Name: Backyard BBQ Pit
Address: 5122 NC Hwy 55, Durham, NC 27713
Order: Seven pounds barbecue, 8 dozen hush puppies, tray mac and cheese, tray barbecue beans (link to menu)
Price: $110 (for approx. 28 people)
For an engagement party Mrs. Monk was co-hosting in Apex, I got to play the role of barbecue consultant (hey, that has a nice ring to it…) and help pick the barbecue for the party. The theme of the party was “backyard bbq” and as it turns out, a joint named Backyard BBQ Pit in Durham is listed on True ‘Cue. So yea, that was an easy decision.
On the day of the party, I went to pick up the bulk order from Backyard BBQ, located in a small shack on NC 55 not too far from I-40, and walked into small dining room covered in handwritten graffiti. The trays of pork, mac and cheese, and baked beans were all ready when I walked in but the staff waited to fry the hush puppies until I got there, which thankfully didn’t cause any timing issues for me and actually is a nice touch when you think about it. One of the very nice and helpful staff helped me load the food into my car and off I went, with fresh hush puppies taunting me from the back of the car the entire 20 minute drive back to the party.
Backyard BBQ cooks eastern carolina style barbecue using pork shoulders a la Allen & Son in Chapel Hill. Thankfully for us the pork retained it’s moisture for a few hours until the party started, aided by us keeping it warm in the oven. I found the the barbecue to have a nice bark as well as a little bit of a kick due to the red pepper flakes and hot sauce used in it. And it seemed to be a hit among the partygoers and thus made the hostesses (most importantly Mrs. Monk) happy.
The hush puppies were light and fluffy and had good sweetness to them. The texture may have been thrown off a little by the lag in serving, but I (and the rest of the guests) still ate them up. The mac and cheese was fantastic, but the beans themselves in the barbecue baked beans maybe could have stood to be cooked a little longer. We opted for Mrs. Monk to make her own red slaw for the party, so I didn’t try their white slaw.
Backyard BBQ Pit has been featured on Travel Channel program Man vs. Food but from what I can tell doesn’t really get as much play as some of the other joints in the Triangle. Why that is the case, I don’t quite know why. With extremely reasonable prices (at least 30% cheaper than other options for bulk orders in the area) and a solid product cooked over wood, Backyard BBQ Pit should be more well known to serious barbecue fans in North Carolina.
Atmosphere/Ambiance – 4 hogs
Pork – 4 hogs
Sides – 3.5 hogs
Overall – 4 Hogs