Name: The Smoke Pit
Address: 796 Concord Pkwy N, Concord, NC 28027
Order: Pork and brisket bbq combo with bbq slaw, mac and cheese, cornbread, and Sun Drop (link)
By far, one of the most suggested spots in the Charlotte-area was The Smoke Pit in Concord. Naturally, I added it to the list and gave the website a cursory look, figuring that it was a local favorite that might have a loyal following but pumped out average barbecue. Well, after finally making it there I can legitimately say that its a top 5 Charlotte-area joint that I’d really like to revisit with Speedy so he can check out as well. It’s legitimately that good.
First off, the barbecue restaurant is attached to a butcher shop (The Stock Market – also owned by the same folks), so obviously that’s a great sign. It was also packed at lunchtime, with people (like myself) having to spill out onto the patio on a brisk but sunny day. Finally, the dining room itself smelled of smoke. All very encouraging signs but ultimately it comes down to the meat…which I can happily report was extremely solid.
Tempted to go with a 3 meat combo, I instead opted for just pork and brisket after seeing the large portions of the trays of seated customers. As for the trays themselves, The Smoke Pit goes for a Texas-style presentation of the meats and sides on top of brown butcher paper. The pork was piled in a healthy portion and was smokey, had a nice bark, and was fairly moist even without the dashes of a thin, vinegar barbecue on top (which I believe was a Lexington-style sauce, or at least Lexington-ish). The large, maybe ¾ inch slices of brisket had some of the same qualities of the pork – good smoke, nice peppery bark, and mostly moist – cut from the point. I was quite impressed and one would hope that the other meats would be just as good.
I was pleased to see that they offered a barbecue slaw in addition to a mayo-based slaw, though I prefer mine chopped instead of shredded – a minor nitpick. The mac and cheese was a little dried out and could have used some reheating before being served. Each platter comes with a choice of either Texas toast or cornbread, and the cornbread was decent and of the sweeter variety that I like. While they don’t have Cheerwine they do have Sun Drop at the fountain.
I didn’t get a chance to investigate what kind of smoker they use but whatever the case the end result is very good. Like I mentioned above, I want to go back with Speedy and try more meats – they also have wings, ribs, sausage, and chicken on the menu. At The Smoke Pit the restaurant is nice and clean, the meat is smoky, and the portions are huge (I got another full lunch out of my order). Finally, I’ve found some very good barbecue in Concord that matches up favorably to the best in Charlotte. Will revisit again very soon.