pittsburgh bbq

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Ralph Melton
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Re:pittsburgh bbq 2012/11/13 00:00:27 (permalink)
I'd hoped to expose some locals to Rib Cage BBQ this summer, but it turned out that the visitors went north to Cleveland instead. As far as I know, Rib Cage BBQ is still open; I'd happily return if we were in the neighborhood.
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Cheesy1
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Re:pittsburgh bbq 2013/07/11 21:29:45 (permalink)
Yes, John's still open. Yes, it's still good. Yes, the sauce recipe was lost in a poker game. Once, Joe Grey lost it, years ago. Several times, Jerome lost it. Joe Gray left out one ingredient. Even when he taught his nephew, Jerome, before they went separate ways. Jerome lost all the recipes he came up with when he was trying to match his uncle's sauce. All close, none exact. I have a different recipe that came from 30 years ago when someone took Jerome's sauce to a lab and had it chemically analyzed. All of the Mononogahela style BBQ is based on these basic recipes.
 
Now HogFathers has opened a shack here, and occasionally CL's Hawg Heaven shows up somewhere. These guys are great, but they are not traditional Monongahela BBQ. Right now your main choices if you want to try it are the following:
 
Find Jerome or Jerome Jr. They still cook, gypsy, style. It's like finding a needle in a Haystack.
 
Rib Cage. John's got it down pat. A point though, your critics had the sweet and sassy I believe. It's very good, but it's not all out traditional mon city sauce. Same base, different stuff. Hot or Mild has the history in it. Go back for round 2, or take a tour of the town.
 
Marty's BBQ - Saturdays at Hey Andy's bar/Foodland. This is true traditional Mon City Sauce. 55 gallon drum grills under a carport in a parking lot, manned by a guy who has done the Saturday thing since the mill closed 30 years ago. Chops are good, the signature is the giant sausage sandwich. Call ahead, he takes a day off once in a while. Still cooks in the winter, though.
 
Blaine Hill BBQ - It's good and it's got the most consistent hours. Open 7 days a week. These guys commercialized the sauce, bottle it, and sell it in the grocery store. Everything comes out of the kitchen, only see smoke once a week, still tastes pretty good.
 
Fourth Street Barbeque - Charleroi - It's brand new, not the typical BBQ shack or the traditional open top grill, but the hot and mild is traditional mon city sauce. The meat is done differently, but it's definitely done right. This is the place for the guy that wants the smoked meat, and the place for the one that doesn't like the traditional sauce, they have quite a few choices (and they will ship sauce to Alaska or Missouri)
 
 
With that said, there's more history to cover. There was a shooting in The Jungle Club. Jerome shot a guy who tried to kill him. someone had a problem, said they were going to get a gun and come back, he went to the car, came back in, and Jerome was waiting with his .357. Self Defense. No cover ups, just rumors. Allegedly, Joe Gray and Jerome both occasionally used railroad ties and quite often pallets as firewood. Years ago, they both had grill grates made from bedsprings as well. This is where the open grill style of cooking came from. Now there are tons of rumors about the secret ingredient, Everyone who's from here has heard hundreds. Good luck finding them, It's never going to happen. No one will give it up.  It's not liquid smoke, either.
 
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Mosca
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Re:pittsburgh bbq 2013/07/11 22:41:53 (permalink)
Thanks, Cheesy1. Good stuff. We heard all the stories growing up in the '60s and early '70s. I had a friend who claimed to have made sauce from the original Jerome's recipe that was lost in a poker game. He said it wasn't "Batman", it was Badman sauce. Tomato-y, lots of celery seed, VERY hot.
 
I bought some of the Blaine Hill sauce over the internet. It's good, but tastes change. I'm glad I have it, but I'm not sure how long it will take me to use it up.
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MetroplexJim
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Re:pittsburgh bbq 2013/07/12 19:55:09 (permalink)
Pittsburgh BBQ recipe:
 
Buy ribs at Jint Eggil.
Boil the $h*t out of them.
Burn them a little bit over charcoal.
Slather with K.C. Masterpiece yinz bot at the Jint Eggil.
Serve with kraut & I.C. Light!
 
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Foodbme
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Re:pittsburgh bbq 2013/07/12 22:03:32 (permalink)
MetroplexJim
Pittsburgh BBQ recipe:
Buy ribs at Jint Eggil.
Boil the $h*t out of them.
Burn them a little bit over charcoal.
Slather with K.C. Masterpiece yinz bot at the Jint Eggil.
Serve with kraut & I.C. Light!

