Bar-B-Q Pit Cross Street Market. Hours: Monday through...

CARRY OUT

April 03, 1993|By Tim Warren

Bar-B-Q Pit Cross Street Market. Hours: Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call: (410) 727-1891 No, I don't care that we have a president who knows and appreciates good barbecue. If you've been eating and loving the stuff for most of your life, an affirmation from the chief executive is not needed -- just a trip to a place such as the Bar-B-Q Pit.

All kinds of atrocities have been committed in the name of barbecue, but the best barbecue can be sublime. For me, that means minced pork, cooked eastern North Carolina style. That means the sauce is not tomato-based but vinegar-based, giving the barbecue a subtle yet distinctive tang.

"In the beginning, we had to explain to customers what North Carolina barbecued pork is all about," says Jerry Railey, a partner in the Bar-B-Q Pit with three family members who all hail from Elm City, N.C.

The Raileys use pork shoulder for their barbecue; and the sauce, while a little milder than I would like, is an appropriate blend of vinegar and spices. The minced pork sandwich is a steal at $2.60, and you can also bring home barbecued pork in containers, for $4 and $7.

Those favoring ribs can choose either pork or beef -- $3.75 for TC quarter slab, $7.25 for a half-slab and $14 for a whole slab. The whole barbecued chicken is tasty, and reasonably priced at $6.

A North Carolina barbecue dinner means more than just the pork. The trimmings also are important: corn bread, greens, coleslaw, potato salad, sweet potatoes and corn on the cob. You can get all of them here, either as side dishes bought separately or as part of a platter (I particularly like the candied sweet potatoes). The dinner platters -- chicken, ribs or minced pork -- go for $5.50 (two for $10) and come with two side dishes. There's also a lunch tray running between $2.60 and $3.60, coming with meat, one side dish and corn bread.

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