Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Weird wonderful BBQ

Posted February 17, 2009

“It’s the weirdest atmosphere for barbecue.” That’s how WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner describes her trip to 328 W. Davie Street in Raleigh last night. “It’s a fancy restaurant that serves excellent barbecue.” The name of the place is The Pit. I’ve never been there but I have tasted their barbecue at a catered event. It was excellent.

Here’s how Elizabeth describes The Pit’s main product: “It’s chopped barbecue with excellent texture and none of that crunchy stuff that leaves you guessing. The spices are right on. The flavor is rich and robust.” That’s a pretty strong endorsement.

After scanning their dinner menu I am intrigued by several items. The Barbecue Fries are hand-cut with melted pimento cheese, chopped cue, chives and barbecue ranch dressing. Maybe I’ll run a marathon before I eat those but I’d like to try them. Their Hot Spinach Bacon Dip also sounds interesting. And what about their Scupperdine Sangria and Carolina Julep with a hint of peach to go along with the bourbon and mint?

The pit master is Ed Mitchell of Wilson who uses a coveted 150 year old family recipe. Ed’s barbecue success has been featured in the New York Times and Gourmet Magazine. I think it’s high time I go down to Davie Street and check it out.

What about you? Have you been to The Pit and if so what were you impressions?  What about other unusual barbecue restaurants across North Carolina? Please share your insight and wisdom.


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  • tennispro Feb 17, 2009

    Hurseys Barbeque in Burlington is some of the best I have ever eaten!! There are two locations and one has a drive-through which is convenient for travelers!!

  • Squeek Feb 17, 2009

    Hursey's in Burlington is what I grew up on. I have no problem traveling from Sanford every now and then to get some. Best in the world in my opinion.

  • 27228 Feb 17, 2009

    The Pit's bbq is awesome. Smoky, eastern-style goodness.

  • prmoose Feb 17, 2009

    Going up Interstate-40 way, drop off at Exit 86 and try Countryside BBQ for some outstanding 'cue and other comfort foods!

  • tangerine Feb 17, 2009

    Glad to hear that Ed Mitchell is back in business. I'll have to check it out.

  • ECU4lyf Feb 17, 2009

    Mr. Mitchell also has a place in Wilson, it had closed at one time but I heard he was going to open it back up. Please Mr. Mitchell, if you haven't already, come on back so I can have an excuse to ride to Wilson.

  • wdwbmw Feb 17, 2009

    If you want to pig out on 'cue, try McCall's in Clayton. All-you-can-eat buffet is great. They are even better than before the plane went through their front door.

  • gentlebennc Feb 17, 2009

    Was down for the 1A/2A Swim Championships a few weeks ago & took the team there (about 23 people). Everyone enjoyed the food and the service was outstanding, especially for such a large group. With such a large number eating and ordering different items, it was a great time to sample much of the menu. I was impressed with the Brunswick Stew. Lean meat, just enough vegetables, not too much tomato, and left a trace of hickory flavor in your mouth. I ordered the ribs. A touch to the bone and it slid right out. They were little dry for me as I prefer a little sauce, but the wife said they were "perfect". Will most likely return next visit to Raleigh.

  • Bulldog22 Feb 17, 2009

    I have found a wonderful Barbeque joint up near Boone, Motley's BBQ, a guy who grew up in Raleigh runs it and I can't wait for an extended weekend to make the trip.

  • battenclan09 Feb 17, 2009

    Mr. Mitchell used to own and operate a BBQ restaurant here in Wilson years ago, called Mitchell's. I was hoping he would open it back up once all of the issues he was having had been worked out. I have not been to The Pit yet, but I am sure it is wonderful if Ed is behind it.




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