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The Pit now opened in Downtown Raleigh for BBQ!

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Ed Mitchell's and Greg Hatem's "The Pit" opened tonight in the old Nana's location. The barbecue is great, as are the sides and hush puppies. We got the Family style dinner, since I had 4 kids with me, which was $30 for tons of food...we took plenty home (my kids are small). I have always wondered why more places didn't have this sort of option. Much more economical and less food waste when serving a family. I hate getting a whole meal for the kids to pick and having to pay for it...and waste the food. They loved the pork barbecue, the chicken, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, hush puppies, etc. We did not try any of the "fancier" dishes, since this was a casual family meal, but I look forward to checking out some of the nicer items on the menu when we go back without the kids. According to our waiter, you can get a small half pig "pig picking"! Service was excellent. I think I am going to like having this place around.

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  1. i just read about it on newraleigh.com

    i can't wait to check it out.

    NR also mentioned "the smoking times" opening soon. anyone know what this is?

    1 Reply
    1. re: ERGGGGG

      It appears to be an extension of the Raleigh Times - at least right now. It's next door and connected to the RT, anyway, and on Saturday night appeared to be just overflow. Maybe it is going to be their smoking room - which would be GREAT if that means the regular dining room will be nonsmoking. My main complaint about that place is that if you get a table in the main room the cigarette smoke can totally put you off your dinner.

    2. Been a few times now. The food is definitely good...however I must say that the service is rather unpolished and slow. Considering it is largely the same staff as Nana's I can understand why the location didnt suceed as a high-end steak house. Seriously get the pulled pork, chopped pork, or ribs you cant go wrong for around 12 dollars, the beef brisket is ok (albeit am not a huge fan of brisket). Would definitely not try the high-end steak dishes...dont know if this is a hangover from the Nana's menu but it seems out of place on the menu. Also love the idea of the 10 oz beers, with such a craft focused tap selection you cant go wrong trying a few different ones (hard to believe they make money on such a size though). Bottom line check it out, definitely worth the money and losing a restaurant like this would be a huge hit to creating a unique Raleigh culinary scene.

      1. Went to The Pit for the first time last night. We had the family style dinner, which was an obscene amount of food for 3 people ($24 pp - someone's employer was paying :-)). The service was knowledgeable and attentive - although it was Saturday night, the place was only maybe half-full. Family style is all you can eat, starting with a sample of pretty much all the sides, plus a "chef's selection" of meats. Of the sides, the brussels sprouts were salty, falling-apart delicious; the sweet potatoes and collards were also good. If you like horseradish, you will like the red cabbage slaw as well. A basket of biscuits and hushpuppies came with the meal - didn't try a biscuit, but the puppies were oniony and non-greasy.

        Then came a large platter overflowing with meat - ribs, pulled pork, pulled turkey, chicken . . . I think that's all. At our request they also brought out three thick pork chops. Most everything is smoked, which means it had delicious smoky flavor but in some cases was pretty dry. The pulled pork and ribs were highlights - very very flavorful. I'm smiling just remembering them. I liked the pulled smoked turkey as well. The chicken and pork chops had a lot of flavor, but required some application of sauce to balance the dryness. (Both eastern-style and western-style bbq sauces are brought to the table). I don't think we had brisket, but honestly after a while it was just a blur of meats . . .

        They also have a pretty extensive list of beers on draft, maybe a dozen, mostly microbrews, and a long list of wines by the glass. The specialty cocktails tended toward the sweet side (including one made of pomegranate vodka and sweet tea).

        We adjourned to the bar after dinner - very large bar space, with good table service. By the end of the evening, we were stuffed and well-satisfied . . . well maybe slightly queasy. But certainly you can go to the Pit and NOT eat and drink everything on the menu like a tipsy Roman emperor, and end the evening just as satisfied but without the slight tinge of shame I'm feeling now. (Unless you are a bachelor party, in which case family-style at The Pit would be an absolutely perfect start to the evening!)

