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Harborque

JonParker May 30, 2009 01:20 PM

Courtney and I went to this new BBQ joint in Riverside just off Key Highway this afternoon, despite what might be the worst name in the history of restaurants.

Overall verdict: not bad. We both went for the pulled pork sandwich. Despite any evidence of wood smoked flavor, it was tender, not overly fatty, and came with a not quite tangy enough Carolina sauce. The overstuffed (I hate that term) sandwich with two sides was $7.95. It didn't rank with my favorite version of this at Andy Nelson's, but it's also within walking distance of my house. I had mine with some ok mac anc cheese and some pretty good baked beans. Courtney had hers with a quartered dill pickle and hush puppies. The hush puppies weren't bad despite being frozen. We tried both the Carolina BBQ sauce, which again didn't have quite the tang I like, and the spicy sauce, which frankly wasn't.

One thing they need to work on is their pricing. While their meals are fair deals, while we were there a guy was picking a up a bunch of BBQ to go. He asked for rolls, and was told that they were $1 each. That meant $40 for five bags of rolls. He wisely said no thanks to that, but someone should have realized how ridiculous that was and given him a reasonable price for them. Hopefully they'll correct that soon.

Plenty of outdoor seating with a nice canopy overhead, although people were waiting for tables when we left. They're new in the neighborhood and there were a fair amount of people checking it out.

I'd give the place a B. It's nice to have it as an option down here on the peninsula. If you live in SoBo and want BBQ, it's a perfectly acceptable way to scratch that itch. Nothing really wowed me, but I left contented and stuffed.

  1. h
    hon Jun 3, 2009 07:31 AM

    Sounds intriguing and disappointing - no evidence of wood smoked flavor??? Whats up with that?

    1 Reply
    1. re: hon
      JonParker Jun 3, 2009 08:38 AM

      They claim that the meat is hickory smoked, but it didn't taste much like it.

    2. p
      pomme de terre Jun 3, 2009 07:51 AM

      I drove by this place yesterday. I always liked the place that occupied it before with the Middle Eastern options, and I am sort of a sucker for really terrible puns. But I don't know if it's worth the cross-town trip from Hampden. Probably easier for me to just get on 83N and go to the mothership at Andy Nelson's.

      3 Replies
      1. re: pomme de terre
        a
        abovethewaves Jun 3, 2009 08:11 AM

        I can walk there from my house....so I'll try it for lunch today.

        1. re: pomme de terre
          h
          hon Jun 3, 2009 10:52 AM

          Just shoot across 33rd Street and up Harford Road to Big Bad Wolf BBQ, I think their pulled pork is better then Andy Nelson's!

          1. re: hon
            e
            edresner Jun 4, 2009 08:21 AM

            I second Big Bad Wolf. Great pulled pork, chicken, and brisket. They also have a nice variety of sauces that will fit anyone's taste.

        2. 1000yregg Jun 3, 2009 10:42 AM

          i went a week ago- it's awful. the place used to be the terrible Key Pit stop, and i think it's the exact same place under a disguise of a new place. one of the guys at the place was even wearing his old key pit stop shirt.
          i got the ribs with a side of collards and beans. first off- the ribs were clearly parboiled- no evidence of any smoking at all. they were way too soft. . .
          i sensed that my beans were also probably canned as well.

          one reason i dislike Key Pit Stop was that their pit beef was clearly reheated beef sitting in the fridge. they used to do this out in the open kitchen area- it looks like now they hide their food prep in the back.

          stay away- for better bbq- go to Rub in Federal Hill, and heck just go to Andy Nelson's.

          1. t
            tandoori Jun 27, 2009 07:41 PM

            Well, I'll have to agree with some of our posters. An A- for effort, but a B- for taste.

            I've gone twice, initially to sample the pulled pork BBQ sandwich and then a second time, to sample the ribs and smoked chicken platter.
            I have it on word of one of their front staff that a number of their sides are cooked from frozen and outsourced, for example the onion rings. The ribs were quite subpar for 1) a place that prides itself on 'que, and 2) the exorbitant cost, in comparison with the other dishes.

            With all that said, the place is a good complement to what's available in the area, and it sure is doing good business. I'm sure that folks like the location, and the large portions definitely make some of the customers happy. Also, Rub needed the competition.

            1 Reply
            1. re: tandoori
              a
              abovethewaves Jul 23, 2009 07:20 AM

              The pulled pork is the only thing going for them. The sides were all atrocious....especially the beans, which seemed to be right out of a can.

            2. h
              hon Jul 23, 2009 06:17 AM

              Gorelick loved it:
              http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertain...

              He said that the ribs meat was "falling off the bone", my understanding is that ribs only fall apart like that when they have been boiled first, 100% smoking doesn't cause that to happen.

              1 Reply
              1. re: hon
                monkeyrotica Jul 23, 2009 06:47 AM

                Not necessarily. You CAN get fall-off-the-bone tender ribs if you wrap them in aluminum foil (the meat braises in its own juice) after they've been in the smoker. I tend to prefer a bit more bite to my ribs, so I only wrap them for about 45 minutes.

                But it sounds like this place is boiling them.

              2. s
                sweetpotater Jul 23, 2009 07:47 AM

                Though I smoke my own ribs and pulled pork, I don't give a shit about authenticity and I'm not an expert on barbecue. All I am expert in is yumminess. We tried Harborque last night and loved it. Thought the hush puppies, collards, baked beans were all really good. The sweet potato fries and mac and cheese were fine; my toddler went to town on them, but that's not saying much. The cornbread fell apart too much and was too sticky. $2 for a so-so ear of corn is insane, but the rest of the prices were fine: $30 for three platters, each with two sides, that fed three adults and a toddler for dinner and today's lunch. The meat: The chicken was fine, the pulled pork good, and the ribs great. I liked the spicy BBQ sauce. After going on for weeks about how I was looking forward to eating so much better once we move to DC, I actually said to my husband while wiping sauce off my face, "Too bad we are moving!"

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