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Ed Mitchell's Que in Durham Now Open.

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The other thread from last year about it opening was already pretty long so I thought I'd start a new one.

Anyway I stopped in for lunch today hoping to try 2-3 items but since combo plates are NOT an option (boo) I got stuck having to pick just one. I went with the pulled pork ( chopped pork is also available ) and it did not dissapoint, not the least bit dry which I can't say the same for The Pit. Everything was definitely good enough for me to go back and try other items and hopefully combo plates will be an option by then. One of the managers stopped by to ask how the meal was and he told me the current menu was something of a rough draft so maybe the next will offer a choice of 2-3.

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  1. I was really looking forward to this place but the menu is just ho hum. It is too bad that their location means we have to pay a premium for bbq. Went to Durham's The Pit over last weekend. I didn't find their bbq to be dry.

    2 Replies
    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

      I'm curious what you would like to see on the menu that would make it exciting? Or at least not "ho hum"?

      I'm not trying to start an argument with that question. I'm genuinely curious. This is a traditional eastern BBQ restaurant after all.

      Personally, the fact that tomato pie is on the menu is somewhat exciting to me since you don't see that on any menu very often. If the tomato pie is actually any good, (tomato pie at Scratch is the gold standard) I'll be really excited.

      1. re: burgeoningfoodie

        Ho hum? Pork rind crusted Brie, deviled eggs, local charcuterie, pickled shrimp, tobacco barn stew, she crab soup, whole hog 'cue, ribs, collards, black eyed peas...damn, what do you want? That's a far more expansive and creative menu that 99.99% of most bbq joints. And frankly, if the cue is first rate, I'm not sure he even needs to serve anything else, 'cause there's nothing ho hum about great NC bbq.

      2. Had lunch there today. Ordered a cup of the she crab soup, chopped pork sammy and collards. The chopped pork was terrific, not quite as smokey as Allen & Son but just as good. The sandwich had a plenty portion of pork and topped with a creamy yet crunchy slaw. The sandwich and side for $7 is a good deal. The soup was too heavy on the salt but it was thick and rich with heavy cream.

        Manager struck up a conversation with me. They are still operating under a "soft opening" status. The menu isn't set in stone yet; he said to look for combo options, a switch from baby back to St. Louis cut ribs, and carry out option in the near future. He also offered to take me back into the kitchen. They cook with a combo on charcoal and wood. It smelled incredible!

        6 Replies
        1. re: bbqme

          bbqme; did you prefer it to The Pit in Durham? I'm taking my dad for a belated father's day in the fall (it's just too hot now) and don't know which one! He's such a New Yorker and likess meaty ribs with sauce.

          1. re: Rory

            Yes, I would give Que the edge, especially if you plan to get ribs.

            1. re: bbqme

              thanks tons! you're the best. We cook vegan so when my goes out I want it to be great.

              1. re: Rory

                I've been hearing rave reviews about the tomato pie. I bet you guys would like that dish as well. And I forgot to mention, the collards was great too. I would give Dame's Chicken & Waffles' collards first prize but Que's comes in at a respectable second.

                1. re: bbqme

                  tomato pie sounds delicious, definitely order that. I'd go for she crab soup and the collards. Hehe when my dad has meat he lives and doesn't eat his greens:) Thanks for all the info I'm truly appreciative.

            2. re: Rory

              If your dad likes meaty ribs with sauce, I'd take him to Backyard BBQ Pit on HIghway 55.

          2. I went this past Sunday. Arrived at around 2pm and the place, I was glad to see, was busy--no doubt the after-church crowd. I sat at the bar (a very nice bar, by the way) and had the whole-hog barbecue and, for an appetizer, the tomato pie. Both were delicious. The vegetable of the day was a smoked and grilled mixture of zucchini, squash, tomatoes, and onions, served in a miniature cast-iron skillet. The hushpuppies may have been the best I've ever had. And Ed Mitchell himself was there, in a Durham Bulls baseball cap and schmoozing with customers. Looking forward to going again.

            3 Replies
            1. re: PGDinDurham

              I was there on Sunday as well! I went a bit earlier, so I missed Ed unfortunately.

              Had the chopped BBQ plate with collards, slaw, and a side of Brunswick stew. Everything was excellent. It compared favorably to the pork I had at Skylight Inn the previous day.

              Oh, and the sweet tea is addictive.

              1. re: cocobinga

                Wow, that is high praise! Agree on the tea, the key word being sweet.

                1. re: cocobinga

                  Not sure what's changed, but the cue I had this weekend wasn't even in the same universe as Skylight. It wasn't bad, but it was no Skylight.

                  And I don't know if this has change, but the "cast iron" skillet used to serve sides is black plastic. Easier to carry and clean, but it comes off as a little silly.