        1. I had the $12 barbecue plate, which was more food than I could eat. The brussels sprouts are as much a reason to return as the smoked pork! Even those of you who may not be sprouts fans simply have to try them!

          My husband recently took clients there. They weren't sure what to order (being from out-of-state). So they did the family style dinner. All were very satisfied and impressed. (And they agreed with my assessment of the sprouts!)

          1. Great feature story on Ed Mitchell and The Pit in today's N&O.

            video here http://www.newsobserver.com/lifestyle...
            love the way they synched him saying "whole hog" with the shot of the pigs feet

            story here http://www.newsobserver.com/105/story...

            1. Definitely recommended. The chopped pork BBQ is about the best I've had. And it's nice to be able to have it with a beer.

              The Pit
              328 W. Davie Street, Raleigh, NC 27601

              1. Went there this evening, Saturday night. My gf is from Halifax Co. and I have lived
                and eaten all over eastern NC. I am telling you this to show our
                credentials as being from an area of fine chicken and pig cookers and
                eaters. We got there around seven thirty, and it was full. They have a
                parking valet, but we found a close place across the street in a
                parking lot next to the Old Depot.

                We were told the wait would be an hour and one half without
                reservations. However the bar area had quite a few tables, some the
                long family style type and we elected to go there and order. Clean and
                efficient service. There was a large wine selection, but a glass of
                wine just didn't seem right in a Bar B Que place (this is definitely
                not a joint). We both ordered the pulled que and fried chicken
                combination with different veg. sides. I had a few J.Beams on the
                rocks and gf had tea.

                It was all excellent. The house sauce was very good, but we stuck with
                the old time winner, vinegar based sauce. We tried to compare what we
                were eating with all the other places we had been to, and this was, as
                Dennis Rogers would say, "one hundred mile barbeque." The fried
                chicken was very good, but not better than some of the better places
                throughout the state. But it was very good.

                We ordered, and it took approximately two minutes for our order to
                arrive. I am not kidding the service was swift and efficient. Along
                with three J. Beams (they taste so much better in a place like that)
                the bill was $63.00. That did not include the tip. This would be a
                place you would be proud to take your Yankee friends to. It is
                definitely down east pig, but with uptown class.

                We went back tonight, and had another great meal.
                Service is excellent. Wait staff back each other up. If one sees that
                something needs to be done it is done immediately.
                I had the rack of baby backs (wet) with a Bibb Lettice salad, and a
                couple of JBs. Excellent. My gf had the barbeque chicken, and loved
                it. We had the fried green tomatoes. They were very good. The tomatoes
                came with a red pepper sauce. They were a little hard, but I suspect
                it is the time of year, and they were indeed green. I kept the sauce,
                and used it with my ribs. Very good.

                Now the banana pudding was out of this world. They don't call it
                banana pudding, but you can figure it out when you see it on the menu.
                A vanilla marange that had been just slightly caramelized. A delicious
                custard, bananas that were just right, and graham crackers instead of
                vanilla wafers.

                Seventy bucks prior to the tip.

                I guess we have been lucky each time there, but we again got a parking
                place just across the street from the restaurant. By the time the
                other clubs reopen soon that area is going to be very busy.

                We are going to the Mint, Valentines Day. Has anyone got a recent
                report from there?

                1 Reply
                1. re: dvhartley

                  You're right.....for it to be a 'bbq joint' The Pit needs three things- paper napkins, Texas Pete and hushpuppies.

                2. The bf and I just hit The Pit night before last...

                  We're new to Raleigh -- recent transplants from the NY Metro area -- and we had seen The Pit on Man vs. Food, so we decided to give it a go before sampling some of the more local joints that have been recommended to us. Apparently The Pit was also recently featured (as in a couple days ago) on Bobby Flay's Throwdown... which helped to explain how crowded the place was!

