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Fans of Two Drummers Smokehouse need not trek to Toano or sneak into a catered event to get a taste of Jason and Jon Wade’s beloved barbecue.
The brothers are fixing up comfort food and showing off their culinary chops aboard their new food truck, Offbeat Eats.
“We didn’t want to just go out there and be like the other trucks people are going to find where they say, ‘We’ll be barbecue or funnel cake or seafood,’” Jon said. “We’re hoping that, with the Offbeat Eats brand, we have the ability to morph into more than just a barbecue restaurant or food truck.”
A food truck has been a dream of Jon's, Jason said. Once the brothers got their brick-and-mortar operation off the ground, Jason said they were ready to make Jon’s dream a reality.
“He really wanted to do this the food truck thing and I really wanted to do the brick and mortar thing. He was gracious enough to help me realize my dream and get the restaurant open,” Jason said. “Now that it’s on its feet and good I felt like it was my turn to reciprocate the dream for him.”
Offbeat Eats offers customers a “two-sided” menu. One side features “classic” fare—“easy to digest, comfort food items that anybody can appreciate,” Jon said. The other side will showcase an “offbeat swing” on the classic items—“something a little bit more creative,” Jon said.
“If we were to do a classic pork barbecue sandwich, on the offbeat side we might do Korean glazed ribs or a barbecue fish filet,” Jason said. “We do all kinds of barbecue in our smoker—Portobello mushrooms, tomatoes, things people might not think of right away as barbecue.”
Appetizers will cost between $5 and $9 while sandwiches will range between $6 and $11, they said.
The truck made its debut at Virginia Beer Company July 29. Customers who had previously enjoyed Two Drummers fare said the food from Offbeat Eats was up to snuff.
But for Robyn Vargo, a Williamsburg resident who was trying Jason and Jon’s food for the first time, the meal surpassed her own standards.
“It’s one of the best cheeseburgers I’ve had in a long time,” Vargo said of the “classic” menu item.
Offbeat fare that night included a fried chicken waffle sandwich with strawberry chipotle chutney, a tuna burger with citrus aioli and blackened mahi nachos. Chance Kristo of Yorktown said he’s had plenty of barbecue in Austin, Texas, so instead he enjoyed the “offbeat” nachos.
“It’s citrusy and salty at the same time. It’s different,” Kristo said.
The next stop for Offbeat Eats will be the Heritage Humane Society Homes for Animals Benefit Concert, which takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 4 at the Coldwell Banker Traditions office, located at 4071 Ironbound Road in Williamsburg.
With a major expansion planned for their Toano smokehouse and a busy catering schedule on top of the food truck, Jason and Jon know they’ve got a lot on their plate. Still, they don’t plan to slow down any time soon.
“Growth is difficult, but if it were fun and easy everyone would be doing it,” Jason said. “We’re young men and we want to work hard now and make it work. It truly is difficult to do both at the same time, but there are two of us, and that’s the main deal.”