I made a reservation for 6pm on a Sunday, and we showed up a bit early because traffic to Raleigh that day was pretty decent. I took advantage of the free valet parking out front. Because we arrived about 15 minutes early, they couldn’t seat us right away, so we got a little buzzer to hold on to ’til our table was ready. I didn’t mind waiting, but it would be nice if there was any kind of waiting area. It wasn’t really nice enough to stand outside, and other than that thin hallway from the door to the greeter, it’s hard to stand anywhere without being on someone’s lap. At least they were able to serve us slightly before 6pm.
We were seated near a window, so there was a good amount of sunlight and it didn’t seem as crowded as in the center of the restaurant. However it was still very noisy at that side of the restaurant, though I don’t think there was probably any table that would have been quiet and calm.
The beer specials didn’t seem all that special, since the $3 beers are served in tiny, 10 oz. cups. I went for the 20 oz. Mother Earth Dark Cloud which is a pretty good beer, but still pretty pricy at $7.
I ordered the chopped BBQ dinner with coleslaw and sweet potato fries, my son ordered the kid’s chicken fingers, and my husband had a really tough time deciding on what to get. All the sides were very high-carb things like potatoes, and even things like coleslaw have a bit of sugar in them. He usually orders something like green beans, broccoli or a side salad at most restaurants, but unfortunately none of those options were available at The Pit. He finally ordered the coleslaw and grilled veggies, knowing he probably wouldn’t be able to eat the whole servings of either.
The service seemed really attentive, with servers constantly refilling glasses or asking us if we needed anything. We were given a basket of hot biscuits and hush puppies to snack on. I really liked the biscuits. They fell apart because they were so flaky, but they tasted delicious. I didn’t like the hushpuppies nearly as much. They were small and round, not like the oblong hushpuppies I’m used to seeing, and they tasted tough and rubbery in the middle. My son seemed to really like them though.
Our plates came out huge and full of hot, delicious smelling food. The kid’s portion was way too much for a 7-year-old. I thought the chopped BBQ was a little dry without sauce, so I added both the sauces to make it a bit juicier. It was pretty good BBQ, better than the average take-out place, but not the best BBQ I’ve ever had. The coleslaw was pretty good, though I would have liked more of it. The sweet potato fries were okay, but they weren’t as crispy or good as the ones at Tribeca Tavern or Spirits. There were also a lot of “scraps” underneath when I got done with the fries.
My husband thought his BBQ and brisket were really great. He liked it even better than The Pig in Chapel Hill. Unfortunately he didn’t really eat much of his sides. The coleslaw was noticeable sweet to him, and the grilled veggies weren’t particularly appetizing. Small slices would have been okay, but there were huge chunks of onion, bell pepper, squash and green onion that would have to be cut several times to fit in your mouth. I think the grilled veggies would have been a lot better in bite-sized pieces.
My son did his best to eat his fries and chicken fingers, but didn’t even make it 1/3 of the way through. We ended up taking his entree home, as well as the leftover hushpuppies, so he could eat those tomorrow. At least this type of food heats up well the next day.
The dinner prices aren’t all that great for BBQ. I guess I’m just used to the smaller, roadside BBQ places, but $13 for a plate of chopped BBQ and $19 for a combo plate seemed a bit expensive to me. Even $6 is as much as we pay for a kid’s meal at Herons, we’re used to the Tribeca prices of $5 for the entree, kid’s drink and dessert. I figure there are any number of BBQ places in the area that offer similar quality food for cheaper prices, so I don’t know if there’s a need to return here in the future. Don’t get me wrong, I think the food and service were great. I just don’t think that the Pit offers anything above and beyond your average BBQ place for their prices.