhat slow in preparing an order for the 4 of us, One thing that had us baffled was that things like little containers of sour cream and such had to be spooned out of a container which took a bit of time for him to do which slowed down the other orders we were placing, I would think it would be a good idea to have some of these things prepared and chilled ahead of time.
I decided to try a half rack of Ribs and another Smoked Potato this time with Sour Cream and a bun, while Bob had a Pulled Pork Sandwich and the two ladies each had a combo plate that came with Ribs, Chicken and a great looking Caesar Salad and a bun.
When I ordered my Ribs the guy behind the counter (Nari) said that the ribs came out of the smoker in the morning and to him they had cooled off so he asked if it would be alright that he heat them in the microwave! (what choice did I have but to say yes but in the back of my mind I was cringing at the idea.) They really should have a grill that they could re-heat with instead. I enjoyed the ribs but they were not out of this world. I think the microwaving just turned me off a little I remember when I was in Newmarket reviewing Big Bone BBQ that they did not and would not ever have a microwave in their restaurant and I agree with them.
There are a couple of small tables inside but having some nice picnic tables out front we felt more comfortable outside.
Once again I did like the Smoked Baked Potato, and the bun…. well it was just a bun.
Bob liked his Pulled Pork and both of us agreed that Heaven on Seven’s Sweet style BBQ Sauce is very good on both the Ribs and the Pulled Pork.
As you can see by the cars in the lot (which was empty when we arrived around 5 pm but soon after more people have arrived.
The ladies were ok with their meals.
Overall I was not as impressed with our second visit as I was with the first. I think that the staffs time management skills could use some improvement, It would of been nice for the four of us to eat all at the same time but I was long done my Ribs before the others had got their meals. (and I would not want to have had my ribs nuked a second time.) I could just imagine if it was a longer lineup of customers.
I would still recommended giving Heaven on Seven your business if your ever in the area as the good still outweighs the not so good.
You can phone Heaven on Seven at 1-705-277-2100 and if your driving through the area they are located at 1484 Hwy 7A in Bethany at the junction of Hwy 7A and Ski Hill Road
Bethany Hills Heaven On Seven Does have a website http://www.heavenon7.com/ though it is under construction at this time.