                  Anyhow, I'm sure I'm echoing other people's sentiments in that our first impression was that the place was far "fancier" than we'd imagined it would be. We were told there would be an hour and 20 minute wait, but a couple of minutes later a hostess pulled me aside and clued me in that a table on the side patio (which is first come, first serve) had just been vacated. Needless to say, I bolted to grab it and we were seated within 5 minutes. Score.

                  On to the meal... I had a glass of the Scupperdine Sangria (middling to fair) and the bf had the wheat beer flight, which he enjoyed. We shared an order of the Vidalia Onion Rings, which we definitely enjoyed -- the batter had a nice kick to it, and the onions were thick and sweet within. The dipping sauce was mustard-y goodness. For entrees, the bf and I both got the double combo -- his was fried chicken (white meat) and chopped-Q with baked beans and seasoned veggies, and mine was Carolina ribs and chopped-Q with mac n' cheese and sweet potato fries. The word of the day here is RIBS! They had a delicious smoky flavor and subtle seasoning, and fall off the bone is an understatement. Even the bf, who is generally not a rib guy, gave these a major thumbs up. The chopped-Q was tasty, as were the sweet potato fries. The mac n' cheese was a little bland for my liking. For some reason we didn't get any biscuits or hush puppies -- I don't know if one needed to ask for them or if our waitress (who was swamped, but still attentive enough) just forgot. Nonetheless, the meal was enjoyable. Our only regret was that they were out of the banana pudding that I read so many great things about -- apparently there had been a baby shower there earlier and all 27 ladies wanted their own pudding, so we were out of luck.

                  We'll probably go back again -- there's a good chance this is where we'd take visiting family -- but probably not until we try some of the more "local" spots first.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: CubanBee

                    This place is more upscale than it's name implies! I didn't feel uncomfortable in my jeans and flannel, but this is not a traditional ' sawdust on the floor' que pit by any means.

                    I'm totally on team Hog when it comes to BBQ, and I'm a huge fan of E. Carolina style whole hog, but after watching that show "Pit Masters" in Hi -Def last week, I got hit with a sudden and powerful craving for brisket. I had heard about this place because of the Bobby Flay/Throwdown episode, so I wondered if A. they had brisket and B. were open Sunday. A quick check of their website revealed the answer to both question was yes.

                    We arrived around 5:45 on a Sunday and it was packed! I asked our waitress if this was normal for a Sunday evening or Holiday rush business. She confirmed that it was unusually busy and that they were expecting a full house later. (Good sign, I thought)

                    We would have had to wait, but sat at the bar. I thought the food was a little slow coming, considering it isn't exactly cooked to order, but the service was good. I noticed several times that employees were 'pitching in' filling a water, removing a plate etc. That's always good to see.

                    I, of course, got the brisket. My wife got a half rack of the baby backs. We got the BBQ sliders really just to try the pork.

                    Every dish was a winner. I REALLY liked my brisket. So tender. It's just such a good thing to know exactly what you want and to have it be as good or better than you expected. We really enjoyed the sliders too.

                    It's a bit pricey for BBQ, but it's a really good experience. I'm very glad I went and would not hesitate to return.

                    The Pit
                    328 W. Davie Street, Raleigh, NC 27601

                    1. re: BustedFlush

                      I've been twice. The first time i got the trio sampler and the last time I was there was when Man Vs. Food was there and ate as much bbq as they thought they could shell out. That being said. I love bbq and I don't care whether it's ENC, WNC, Tx Brisket, Memphis ribs.. I say this... if you do your area proud and it tastes great.. I'll probably eat it... I don't have the energy to be fussy.. That being said again.. I hae to say the bit does Ribs and Brisket to me better than it does pulled/chopped Que. It's not bad, but it's not so great that there wouldn't be a resounding argument for someone's who is consistently better and for a better price even within just the Triangle area.

                      1. re: BustedFlush

                        If you want brisket you’ve got to hit Holy Smokes in Garner- it’s in the old Gypsy’s Shiny Diner on Tryon Rd. Not big on atmosphere, but it’s BBQ! Their brisket (and most everything else on the menu) will knock your socks off. Reasonably priced, too.