north carolina bbq


Chopped Barbecue + Mac n Cheese + Fried Okra.

Biscuits and Hushpuppies.

The Pit, Raleigh, North Carolina. March 8, 2013.

Downtown Raleigh’s The Pit is Raleigh’s reference in authentic North Carolina barbecue. Unlike other urban joints here, there and everywhere, that don’t have the space or the facilities to operate a whole-hog pit-cooking venture, The Pit is well equipped and well knowledgeable in these smoky matters. 

Pit-cooked daily overnight for ‘bout 14 hours, the pig, then chopped with big knives and moistured with their own secret sauce, becomes this soft, tender, juicy and tasty matter that almost melts in your mouth. 

Set in a 1930s meatpacking warehouse in the middle of Raleigh’s (very) quaint warehouse district, The Pit takes things seriously with its refined modern decor, but it’s done with class, and unimposing. We were expecting something a bit less classy, more like a regular american BBQ joint. But no. Southern hospitality and modern architecture mix and match to reinvent middle-range fine dining.

So the chopped barbecue plate (a mere 12.99$ if you please) comes with a choice of two sides. I opted for the traditional mac n cheese and the fried okra, two staples of southern cuisine. And guess what? Everything was de-li-cious! I still can’t believe this amazing quality/price offering. No surprise, the house was packed - it was after all Friday night - so they offered us seats at the bar, the last ones. It felt good being there, and the staff really went out of its way to help us with questions and directions about the city we were new to.

If I ever set hoof in Raleigh, you bet your ham I’ll be going straight pipe pitting some pig at The Pit.

Saturday dinner: Another Family Feast

6 Boston butts, 3 different rubs.  Marinated overnight & smoked.

Figs soaked in sherry, stuffed with smoked mozzarella & wrapped in serrano ham.

Grandma’s famous chicken wings.

North Carolina-style coleslaw, fresh from Port Gamble.

The Nicholson women tearing it up.

The spread.  I forgot to get pictures of the desserts (brownies made with Lindt 70% cacao chocolate & peach raspberry crisp).  As usual, it gets eaten before I have time to pull out the camera.