By Anthony M. Fuda
You’ve seen the commercials and heard all about “the cup of love in every batch.” That’s the slogan at Charlie Staples Bar-B-Q (Youngstown), and that’s what drew the Mahoning Valley Burger Review Board (MVBRB) to our latest review.
Charlie Staples is known for his barbeque ribs and chicken, featuring his great tasting signature sauces. He opened the Youngstown eatery in 1974 and then moved to Houston for a short time. We are glad he came back home so everyone can enjoy his mouthwatering barbecue sauces.
We heard all about how good his ribs and chicken taste, and even though we were tempted by the delicious smelling aroma (a couple of us did order ribs to take home), we settled in for the Charlie Burger — which is the only burger on the menu. You can order the burger a la carte for $3.99, or as a meal (which includes two sides) for $6.65.
We knew we were in for a great time when our waitress, Vanessa Carpenter, took our orders and then playfully looked at us like “You’re all ordering burgers?”, which made for great service and a fun dining experience.
The restaurant is infused with a Mardis Gras atmosphere as bayou music fills the air. The walls are festively decorated with flowers and bright colors. And the main wall is painted to look like Bourbon Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans with people dancing and partying.
Scott said “the atmosphere was fantastic, making Charlie Staples a fun place to eat.”
JT added that Charlie Staples’ is “a huge, beautiful restaurant. The decor and the atmosphere are definitely among the best that I’ve seen in the valley.”
Vanessa brought our burgers and we were ready to get down to business. The burgers were seasoned well and garnished with fresh lettuce, tomato and onions. Cheese was optional, but burgers always taste better with cheese. We were able to choose two sides with our burger platter. Everyone went with fries, of course, and then went with the option of baked beans or cole slaw. The fries were nice and crispy and you can add some of Charlie’s sauce to them (for a 25 cent charge) which adds a flavorful zing. Having the second side made for a great addition to the meal.
The burgers have that backyard grill taste, and Greg said “the burgers have a very good seasoning to them.”
Charlie Staples may be known for his award winning sauces, especially when it’s coating a side of ribs or a plate of chicken, but don’t overlook the burger. We would recommend getting some of that “cup of love” and adding it to the burger — you will be amazed by the taste. The sauce has a great consistency — not too sticky and not too runny. The flavor does not overpower the meat, but adds “that little extra” to every bite. JT noted that “Charlie Staples signature BBQ sauce goes in the ‘must try’ category.”
Enjoy the atmosphere and all the great food they offer, and don’t forget each meal has its own “cup of love” for you to enjoy. In fact, the Charlie Staples sauce takes any of the dishes to the next level.