Ray Ray’s Reload Revamps Their Barbecue Menu

June 13, 2024

After years of plying Columbus with award-winning barbecue, Ray Ray’s has changed up its game with a new truck, named Ray Ray’s Reload! They repurposed and redecorated the truck that used to sit at Nocterra Brewing in Powell (Nocterra has its own truck, Trail Magic Kitchen) and parked it at The Bottle Shop in Victorian Village.

Ray Ray’s Reload took the place on the patio of the Mexpress Taqueria truck, which moved to Clintonville. Compared to the standard black and white Ray Ray’s truck, Reload features a colorful, eye-catching wrap.

You’ll see little obvious overlap between the standard Ray Ray’s menu of brisket and ribs and pulled pork. Pat of the reason, they said, is that they had can’t fit a full smoker on the patio.

The Bottle Shop is worth a visit alone – it’s one of our favorite cocktail bars in the city – so the Ray Ray’s truck is icing on the cake.

The Bottle Shop features one of the city’s more interesting cocktail menus, plus draft beer and wine.

We sampled a variety of dishes, starting with the schmorgasmboard. The eclectic tray features a mix of olives and cheese curds, pimento cheese, a Ray Ray’s hot link, charred baquettes, butter, jelly, pickled onions.

You’d expect good wings from a barbecue place, and the smoked chicken wings are a highlight. We chose the honey gold IPA sauce. Definite winner!

One of my favorites from the meal was the hot honey pork belly. The slices are tender and flavorful, covered in the honey gold IPA sauce and a lemon vinegar slaw.

The smoked mushroom fry bread combines smoked cremini mushrooms with feta, loads of crisp veggies, and a cilantro crema. The smoked mushrooms are strong, maybe a little too much for us. Next time we’ll try the smoked brisket version.

The jerk chicken fried burrito has become one of their signature items. It’s loaded with chicken thighs and Ray Ray’s jerk sauce, yellow rice, pigeon peas, pickled cabbage, and onions. It’s pretty filling, and loaded with flavor.

I was a big fan of the salchipapa spice bag, a hash made with diced potatoes, jerk chicken, slices of hot links, peppers, and onions.

It comes with a sriracha mayo and aji verde curry sauce for dipping.

Going into summer, the Ray Ray’s Reload and The Bottle Shop’s patio should be a winning a combination.

Ray Ray’s Reload is open Tuesdays-Thursdays, 4-9 p.m. and Friday-Saturday, 4-11 p.m.

Ray Ray’s Reload
237 King Ave., at The Bottle Shop
Columbus, OH 43201

Web: rayrayshogpit.com/reload
FB: Ray Ray’s Reload
IG: @rayraysreload

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FOOD + TRAVEL WRITER

I go by Dr. Breakfast, but in addition to restaurants and recipes, I write about family travel, breweries and distilleries, the arts, outdoor fun, and so much more.

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