No Bones to Pick at 12 Bones

What is it about a restaurant in a former gas station that makes you want to stop and check it out?

As we drove by 12 Bones Smokehouse on Sweeten Creek Rd in Arden a couple of weeks ago, teen daughter said, “oh look, I’d really like to go there.” PIC and I looked at her and said, “but you don’t like ribs (hard as that is to believe).” A confused look crossed her face, to which we said, “what do you think the “Bones” part of “12 Bones” is referring to?

Lucky for her, 12 Bones serves lots of different bar-b-que, including Chicken, Turkey and Beef Brisket. She’ll get her chance, but the meal reviewed here was lunch for her parents.

Walking in at 12:15PM, we went to the end of this line:

The menu is hanging in multiple spots in front of you, so use your time in line to figure out what you want, including sides (10 or so to choose from).

There’s a separate area for “to-go” pick up, but for dine-in, you place your order at the counter.

This is how your order gets sent to the cooks: (If you don’t see the video below, you can see it here)


The place was packed with BBQ lovers. At the far end of this room, you can see what used to be the service bay, also used for dining space.

Orders are delivered sans sauce. You pump your choice of sauce (3 or 4 available) into little paper cups at the sauce bar in the main dining area. Take it to your table and pour it on.

In both photos below, it looks like there’s not a lot of meat on the buns, but we both felt there was plenty. Both sandwiches were all meat – no fat – delicious.

I ordered the Pulled Pork Plate ($6.00), which included two sides. My choices were Mashed Sweet Taters and Corn Pudding.

PIC had the Chopped Beef Brisket Plate ($7.00). Sliced Brisket is also available. For his two sides – Baked Beans and Corn Pudding.

Neither of us having heard of Corn Pudding before, we weren’t sure exactly what to expect. Both of us were very happy with the taste and texture – sweet and creamy-chewy at the same time. The Baked Beans were good, but not the sweet variety and the Mashed Sweet Taters had nice flavor, but were stringy. I’m thinking they’re scraped too close to the skin.

PIC ordered a 10 oz beer, which looked like a little mini-beer, but was a good amount to go with lunch.

12 Bones will become one of our regular meal stops. We loved it.

12 Bones Smokehouse
3578 Sweeten Creek Rd
Arden, NC 28704
828-687-1395

12 Bones Smokehouse on Urbanspoon

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4 Responses to No Bones to Pick at 12 Bones

  1. I'll try it again, but was surprised the pulled pork was dry, the ribs were not memorable. Did I hit them on a bad day? I had hopes for a great experience.

  2. That IS surprising, Sally. Definitely give them another try. Please let me know what happens.

    You might also want to try Hubba Hubba Smokehouse in Flat Rock if you're ever down that way. Different kind of venue, but excellent BBQ.

  3. You could not have been eating at the same 12 Bones I have been going to for the last couple of years (and we've been to both places). We've used up numerous cards (12 meals ges you one free).

    Are you sure the sign read 12 Bones and not "White Castle 12 cent hamburgers"?

    Honest_Abe

  4. Now Abe, no need to get sarcastic. If someone has a bad experience, it's good to know. Also good that Sally is willing to try it again.

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