By Christi Wayne and Charlie Whitescarver
Special to The Roanoke Times
If you fish on the New River, you’ve probably heard of The Sportsman, a gas station, convenience store and campground located right on the river below Claytor Lake Dam near Radford. But maybe you don’t know that Grady’s BBQ, a restaurant located inside the store, is a pretty nifty stop for vittles that can be eaten in a natural setting.
Neither of us is a fisherman, but we traveled to The Sportsman a couple of times recently on a hunt for good food.
Inside the log building, visitors are greeted by scores of snapshots of fishermen and hunters with their trophies. Gazing at the size of the fish in the photographs might make some folks reconsider that tubing trip on the river — there are some big fish.
Outside the store is a smoker that was cranked up every time we visited, sending up the tantalizing aroma of smoked pork.
Grady’s is a short-order affair with only two tables for inside dining. That’s OK because many would probably choose to take their meal outside and watch the New River. A big grassy bank overlooks the river, and a few picnic tables are available.
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