Pit Stops

Roadside stands that serve up grilled beef and atmosphere are a Maryland institution. These four are worth the drive.

July 26, 2006|By ROB KASPER

Pit beef, top round grilled over charcoal, thinly sliced and served on a kaiser roll often with horseradish, is part of the summer Maryland landscape. It is our indigenous barbecue, a dish rarely found outside the state. Figuring that you should never be too far away from a good sandwich, I made a pit-beef tour of the Baltimore area.

I wanted to chart a mental map, so that whatever direction I headed I would have a quick path to a juicy two-fisted meal. I passed by the stands run by Boog Powell at Camden Yards and Andy Nelson's Barbecue on York Road in Cockeysville. I regard them as the moon and the sun of pit beef, and I was looking for other bright spots in the firmament.

Smokeys & Uncle Grube's

7300 Roosevelt Blvd., Elkridge -- 410-796-0024

HoursOpen Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

The beefTop round cooked in an oven, finished over charcoal. Purists might regard this as "heretical pit beef." But the meat is tender and hand-sliced, the sauce is tangy and the overall effect is wonderful. $5.75 a sandwich.

[ROB KASPER]

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