Family, friends, hospitality is what The Morehouse is all about: Cleveland’s Best Barbecue contest
WILLOUGHBY, Ohio – Brothers McPat and Seamus Coyne and friend Jason Rice have worked in the food service since college. Once the trio tired of working for others, they decided it was time to team up and open their own place.
Willoughby was a natural location because the brothers were born and raised there, and their grandfather had worked on the railroad when Willoughby was the end of the line for the Cleveland Painesville and Eastern Railroad. And the name of their eatery was a natural as well -- The Morehouse, their mother’s maiden name.
“We like to associate ourselves with things that are important to us,” McPat Coyne said. “This whole place is built around the idea of friends and family. When you come here, we want you to feel as comfortable as if you are a part of the family.”
The Morehouse is one of 20 finalists in Cleveland’s Best Barbecue contest. Each establishment was nominated, and then voted into the finals, by our readers. We invite you to vote for your favorite BBQ joint once daily through Aug. 28. The poll resets each morning at 9 a.m.
We visited The Morehouse on Aug. 20. Scroll down to see our taste test review of its foods.
Address: 4054 Erie St., Willoughby
How many different kinds of BBQ are on the menu? Five: Pulled Pork, Brisket, Ribs, Chicken and Andouille Sausage.
How many sauce options? Four: BBQ, House Hot, Carolina and Honey Chipotle.
Best sellers: Pulled Pork and Brisket
Most unique things on the menu: Jambalya and Catfish Sliders
Specials: Daily specials, check the website
Taste Test Review
Cleveland’s Best reporters Yadi Rodriguez, Brenda Cain and Kristen Davis, along with celebrity host/comedian Mike Polk, visited The Morehouse on Aug. 20.
At each of the finalist restaurants, we’re sampling all kinds of barbecue, including ribs, pulled pork, brisket and chicken -- as well as many sides and a dish the restaurant felt was its best or most unique offering.
Pork Ribs: “A mild smoky flavor with plenty of meat on the bone. Served over fries – genius,” said Davis.
“Great flavor. The meat was so tender it just fell right off the bone,” said Rodriguez.
Pulled Pork: “Crispy and substantial. An enjoyable and unpretentious flavor,” Polk said.
“Well-cooked with crispy edges. Just wish it didn’t have so much sauce on it,” Cain said.
Brisket: “Nice solid hunks of well-cooked, well-seasoned beef. No inconsistencies,” Polk said.
“Perfectly cooked. Nice mellow flavor,” said Rodriguez.
Andouille Sausage: “Great grill marks with good spice and a nice snap,” Davis said.
“An excellent house-made sausage -- spicy and flavorful,” Polk said.
Mac & Cheese: “That is some dope mac ’n cheese. Smoked Gouda, yes, please,” said Polk.
“These people actually smoke the cheese for the Mac & Cheese here! Thanks for the effort -- you just took a simple dish to top-notch status,” Cain said.
Cajun Cole Slaw: “Not my cup of tea, but if you like all things spicy, you will love this slaw. It’s bold,” Cain said.
“Mainly shredded green cabbage with a mildly spiced flavor,” said Davis.
Fried Green Tomato: “This tomato was underplayed because of all the breading,” Davis said.
“I love fried green tomatos, but sadly, I was underwhelmed by this one,” said Cain.
Collards: “Crisp, not soggy. Lively and spry taste,” said Polk.
“Too many people cook the heck out of collards, but these were not! They still had texture and crunch,” Rodriguez said.
Baked Beans: “Very sweet,” said Rodriguez.
“Good flavor with a thick sauce,” Davis said.
Honey Chipotle: “More sweet than spiced,” Davis said.
“Very sweet,” said Rodriguez.
House Hot: “Extremely hot,” said Cain.
“Very spiced,” Davis said.
BBQ: “Sweet and saucy. It was so good it ended up all over my face,” Polk said.
“A thick, sweet, good sauce with just a slight kick,” Rodriguez said.
Carolina: “This has a strong mustard base, with just a hint of honey,” Cain said.
“Sharp and masterful,” Polk said.