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Dec 27, 2013 09:27 AM

The Pit location in Durham is open

Apparently since Thanksgiving. Not sure how I missed this news. Not a peep out of Ed Mitchell about his place next to the DBAP. He hasn't posted anything on his Facebook page since Nov. 11.

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  1. I've heard some mixed reviews on the Pit's Durham location. Just to be clear, Ed Mitchell is not involved in the Pit, Durham or otherwise, any longer.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Tom from Raleigh

      I ate at The Pit in Durham last week (never bothered with the Raleigh location since I'm a Durhamite and certainly don't go to Raleigh for BBQ). Durham Pit has a nice open floor plan, but the food is really just average BBQ that's very overpriced. I agree with others who proclaim this establishment to be a BBQ museum for tourists. Just trying to imitate the real thing. Strangely, I spotted Bob Garner at the bar while I was there. I wonder what he thinks of the damned place.

      1. re: ToothTooth

        Looking at their menus online, it looks like lunch is a much better value than dinner. A plate of que with two sides is $8.99, whereas at dinner a single meat choice is $13.99 and sides are $4.99 each!

      2. re: Tom from Raleigh

        Ed Mitchell no longer being involved should really surprise no one.

        His place in Wilson (long closed) and both "The Pit" locations he was associated with never really were / are worth all the fuss that was / has been made over them.

        1. re: goodeatsinadive

          I've not been to the Durham location so cannot offer up any opinion on that or how it compares to the Raleigh location.

          Having been to the Raleigh location several times both while Ed Mitchell was there and several times after, I can certainly attest to it having a unique bbq atmosphere and being rather expensive however I have also had bbq there that was as good as if not better than the typical Allen & Son & Wilber's offerings. I also had the best fried okra there that I've ever had in a restaurant and other very good sides. It's not always at that level but it's always been the best cue I can get within a fairly large radius of downtown Raleigh and I'd say a good bit better than average bbq. I've always felt I got a lot of food for the price. Granted, sometimes I would like to just get a bbq sandwich without sides, etc. for a lower cost but I don't necessarily blame the restaurant for the lack of that option and, given the business the Raleigh spot is doing, I doubt they have much motivation to change things up.

          I believe Bob Garner is on the payroll of The Pit in some capacity or at least has some formal association with them these days as I've encountered him making the rounds welcoming people at the Raleigh location.

          1. re: goodeatsinadive

            Anyone who has ever had the opportunity to taste the whole hog bbq cooked by Ed Mitchell (or his brother) would probably tend to disagree. His departure from The Pit and the closing of his Wilson location had more to do with business decisions (good or bad) rather than his pitmaster skills.

        2. Went for lunch today. I had the chopped outside brown and beef rib combo with creamed corn and collard greens for my sides. I thought the chopped pork was terrific! Just the right amount of smoke and in bite size chunks, not chopped down to mush. They had three sauces: Eastern style, Lexington style, and a sweet tomato-based. I prefer Lexington-style. The beef rib was decadently rich but the sauce is overly sweet. I think next time I'll just stick to the chopped pork. The creamed corn was meh but the collards was outstanding with plenty of spicy kick. They also have a nice selection of beers on tap, which the bar lady was happy to let me sample. I went with a porter that was a great match for the cue. I like the restaurant a lot too, very open and airy with lots of wall to wall windows.

          I look forward to having lunch here often as it's close to the office.

            1. re: bbqme

              David may choose not to worry about angels dancing on the head of a pin (see the above article), but someone is salsa-ing all over his dessert...

              "merengue-topped banana pudding"

              I *hate* it when publications forget to use spell checker/grammar check.

              1. re: rockycat

                "salsa-ing all of his dessert..."

                "merengue-topped banana pudding"

                HA! HA HA!!

                1. re: rockycat

                  It wouldn't have picked it up as a misspelling because it spells a word correctly. Their spell check just thought it was an innovative new dancing dessert.

                2. re: bbqme

                  Good review - positive with constructive criticism, but if I was editing I'd drop that entire paragraph, rockycat :-).

                3. I have been to the Raleigh location a couple of times, can't say it was bad but it didn't really impress me all that much either. Since the Durham location is close to work I thought I'd give it a try for lunch today. I got a combo plate of chopped BBQ and fried chicken with fried and mac & cheese.

                  The BBQ was good, not overly chopped as someone else noted, not too heavy with the vinegar (both pluses for me) but kind of dry. For BBQ in Durham I think I like Johnson's Family BBQ best.

                  The fried chicken was cooked perfectly (dry white meat is a bummer) and the meat was seasoned nicely all the way through, brined? It was good but with Dame's and the newish 118 Got Soul making really good fried chicken just down the road it better be.

                  The fries suffered from what I can Allen & Sonitis-slightly greasy with a somewhat gummy, not cooked all the way interior. I know some folks like that, I don't.

                  I wasn't wild about the mac & cheese but that's probably just a preference thing. Theirs is a baked casserole style that had a slightly dry, eggy texture- I like it more creamy.

                  I should probably go back and try some other things. Parking was kind of a drag. This was lunch so I can imagine when Fullsteam and Motorco are open it's even worse.