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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.

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: hon

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

    2. 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

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

        1. re: pomme de terre

          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

            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. 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. 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

              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. Gorelick loved it:

              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

                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.