A husband-and-wife team is serving up barbecue and sandwiches spiced with a patented family recipe out of a new restaurant on Roanoke's Grandin Road.
Canale’s Ham & BBQ opened last month in the Grandin Commons building next door to the neighborhood post office.
The 900-square-foot eatery is manned by George and Laura Canale.
George Canale, a local baseball legend, slow-smokes the barbecue overnight so it’s ready to serve up fresh each day.
He also cooks up ham and turkey sandwiches seasoned with a dry rub recipe perfected by his uncles.
His uncles, who ran their own store in their hometown of Memphis, were known for their ham and turkey specials.
“It’s addictive,” said George Canale, adding that those family roots helped inspire this new enterprise.
“When I was a little kid, I’d go work with my uncles. They taught me how to do everything,” said Canale, who was born in Memphis and later moved to Roanoke County. He became a standout baseball player at Cave Spring High School, set records at Virginia Tech and went on to play for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Canale added his barbecue recipe to the menu when he and his wife opened up their own shop.
Laura Canale mixes up an assortment of sauces to accompany it and makes pimento cheese, cornbread and other sides.
“We want everything to be fresh,” she said of the menu. “It changes the taste of it if you don’t.”
The restaurant is open Mondays through Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to sellout — a point it's reached every day before dinner as steady crowds have flocked to it.
George Canale noted that the restaurant is still in its soft-opening phase. Over time, he said, he’ll be able to better predict demand and prep enough to keep the restaurant open for longer hours.
But he’s adamant that he only wants to sell barbecue that was prepared that day. “I’d rather sell out and have people be happy with their food when they leave,” he said.
The restaurant, located at 1731 Grandin Road, is seeking an ABC license. The Canales also plan to add outdoor seating and new features, including tailgate packages, in the weeks ahead.