Ray Ray’s Hog Pit – Columbus, OH

Name: Ray Ray’s Hog Pit (food truck)
Date: 10/2/20
Address: 424 W Town St, Columbus, OH 43215 (at Land Grant Brewing)
Order: Meatsweats (Smoked brisket, pulled pork, jerk chicken, dry rubbed ribs, Ray Ray’s hot link, with pickles and sauce) (link to menu)
Pricing: $$

Monk: So for the first time in almost exactly 5 years, all three Barbecue Bros were going to be in the same city with a chance to eat barbecue together. Now, due to COVID reasons and the need to have a drivable and centrally located city we ended up having our annual guy’s trip in the lovely climes of…Columbus, OH. Not ideal for barbecue, but a little research yielded a potentially promising prospect in Ray Ray’s Hog Pit BBQ. It kept popping up on “best of” lists, the website was well done, and the Franklinton location at Land Grant Brewing was extremely convenient to where we were staying for the weekend. 

Rudy: The euphoria of having the band back together, combined with the positive previews of Ray Ray’s would basically guarantee that we would have a great barbecue experience, right? Land Grant had a great set up with lots of outdoor seating, a stage for music (although not on the night we were there), and had Ray Ray’s attached. After looking at the menu online with all of the great pictures, we decided to get their Meatsweats box (sampler of most of the menu) and since we couldn’t decide which meats to get extra, we figured we would order more after trying them all.  This restraint proved to be a good idea.  To start with, the brisket was bland, had almost no taste of seasoning or smoke.

Speedy: The pulled pork was … not great. There was very little smoke on it, and it was dry. That said, the pork was far superior to the ribs. The ribs were dry, barely seasoned, and basically were pork jerky. 

Monk: I’m not sure if the overall quality of the barbecue had to do with the later hour we were at Land Grant Brewing eating Ray Ray’s, but yea, dry dry dry.

On the other hand, the jerk chicken was miraculously moist and flavorful. Not sure how this was so fresh while the other meats were dried out but it was passable.

Rudy: The two areas that I thought were decent were the sausage, which had cheese in it (even though that was not advertised) and some texture to it, so it did not seem completely generic. We also ordered the collard greens, which were very good and probably the best part of the meal. While the greens (and the pickled onions on the side) were very good, when that is your highlight, it is not a good thing.

Speedy: All three Barbecue Bros get together about as often as we can see Haley’s Comet, so when we do, (begin sarcasm italics) we only eat the best.

Monk: Hey there was that one time at Lexington Barbecue!

Speedy: In all seriousness, despite the 5 hog company (and decent beer!), the barbecue at Ray Ray’s Hog Pit was as bad as I’ve had in a long time. Ohio – am I right???

Ratings: 
Atmosphere/Ambiance – 3 hogs
Pork – 1 hog
Ribs – 1 hog
Brisket – 1 hog
Chicken – 2 hog
Hot Link – 2.5 hog
Sides – 3 hogs
Overall – 1 hog

Ray Ray's Hog Pit Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Linkdown: 8/17/16

– WOW: Picnic is hosting a three-day “bbq revival” and bringing in Elliot Moss of Buxton Hall, Sam Jones of Skylight Inn and Sam Jones BBQ, Bryan Furman of B’s Cracklin BBQ, Tyson Ho of Arrogant Swine, John Lewis of Lewis BBQ plus a lot more

– Speaking of Buxton Hall Barbecue, they have been named the #9 best new restaurant in America 2016

– Grant visits Zombie Pig BBQ in Columbus, his last new Georgia barbecue restaurant for awhile

– First We Feast gets another esteemed panel of experts to discuss “The Most Influential BBQ in America”; Barbecue Bros faves Stamey’s and Scott’s makes the list from the Carolinas

– Daniel Vaughn revisits Fox Bros Bar-B-Q after a few years and comes away impressed

– Question #1: Why are there two styles of NC Barbecue?

– Question #2: How would you describe SC barbecue?

Adding one more layer of complexity, he said that a third (or fifth, depending on who’s counting) sauce should be included: “rust gravy,” a ketchup-and-mustard blend found statewide, especially at the Dukes Bar-B-Que restaurants.

– Charlotte Agenda reports that Mac’s Speed Shop is opening a downtown Matthews location, just around the corner from Moe’s Barbeque

– Tim Kaine spent his Monday night eating barbecue at Buxton Hall and jamming with a bluegrass band nextdoor at Catawba Brewery

– So you can eat barbecue and lose weight; The Smoking Ho offers proof

Linkdown: 7/29/15

Part 2 of Robert Moss’ look at barbecue pits in the south

– First We Feast has their list of the most underrated barbecue in Alabama

– Dublin, Ireland gets in on the Texas barbecue trend/movement

– Well, technically a whole piglet…

– The Chicago Tribune profiles Ole Time Barbecue in Raleigh (my place of choice during college), calling it a “kitschy temple of Eastern-style pork barbecue”

– Charlotte Five: Are Bojangles’ and Starbucks’ new barbecue sandwiches any good? Spoiler alert: no.

– Marie, Let’s Eat! visits Macon Road Bar-B-Que in Columbus, GA

– A few weeks back CLT Eats reviewed a pork sandwich from Sauceman’s ordered via Foodie Call

– Several barbecue event over the next few days in the Triangle: barbecue class, Bob Garner book signing, and Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival

6 top spots for BBQ in the Midlands of South Carolina

– Johnny Fugitt has a list of 9 great non-Memphis or KC barbecue joints worth the drive from St. Louis

– #Buxtoniscoming

Linkdown: 7/22/15

– Robert Moss examines the different types of pits you might encounter in the southeastern US

– For the home smoker, here are the best smokers under $500

– The Raleigh News & Observer likes The Blistered Pig in Apex

– Johnny Fugitt profiles Smoke House in Newport, RI for Opportunity Lives

– Marie, Let’s Eat! visits Chicken Comer in Columbus, GA

– Burger Mary explains the peach paper that is all the rage for brisket smokers

– Laura Maniec has expanded her Corkbuzz wine studio/restaurant concept to Charlotte (of all places), and even has some wine pairing suggestions for NC barbecue

Okay, last question. What would you pair with classic Southern dishes like pimento cheese and Carolina barbecue — vinegar-based, of course?

Vinegar is typically hard to pair. For a vinegar-based barbecue I would choose something with the acidity to match. A wine from someplace cold, like the Willamette Valley. I think the sweetness and tart flavors of a Pinot Noir and its silkiness would match the fat of the pork. Or something like a really good German Riesling that has sweetness balanced with acidity. It would almost become a glaze to the barbecue.

– Midwood Smokehouse is expected to begin construction this fall on their latest location in Columbia, SC

– If you want to work at the upcoming whole hog Asheville joint Buxton Hall (opening in August), you can apply here; also, the last pop up before the restaurant opening is this Saturday

– Esquire has an excerpt at how to order at a barbecue restaurant from Aaron Franklin’s book

– Last call: