When you first move to Cockeysville you quickly realize that everyone keeps on talking about this place, Andy Nelson’s. At first I’ll be honest, I had no clue what these people were talking about until I googled it and realized that Andy Nelson’s is a BBQ restaurant that’s been around for several decades.
Andy Nelson’s BBQ is somewhat of a fixture in the northern Baltimore County area and it’s famous for it’s fresh pork BBQ that is smoked fresh each day with hickory logs. The original Andy Nelson was a Memphis native, who traveled up north to play football for the Baltimore Colts. And unlike most athletes today who try and fail to open up a restaurant, Andy Nelson actually succeeded. Since then, Andy Nelson’s has been a fixture in the Baltimore area winning numerous awards and winning the adoration of thousands in the area.
Andy Nelson’s is situated right off of York Road, way north of Towson, right near Shawan Road in Cockeysville. You walk up and order at the counter off of a fairly extensive menu that offers you all the classic BBQ meat options like pulled pork, brisket, ribs, and pit beef. I’ve been numerous times for work and while the food was never bad, it was never mind-blowing either. But I decided to give them one last chance to impress me, if only because their damn brisket tips look so good every time I’ve gone and I never ordered them before.
I ordered a brisket tips sandwich with a side of cole slaw (meh) and corn bread. The cornbread is excellent, the sweet fluffy cake like cornbread is everything I want in a cornbread and it’s the perfect compliment to the brisket tips. Meanwhile, the tips are tender and juicy (albeit lacking some oomph in the flavor department) which makes them perfect for a sandwich. In past lives I’ve ordered the pulled pork sandwich, and while the flavor of the pork is far smokier than their brisket I would say that it’s not much to write home about either.
So does their food live up to the hype?
Yes and No.
Is it better than Smoke or Jurassic BBQ? Not by a longshot (at least in my opinion), but that doesn’t mean it’s bad, it’s just not the best. Jurassic will destroy your conceptions of what BBQ is supposed to be by the sheer culinary skill of their owner, Tony (just try the beef ribs with bacon sauce if he has it). Meanwhile, Smoke delivers a complete package of delicious flavors albeit at a slightly expensive price.
Andy Nelson’s doesn’t have the culinary wow factor of Jurassic or Smoke, but it does deliver a solid filling meal at a reasonable price. It’s great for a quick lunch stop or if you want to cater a local work lunch.
Overall Grade: B+