Foodie’s Diary: Drover’s Run at Jacques Spurby JENNIFER K. BAUER
CULDESAC — Throughout time, roadhouses have catered to hungry and thirsty travelers far from city limits.
Some attract people with music, dancing or gambling, but Drover’s Run at Jacques Spur, 20 miles south of Lewiston off of U.S. Highway 95, offers substantial food, drink, a family atmosphere and the Steve England Challenge.
Named for a livestock nutrition consultant, the challenge involves eating a gargantuan meal in 22 minutes: A toasted bun sandwich containing a hand-breaded pork tenderloin, a third of a pound beef patty with cheese, half pound beef brisket, half pound of baked beans, half pound of pulled pork and half pound of coleslaw, all covered in barbecue sauce and served with one pound of french fries.
For those who prevail, the $42.50 meal is on the house, along with two pounds of taffy, a Drover’s Run pint glass and a photo on the “Facebook Hog of Fame,” which is empty because, as of Monday, this mountain of food had yet to be conquered.
“Somebody came really close,” said Cathy Hawthorne, who works at the restaurant owned by her daughter, Amber Hawthorne. “It’s always the really skinny guys, too.”
Decorated in Western style with an emphasis on American barbecue, Drover’s Run is open seven days a week. Friday and Saturday nights the restaurant, bar and outdoor patio are often packed.
Barbecue sauces grace each table ranging from the sweet and slightly hot Carolina Mustard to salty Asian BBQ. Outside-of-the-ordinary appetizers include BBQ Pit Pie, in-house fried kettle chips piled with smoked chicken or pulled pork, barbecue beans and coleslaw ($11.95).
For lunch there are wraps, burgers, salads and Smokehouse Sandwiches ($8.95) made with hardwood smoked meats. Jacques Smoked Meats Philly is slow-smoked chicken or pulled pork topped with caramelized onions, red peppers with melted Swiss ($11.95). The Sloppy Spur is chopped smoked pork, beef brisket, ham and smoked turkey slow-simmered in a sweet barbecue sauce ($9.95). Among the dinner items, bite size steaks come fried or grilled ($16.95) or order a full slab of barbecue ribs ($23.95). For kids, the Little Buckaroos Menu offers homemade macaroni and cheese, sandwiches or hamburgers for $5.95 that come with a drink and a side.
All of the restaurant’s sauces are sold in the adjoining country store, along with gifts and candy — including taffy to console those who fail the Steve England challenge.
Drover’s Run, 49038 U.S. Highway 95, Culdesac, (208) 843-9162