Wake Forest, N.C. — With so many barbecue places in North Carolina, it is hard to stand out. But I heard so many good things about The Fire Pit in Wake Forest that I had to check it out. So, I took my husband and 2-year-old son with me for a special restaurant review!
Location: In the Gateway Commons shopping center off of NC Hwy 98. It is located next to Gatehouse Tavern. There is ample parking in the shopping center's lot.
Restaurant: When you walk in, it feels like a barbecue joint and smokehouse. You can see into the kitchen, where chefs are smoking meat and preparing dishes. Orders are placed at at wooden hostess stand and then they bring it to your table when it is ready.
The chef saw us come in and immediately told us if we had any questions to just ask. He even offered us samples if we wanted to try some of the meat. This place uses a unique wood fired smoke pit that allows them to maintain precise temperatures for hours. All meats are wood-fire pit smoked, so you get that nice flavor.
They serve up the standards: pulled pork, beef brisket, smoked chicken, St. Louise-style ribs. I was really impressed by their house-made sausage that has just a little spicy kick.
The sides are made fresh and include mac and cheese, green beans, hush puppies, baked beans and fries. The sauces are made in-house too and include Piedmont vinegar-style and a House sauce that is smoky, sweet and spicy.
Dessert selections include house-made pies and banana pudding.
I went with the pulled pork sandwich with cole slaw and Cajun mac and cheese on the side. The sandwich was good. The pork had a good smoky flavor and I really enjoyed the house-made sauce on it. The real star of the show for me was the Cajun mac and cheese. It contained a mix of spices, including cayenne, and what tasted like sausage. The mixture was creamy, spicy and definitely good enough to make a meal out of. Just be warned, the spiciness will build up on you so take in slow! The slaw was good too. I opted for the creamy slaw instead of the NC Red Slaw, which has more vinegar in it.
My husband got the St. Louis ribs, fries and corn pudding. His ribs were delicious and tender enough to fall right off the bone. The fries were good, but the corn pudding was just a let down. I like my corn pudding with more cornbread and sugar. Fire Pit's corn pudding just tasted like creamed corn to me.
My son got the chicken tenders and fries. These were freshly-made tenders fried up to perfection. I found myself sneaking a bite from his plate when he didn't finish them! They were so good, I will probably order them next time for both of us to share!
We were so stuffed from lunch that we didn't get dessert, but I want to try their banana pudding.
The Service: The server and chef were very courteous, and we really loved that they let us sample stuff before we got it.
The Bill: My sandwich was $7.50 and my husband's platter was about $10. The children's meal was $5 and included a drink. Our bill came in around $25.
The Verdict: We will be back! With selections that also include Fire Pit Gumbo and Chili, we can't keep ourselves away. If you live in Wake Forest or North Raleigh, I definitely recommend checking it out. If you live outside the area but enjoy barbecue, definitely make the trip.