              2. I thought the ribs were outstanding but didn't really care for the chopped BBQ...a little to mushy for my taste.....Sides were OK with the baked beans and cole slaw favored over the black eyed peas. Will try the Pulled Pork next time. One weird thing was with the wine...there house Chardonnay was $12? Server seemed to be a little embarrassed and suggested a $9.50 Pinot Grigio.....hopefully they were just out of something but that seems awfully steep for this kind of place.

                1. I had my second visit today and tried the ribs, way too sweet for my taste. Still no combo plate options, is this the only BBQ place that doesn't have that?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: LBD

                    As mentioned above, the manager told me they will have combos on the menu sometime down the road, just not right now. Beats me what the hold up is.

                    1. re: bbqme

                      Beats me why there weren't any in the first place!

                      1. re: bbqme

                        Had lunch there again today while watching the World Cup match. Happened to be sitting next to Ed Mitchell so I got to see a couple of possible menu items they are experimenting with. The first was a piece of smoked salmon atop what looked like panko crusted polenta cake. The second item was jumbo friend shrimp a top a huge salad. Ed said they are looking to offer more seafood items, as daily specials and feature seafood on Fridays.

                    2. A friend and I went for dinner after the Bulls' game Sunday night (a triple play and the Bulls STILL lost!). The verdict was mixed. My friend had a brisket sandwich which she liked but did not elaborate on what was good about it. She mentioned that the fries were nothing at all, tasted like they'd come out of the freezer. I had the pulled pork sandwich and black-eyed peas. The peas were rather good, especially considering that they are listed as being vegetarian. I expected bland but they most certainly were not. The pulled pork was a bit problematic. For starters, the meat was barely warmer than room temperature and had large chunks of fat. Lukewarm fat is not nice at all. The meat had been carelessly pulled and often huge chunks of the meat pulled out of the sandwich with each bite. You noticed the smoke but it took a good dose of the table sauce to pick up the flavor. The meat felt as if it had been on the steam table a little too long. And my friend didn't say anything about her sandwich roll, but mine had a strange aroma that I can't put my finger on, but it was really off-putting.

                      Now this is an odd complaint, but I feel that the sandwiches were too big. I don't have a problem with the price (now $9) given the size, but I'd rather see a smaller sandwich with a slightly lower price.

                      The service was largely excellent. All the servers were very friendly without being intrusive and they didn't even have a problem when we continued to sit around as they were preparing to close. We got the message and got out of their way pretty quickly, though. The only problem there was being asked to wait 15 minutes to be seated when the restaurant wasn't even a third full.

                      Maybe it was an off night, but I'm still looking for someplace good to eat when I go to the DBAP. I remain glad that I had a chance to eat at Mitchell's back in the old days in Wilson.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: rockycat

                        Hey, I was at the game on Sunday too! I didn't bother trying this place because I figured it would be all porky. But the vegetarian black-eyed peas has me wishing I'd at least stuck my head in to see. Did you see anything (like pulled chicken bbq) that would work for a non-pork eater?

                        1. re: LulusMom

                          I was only looking at the sandwiches, but they have chopped turkey bbq and a bbq tempeh, I believe. My friend was interested in the tempeh, but I can honestly say I had no interest at all. The actual menu (as opposed to the one on the website which is not current) calls out the veg and gluten-free items and most of the sides are vegetarian. Looking at the on-line menu again, it doesn't look much at all like the menu I was handed on Sunday.

                          If bbq tofu appeals to you, Big Mike's, soon to open in Cary, does a really tasty version. I don't know if it will be on the menu but it is probably available if you call ahead.

                          1. re: rockycat

                            I wasn't thrilled with the bbq tofu I had at the Pig, so no, that isn't appealing to me. Thanks for the info. I'll maybe at least look next time, but won't expect much. Still, at least they do veg. sides, which is more than I expected.

                        2. re: rockycat

                          I think the chopped pork is better than the pulled pork. Not happy about the $2 price increase though.

                          1. re: rockycat

                            You experience is pretty similar to what I experienced on my first visit to EM's Que about three weeks ago. The pulled pork sandwich was really lacking in flavor and I detected no smoke whatsoever. Possibly the most tasteless pork sandwich that's ever crossed my lips. I agree that it was overly large and unwieldy which made for really messy eating. I'd happily forgive all these complaints if the sandwich had flavor, but flavor had certainly not blessed that sandwich.

                            The side of collards were the best thing about my meal. The 16oz draft of Pork Slap Pale Ale was the second best thing. I completely agree about the plastic "cast iron" skillet used for side dishes - silly and unnecessary. I suppose the skillet is an attempt to fulfill the "down home" experience of bbq/southern food tourists?