Spinnerstown Hotel

Spinnerstown Hotel

When the going gets tough—like when a worldwide pandemic temporarily disrupts in-house table service—the tough don a bandana face mask and head outside to fire up the smoker. Chef Nate Weida completes his Western-wear ensemble with a plaid shirt and vintage cowboy hat, looking every inch the culinary cowboy hero as he spends long hours infusing oak and fruitwood fragrances into hearty meats and side dishes that people literally line up (in their cars, which they don’t have to leave) to buy.

“It’s something I had in my repertoire,” says Weida, whose workday typically starts around 6 a.m. He explains that the traditional low-and-slow technique employed differs greatly from that of a “backyard barbecue aficionado,” with large cuts of meat requiring 10 to 12 hours—or more—of smoking. “It takes time and dedication to get the product I provide.” Pulled pork, beef brisket, chipotle wings, and sausage and onions are sourced from local purveyors whenever possible, and delectable house-made sides include pork and beans, smoked mac & cheese, and a classic creamy coleslaw made from a top-secret recipe handed down through generations of the Dale family that owns and operates the restaurant. (Even the chef doesn’t know the specifics!)

Since starting the limited-schedule roadside specialty service in late March, Spinnerstown Hotel’s drive-through BBQ pit has been a smash hit with ’cue fans. And this bucolic Bucks County destination, where people have been gathering since 1801, feeds the needs of an avid clientele with plenty of other food-and-spirits temptations. And it’s located just one short mile from the Quakertown exit of the PA turnpike.

An abridged version of the regular house menu delivers the tastes that people are currently craving, with co-owner Susan Dale noting a high demand for such comforting dishes as Irish Onion Soup and lavishly adorned burgers (including a Roasted Garlic and Quinoa Veggie variety). Salads, small plates, sandwiches, and entrées such as Lemon Herb Crab Cakes, NY Strip Steak, Pan Seared Salmon, and Chicken Parmesan—dishes that travel well—are also available. Look for lobster, scallops, and other favorites that require finesse in presentation to make a comeback upon reopening: Chef Weida wants to ensure that anything that goes home tastes as good as it does in the dining room.

A bottle shop adjacent to the bar provides patrons with a generous selection of domestic, craft, and imported beer and wine. Advantageous to the public is an extended wine permit that enables the proprietors to also sell bottles from their extensive and attentively curated wine list—which earned a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence the past two years—normally reserved for dine-in guests only. This represents an excellent opportunity to splurge on a celebration-worthy vintage (or two). High quality and limited edition beer has long been synonymous with Spinnerstown, and hopheads relish the vast array of brews presented in varying configurations of cans, bottles, and growlers in 32- and 64-ounce sizes.


Take-out orders from the restaurant menu and beverage lists can be made online or by calling. The choice of curbside delivery or coming inside to shop for adult beverages while picking up food is up to individuals, and home delivery is an option in the nearby vicinity.

Pre-ordering is not available for drive-up-only BBQ pit items and people must remain in their cars. Arriving early is wise since quantities are finite, and the food is fantastic. However, consumers queued up for ’cue in their cars are sometimes entertained by live music performed outdoors. When your turn arrives, a 4-member team in the tented smoker area takes orders, packages products, and delivers them with maximum efficiency. Pre-ordered regular-menu items and beer/wine purchases can also be delivered directly to your car while picking up BBQ.


During a challenging time for the restaurant industry, the Spinnerstown crew copes with a fluid situation with incredible resolve, resiliency, and creativity. Regulations and protocols change from day to day as the region strives to transition from “red” to “yellow” to “green” status—though when that will happen and exactly what it will look like remains a great unknown. Susan reports that state and local chapters of the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association have provided tremendous support as she and her husband John explore future possibilities. Be sure to check the website for updates in hours and new offerings.

One recent development brings a sweet note to the take-out experience: desserts sourced from The Farm Bakery & Events, featuring apple dumplings made famous by the former Meyers restaurant in Quakertown. Susan, who hopes to continue the relationship in the future, notes that working with this artisan bakery has been “the silver lining” of these trying times.


1 cup diced applewood-smoked slab bacon
1 cup diced Spanish onion
1/4 cup diced carrots
1 can diced tomatoes, 16 oz.
2 cans dark red kidney beans, 16 oz. (drained, not rinsed)
1 can great northern beans, 16 oz. (drained, not rinsed)
2 cups pork stock (substitute chicken if necessary)
1/4 cup apple juice
1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 T black pepper
2 T onion powder
1 T smoked paprika
1/2 T garlic powder
1/2 T kosher salt
PRO TIP: Add 1/4 pound of pulled pork BBQ

In a large pot, render bacon until crispy. Add onions and carrots; cook on medium heat until onions are translucent. Add everything else and stir gently until blended. Simmer on low heat for 45 minutes, stirring frequently. (It will stick to the bottom of your pot.) Refrigerate leftovers for 3 to 5 days.

NOTE: This streamlined adaptation of Pit Master/Chef Nate Weida’s slow-smoked specialty enables home cooks to up their backyard BBQ side dish game.



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