Can you smell that juicy aroma of spices, tender meat and barbecue sauce? I could, almost a block away from Pork and Beans, the new Texas-style barbecue restaurant downtown on 6th street.
Only opening a couple months ago in October, the new creation by Richard DeShantz the chef of restaurants like Butcher in the Rye and Meat and Potatoes and Keith Fuller of Root 174 have together created a masterpiece. Let me start off by saying – I was highly impressed.
Upon entering, to your left is the bar, the center is filled with communal tables that extend to the back of the space where a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire separates the space with the dining room. The atmosphere really gives you a backyard, yet modern feel.
If you need to kill some time for a table or don’t mind standing, meander over to the communal table for a drink or two. No need to order at the bar, a waiter will assist you. Choose from a variety of creative cocktails, 30 craft beers on tap and 90 beers by can or bottle.
It’s a large space with room for about 120 seats, but we were a little early for our reservation so we gave the communal table a try. A waiter quickly approached us with drink menus in hand. Many of us ordered a beer, but one of my dinner guests kicked it up a notch and tried the Tennessee Ninja Mink Julep. Served in a tin can, the drink contains Lapsang Souchong, Cynar, Mint and topped with Jack Daniels No. 7. It was tasty and I enjoyed the hint of mint.
After a round of drinks, our table was ready. We looked at the menu and drooled over the options. To start – the dirty fries. This was not an order of your ordinary fries. This wasn’t even a normal order for loaded fries. These were the best fries I’ve ever had. The plate was filled with jo jo potatoes, pickled peppers, white onions, cheese whiz, BBQ sauce and wait for it… fried brisket.
The potatoes looked like fried chicken and tasted like heaven topped with the works and followed up with the brisket. I had to prevent myself from eating half the plate because so much more was yet to come.
My eyes went straight to the half pound of brisket and BBQ bone marrow, across the table the half pound slab of spare ribs and more bone marrow and the last two decided to share the huge slab of beef ribs.
Food is served family style, so this entire masterpiece of meat was all served on one beautiful platter. I gazed upon the feast, picked up my knife and fork and let the feast begin. The brisket was ridiculously tender and juicy. It was everything I ever dreamed of and more. I paired the brisket with the fatty bone marrow for an extra burst of flavor.
I didn’t stop there and also ordered a small side of mac-n-cheese topped with bread crumbs. Each bite was warm and cheesy. I finished the brisket and bone marrow first and struggled to finish the mac-n-cheese, but it was too good to stop. I’m no quitter.
Moans of satisfaction and full bellies could be found all around the table. Pork and Beans states they are committed to serving the best BBQ and they surely live up to it.
Big carnivorous appetites are welcomed and encouraged.
Experience Pittsburgh, One Bite at a Time.