Friday, January 16, 2009

21st Century BBQ? The Pit- Billy the Kid

Billy the Kid

The Pit

Arriving in Raleigh we ventured through the city trying to find a WIFI hotspot. We parked the car in front of the Governors mansion and I could see Art’s mouth salivating, thinking that one day he would rest his beautiful, flawless head of hair in a mansion similar to this, with me his dutiful assistant rushing in and out bringing him sweet tea and sweet women. We walked to the state library in Raleigh assuming it would have bountiful amounts of WIFI for us to mooch. Instead we were met by the rudest librarian who looked and spoke to me as if I was trying burn all of his books. Each of us decided this was due to our movement North and we had finally encountered a yankee who was probably from Buffalo which is reason to be depressed anyway…As we strolled through the city our unfriendly encounter dampened our spirits and made me resent even being here. Walking into our restaurant, the Pit, I only expected more unfriendly city slickers who could care less about our story. I was pleasantly surprised to meet Matt our waiter who took a keen interest to our story and us as individuals. Its funny how whenever you are about to write off mankind as cruel and self-centered you meet someone who immediately changes your perceptions. Matt told us The Pit only uses free range hogs who aren’t pumped full of steroids and medicines. To match the all-natural hogs The Pit also use all organic vegetables for their sides. I decided this was the new face of BBQ. This restaurant was trendy and upper-class with cozy booths that resembles a fine Italian restaurant. The feel was not of a BBQ joint but of a hip steak house where you could find yuppie businessman trying to make moves on high maintenance women. Matt also explained how the bar primarily served domestic beers on tap that could be matched with the pork and ribs. The Pit had managed to take a messy cheap food and transformed it into an upscale establishment with white linen table clothes. The food was average, but we could all tell The Pit was onto something, this type of restaurant could thrive as a unique and hip alternative to the rural joints typically associated with BBQ. Each of us loved our food, even Busdriver.

Later in the evening Busdriver woke us all up with violent convulsions, as the free-range hog didn’t exactly get along with his stomach to say the least. Poor Busdriver was AWOL from the table for three days after getting sick from the Carolina Spare Ribs. It felt weird eating lunch and dinner without your best friend at the table. It didn’t feel right without Matt, I then realized how critical each of us are to the group; the four us work together like John, Paul, George, and Ringo or if you prefer The Jonas Brothers. I would not want anyone other than us on the trip, first of all I don’t think I could get along with many other people for 17 days, these are my best friends and who better to share this experience with than them? I talked to my wonderful mother about Busdriver and she told me I owed it to BBQ Nation to inform them of Busdriver’s sickness resulting from The Pit. I can’t let any of our fans get sick on my watch! I did enjoy my food though; the pork was a tremendous example of Eastern NC chopped pork. The vinegar-based sauce was also laced with peppers, which made you gulp copious amounts of sweet tea. The sides were as if they had just come off the farm fresh. The Pit was a nice place to go, however I felt out of place at a upscale BBQ eatery. I personally prefer the true essence of BBQ and what it represents. A place where people from all walks of life can come together over food and enjoy a simple meal that tantalizes the taste buds. The Pit didn’t have the magic or mystique that other place we have visited possess.


Sparky said...

Interesting take on Raleigh, Billy. And yes, mom was right, good tip on telling us what knocked Bus Driver out of the running. i like the distinctions you make about the tyope of restaurant The Pit seems to be--hip steak house. City slick. I wonder, though, about the assessment of the librarian as a Yankee? I mean, I'm from Massachusetts and I'M not grumpy . . . Beware the broadhanded stereotype . . . they're dangerous.

Great discussion of group dynamic. It'll be good to see when Bus Driver rejoins you.

Adrian said...

Great post, but it's begging for photos! This line, esp: "As we pulled into Scott's, I had to pinch myself.logo design