Thanks Limoncina – worth a visit but the standing in line is not my idea of a fun night out.
6 reviews of Pitt Cue Co. in English
Finally made it to Pitt Cue Co last Friday after weeks of planning and drooling over all the gushing reviews on the web. Despite last minute hitches at work I made it with only minutes to spare before the 6pm opening time to join my companions who had been queuing since 5.30pm.
Over 40 folk must have been standing in line by then and when the doors opened the “dining” room downstairs was immediately full. We were offered the choice of eating at one of the stools in the upstairs “bar” area or standing with a drink and waiting for a downstairs table to free up. We had been looking forward to this meal for a long time and didn’t fancy eating with an elbow in the ear in the crush upstairs. So we joined the crowd at the “bar”, ordered a beer and a pickle back and crammed ourselves into a corner space.
Half an hour later we had chilled out slightly and got our heads round the fact that we were going to be waiting a while for a table so we gave the drinks menu a good going over. If you are a beer lover there are some nice choices including the very trendy Pabst Blue Ribbon and Sambrook’s, which was drinking very well. I was not overly impressed with the larger on tap, the aptly named, “whatever” and would advise that you stick with the bottles on offer. There is a reasonably priced cocktail list which has some nice twists on old classics. If you are a wine drinker you don’t have much choice; there is a house red or a white at £4 a glass but nothing by the bottle – this is not a place for lingering.
We finally got the call for our table at 7.30pm and after squeezing past the hordes of good natured folk who were by now squeezed in cheek by jowl in the “bar” we made our way to the downstairs room. This was even more tiny than I had imagined 18 or 20 seats at most, but there was a great atmosphere and we found that we had bagged the best table in the joint – the booth!
By now we were all pretty ravenous so we gave the tiny paper menu a quick once over and got our orders in. I had big, big eyes and went for the pulled pork and added some St Louis ribs for an extra £5 (£14 in total). B had the pork belly which was one of the specials of the day while our dining companions had a massive combo of beef brisket, pulled pork and yet more ribs. The main meal comes with a slice of toasted sourdough bread and a choice of side dish but the pickle backs had done serious damage to our judgement so many more sides were also ordered including the legendary, and very tasty, burnt end mash along with some vaguely healthy green stuff.
An hour or so later we had gorged ourselves to bursting point and had eaten enough meat to feed a small army. Everything we had was good to excellent other than the pickle jar which was a bit of a disappointment. The pulled pork was divine and if you are only going to have one dish this would be my recommendation – if you are on a tight budget go for the pulled pork roll option which comes with slaw and pickles for under £7.
All in all this had been a fine night and was well worth all the waiting about. Would I go to Pitt Cue Co again – if I’m honest I would have to say no way because it’s just too much of a hassle. However, as a one off it should be on your list if you like BBQ done right. For myself I’m waiting for the reappearance of the lovely mobile wagon, which will hopefully be gracing the Southbank once again this summer.
NunheadNeil, 28 February 2012:
NunheadNeil, 10 March 2012:
The no bookings policy is a bit of trend in London at the moment. Ok if it’s well organised i.e. you turn up, they take your mobile number and text you in a nearby pub when you have a table ready. Unfortunately many places expect you to stand in line in the street.
NunheadNeil, 10 March 2012:
Trust me it’s getting quite common now in central London – not in the high end places of course!!
adrideo, 28 April 2012:
Guys, as Grumbling… says in his review, this has been the way for many innovative places in New York for some time. Together with fewer staff and bar-style seating, it means less money to the landlord and front of house, more money for the chefs and food. And that often means better food.
Plenty of places do rubbish food in more sumptuous surroundings. This style of place is a real boon for London.
Purveyors of allegedly the finest BBQ in London (not a great boast given the competition), Pitt Cue Co has built up similar levels of rabid support. Following a period slumming it Meatwagon style in a silver trailer on the Southbank, they’ve moved into a (slightly) more permanent space in the middle of Soho. Even at 6.30 on a Monday evening the queue is out of the door and round the corner for one of the 30 spaces in the tiny two-floor space. Luckily I’d sent Miss Jones on ahead to bag a spot on the waitlist.
The menu is perfunctory. Two meats, two ribs and a daily special with a few sides on one page, wines, cocktails and beers on the other page. Hipster credentials are established with the imported Pabst Blue Ribbon; PBR is gassily ubiquitous in Lower East Side and Williamsburg skinny-jeaned hangouts, and so very appropriate here given the early adopter clientele. The cocktail getting the airtime is the Pickleback, a shot of bourbon and pickle juice – better than it sounds and enough to give any junior advertising executive a few hairs on their chest…
Onto the meat. They really do know what they’re doing here. Short rib of rich, aged, buttery Dexter and a half portion of exemplary moist pulled pork came with pickles and garlicky greens. Miss Jones took in the heavily sauced St Louis pork ribs and a large portion of beef brisket, slow cooked and sliced in thin slivers. Certainly the best BBQ I’ve had in London; though with the competition consisting of Sir Jamie’s pricey and off the mark Barbecoa, the execrable Sticky Fingers and mid market hangover cure Bodeans, they didn’t have to do much.
Certainly a deeply satisfying meal, we waddled out 90 minutes later, unrushed by the splendid staff. Stifling a meaty belch as we walked past the crowds waiting for their turn I couldn’t help but think that, with the experience they were going to have, over an hour stood in the cold might be bearable again.
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