ROCKY POINT, NC (WECT) – There are some gems in our area when it comes to restaurants that serve home cooked meals, and one of those is operated by a man who gave up a job in the trucking business to cook. Now, he and his wife run a Pender County restaurant that, on some days, have people waiting in line to get served.
The building he rents sits along the Northeast Cape Fear River, on Highway 210. It has been around since the early thirties, but these days, more people are stopping by than ever before.
That's because two years ago, Kenny and Marie McManus opened up Lanes Ferry Dock and Grill.
"My sister-in-law called me up and asked if I would be interested in doing it, because I was doing a lot of cooking at the house, and for people, and I have always like to cook, so I got out of the seat of the truck and started doing what I really love doing, I really love cooking," said Kenny McManus, owner of Lanes Ferry Grill.
Stop by and you will see many of the same faces in here several times a week, with big Kenny behind the grill and Marie and helpers taking the orders. It is bacon and eggs for breakfast, burgers and hot dogs for lunch. He even has a special hot dog called the Mac Attack.
"The Mac Attack is a Nathan's hot dog, wrapped in bacon, rolled around there and then dropped into the deep fryer," said McManus.
But what happens in a small building behind the restaurant is what draws the crowds in on Fridays and Saturdays. Every Thursday and Friday, Kenny takes several Boston butts, rubs them down with his own recipe and places them in an upright smoker, over wood, and slowly cooks them all night.
"Getting that Applewood is the key thing," explained McManus. "Getting that Applewood the right smoke on it - that is the key thing to my barbeque, I think. A lot of hours in it, anywhere from thirteen to fifteen hours, night and day doing it, so there is a lot of time in it."
The meat is finished up on a gas grill, then Kenny's father pulls the pork off the bone and it is ready for the plates and buns.
Because the barbeque has become so popular, Kenny and Marie are considering having it on their menu every day, which means more nights of cooking and plenty of extra days, every week, to enjoy barbeque cooked the ole fashioned way, slow and easy over wood.
"Yea, it is a little bit of a waiting time on Fridays and Saturdays, but it is worth the wait.
They tell me it is, anyway," said McManus.