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Nov 26, 2007 04:33 PM

The Pit now opened in Downtown Raleigh for BBQ!

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

    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
            love the way they synched him saying "whole hog" with the shot of the pigs feet

            story here