Linkdown: 11/12/14

– The Guardian: “Pulled Pork: why we’re pigging out on US barbecue food”

As punters went wild for barbecue in general, and pulled pork in particular, restaurant chains and supermarkets jumped on the porcine bandwagon. There has been a 35% increase in the amount of US barbecue dishes served in UK restaurants since 2010, according to thefoodpeople, and a rash of smokehouses and diner pastiches have opened in London, Manchester, Leeds, Brighton and beyond. “We are in the midst of a meat-centric tsunami,” says Richard Turner, the director at Pitt Cue Co and the co-founder of rare-breed butchers Turner and George.

– A NC-born chef in Seattle is converting Western Washingtoners to vinegar-based pulled pork at his restaurant Bourbon and Bones

– Marie, Let’s Eat! finds some pork ladled in a “thick, mildly sweet sauce” at Hwy 58 BBQ in Chattanooga

– Speaking of whom, Grant took a badass barbecue roadtrip through SC and eastern NC last weekend, which will no doubt lead to a multi-week series of posts on his blog that I can’t wait to check out

– And finally, a “blogger spotlight” on Grant by Urbanspoon where he answered a question on his favorite barbecue

6. Barbecue seems to be one of your favorite cuisines, considering you have a very detailed section reserved for it on your blog. What are your favorite barbecue dishes and where do you go to get them?

That’s a big, fun question! We’ve written about more than 300 barbecue joints and really enjoyed a big majority of them. I like the burnt ends at Southern Soul on St Simons Island a lot, and the mustard slaw at Brooks Barbeque in Muscle Shoals AL, and the chopped pork and red slaw tray at Bar-B-Q Center in Lexington NC. I like the Brunswick stew at Turn-Around in Tallapoosa GA, and the chicken mull at Butt Hutt in Athens. Overall, my favorite barbecue is either at Old Clinton in Gray GA, or Scott’s in Hemingway SC, but that could change around the next corner.

– “North Carolina” makes Steve Raichlen’s Top 10 Meat Cities in the US (via)

North Carolina: OK—it’s not one city, but a whole state gone hog wild for pulled pork at such landmark barbecue joints as Lexington Barbecue in Lexington, Wilber’s in Goldsboro, the Skylight Inn in Ayden, the Pit in Raleigh, and the new Ed Mitchell’s in Durham.

– Mark Avalos of SLAB (Slow, Low, and Bangin’) describes his barbecue as “Memphis meets Carolina meets Texas.” (via)

– A short blog and photos about Arrogant Swine

Elwood’s BBQ is hosting a beer dinner with new-ish Charlotte brewery Sugar Creek Brewing on November 19

– Well damn, this looks like it was amazing:




By Eliza Mackintosh / November 19, 2013 / Roads & Kingdoms

Britain has a dirty little secret: it’s binging on barbecue.

I’m acutely aware of this craze as I stand outside Pitt Cue Co, a tiny barbecue joint tucked away on a street corner in Soho. Dozens of people have assembled in a queue that wends its way from the wooden front door down a cobblestoned street. Apparently the restaurant’s no-reservation policy hasn’t deterred the mass of happy people smoking and sipping cans of cider curbside.

These eager punters are here for the magic that is Tom Adams’ grilling. Pitt Cue’s 25-year-old English chef has taken up the tongs to deliver a uniquely British barbecue experience in a city that is currently experiencing a cult-like obsession with all things smoked. Despite Adams’ age, he’s been at this business for a while. At 16, Adams built his first smoker out of old dustbins at his family’s farm in Pitt, Hampshire—the restaurant’s namesake—where he was raised.

“I had no idea what barbecue was then,” Adams said.

What started as a hobby—an interest in butchery, charcuterie and curing meats—led to a popular food truck and blossomed into a renowned restaurant in Central London, which was just rated best value menu in the city by Zagat.

Pitt Cue is one of the many restaurants wrapped up in London’s current barbecue wave. Pub menus, festivals, markets, and street food dedicated exclusively to “American-style” meat menus are cropping up across this city. Barbecoa, Bodean’s BBQ, The Rib Man, Blue Boar Smokehouse, Red Dog Saloon, Porkys, Miss P’s Barbecue, Smoke Stack and Texas Joe’s are just a handful among a groundswell of recent barbecue upstarts.

Adams’ restaurant is a gem among this pack of purveyors. Pitt Cue began modestly in 2011 as a food van underneath Hungerford Bridge, on the South Bank of the Thames. After setting London’s street food scene on fire, the restaurant has successfully transitioned to its hip brick-and-mortar space that sits steps from London’s popular shopping district, Carnaby Street.

Peeking through the white lace-curtained windows at the swarm of customers crowding the first-floor bar, it strikes me that this establishment is undeniably trendy for a place where you eat with your hands. A server tells me that it’s an hour wait until the next available table downstairs, but to come inside and hang out at the bar.

In a show of what can only be described as Southern hospitality, the bartender pours me a pickleback: a shot of Heaven Hill’s sweet, smoky bourbon, followed by a shot of tangy pickle brine. I like it.

The drinks menu is dominated by bourbon mixology, a nod to the Georgia-roots of Adams’ business partner Jamie Berger. I opt for a “Camp America” cocktail with the idea that it will weave into a narrative of US-inspired fare, but Pitt Cue turns out to be anything but.

Starters on white tin plates stack up in front of me, all of them unexpected: a pork jowl scrumpet (read: piggy fish-finger) served with apple ketchup; sourdough slathered in a beef and bone marrow spread made of feather blade and ox cheek and topped with pickled shallots; fat strips of bacon cured for three days and smoked for six; and sticky caramel beef ribs.

After gorging on appetizers, I’m guided into the cozy dining space downstairs, where two-dozen people sit cheek by jowl at wooden farm tables. Before ordering, I sneak into the cramped kitchen quarters where I corner Adams with a few first impressions. Adams shows me around the gleaming stainless steel interior, which boasts a wood smoker, charcoal grill, and freezer.

“There is no real culture for barbecue in this country like there is in the States, but there is an appreciation for it,” Adams says, while plating a pig’s head sausage with a side of green chili slaw. “For us, it’s as much a technique as anything else. That’s the kit that we have, so that’s what we do. And we do every around that.”

Read More

Interesting blog checking in on the budding barbecue scene in Britain. Worth a browse.