Jint Eggil?????????? = Giant Eagle??????????
Anyone who boils ribs will DEFINITELY not go to Heaven!
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Michael Hoffman
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Re:pittsburgh bbq 2013/07/12 22:34:40 (permalink)
Actually, it's Iggle. He's been away too long.
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Cheesy1
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Re:pittsburgh bbq 2013/07/12 23:08:02 (permalink)
Boil the ribs? What's the first thing you do when you make soup? Boil all the flavor out of meat. That's sacrilege. TI don't buy ribs at the gian' iggle, either. Cheplic's Packing is the only butcher I will deal with. Throw some hardwood in the charcoal. Stick the KC Masterpiece up your ass. You say IC Light, yeah, I can agree with that one 100%.  Blaine Hill has batman, Jerome had Bad Man. No comparison to those who grew up on it. try ordering some fourth street barbeque hot sauce. Jerome was supposed to be a partner in the restaurant, but backed out before it opened.
 
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MetroplexJim
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Re:pittsburgh bbq 2013/07/13 08:56:16 (permalink)
Michael Hoffman

Actually, it's Iggle. He's been away too long.


True.  And I miss it so.
I truly love my hometown.
Good Lord, I suddenlt have a craving for a chipped ham sandwich and a Lemon Blennd!
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MetroplexJim
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Re:pittsburgh bbq 2013/07/13 09:13:58 (permalink)
Cheesy1

Boil the ribs? What's the first thing you do when you make soup? Boil all the flavor out of meat. That's sacrilege. TI don't buy ribs at the gian' iggle, either. Cheplic's Packing is the only butcher I will deal with. Throw some hardwood in the charcoal. Stick the KC Masterpiece up your ass. You say IC Light, yeah, I can agree with that one 100%.  Blaine Hill has batman, Jerome had Bad Man. No comparison to those who grew up on it. try ordering some fourth street barbeque hot sauce. Jerome was supposed to be a partner in the restaurant, but backed out before it opened.



I was only joking.
 
We only kid the ones we love.
 
It's just that BBQ and the 'Burgh are kinda oxymoronic to me, a native (Eighty-Four to be exact - just down 136 from your home in Mon City.  Of course, 136 was Rt. 31 when I lived there).
 
If I had to pick one word or phrase to characterize Pittsburgh Cuisine it would be "honest cooking".  I love it and always will.
 
I am sure that those who now do BBQ (or 'Que) do a fine job.  You must know, however, that when I lived there a "BBQ" sandwich was lightly frying Isaly's chipped, chopped ham in a skillet, then mixing in Isay's BBQ Sauce!  I accept that I am a bit behind the times. 
 
Sorry you took offense when none was meant.  Peace.  Go, Bucs!  Go, Stillers!  Go, Pens!
 

 

post edited by MetroplexJim - 2013/07/13 09:19:04
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buffetbuster
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Re:pittsburgh bbq 2013/07/13 09:47:14 (permalink)
MJ-
.....and I still eat Pittsburgh style ham bbqs all the time.  Although when I make it at home, I use bbq sauce from places like McClard's, Interstate and Abe's.
MetroplexJim
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Re:pittsburgh bbq 2013/07/13 10:52:30 (permalink)
BB:
Your mention of Interstate reminds me of Memphis which reminds me of Corky's which reminds me of Red, Hot & Blue, the franchise chain which based itself on Corky's when it first opened in Arlington, VA back in the early '80's.
 
I'm kind of surprised that their Pittsburgh location failed - as did, evidently, Famous Dave's.  Even though the BBQ purists eschew them, both chains serve up what are, to me, very satisfying meats and sides and are an excellent "intro" to BBQ.
 
There are five RH&B's here in the brisket-centric Metroplex and all have been thriving for more than a decade which kinda' leads me to believe that the Burgh is not a BBQ town.
 
BTW:  I tried chip/chop ham down here once.  Ick!  It was so salty I threw it out.
Michael Hoffman
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Re:pittsburgh bbq 2013/07/13 11:41:13 (permalink)
MetroplexJim

BB:
Your mention of Interstate reminds me of Memphis which reminds me of Corky's which reminds me of Red, Hot & Blue, the franchise chain which based itself on Corky's when it first opened in Arlington, VA back in the early '80's.

I'm kind of surprised that their Pittsburgh location failed - as did, evidently, Famous Dave's.  Even though the BBQ purists eschew them, both chains serve up what are, to me, very satisfying meats and sides and are an excellent "intro" to BBQ.

There are five RH&B's here in the brisket-centric Metroplex and all have been thriving for more than a decade which kinda' leads me to believe that the Burgh is not a BBQ town.

BTW:  I tried chip/chop ham down here once.  Ick!  It was so salty I threw it out.

Red Hot & Blue opened in Columbus about 15 or so years ago, and it lasted about a year. It's not that Columbus doesn't love barbeque. Columbus just disliked Red Hot & Blue's barbeque.

MetroplexJim
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Re:pittsburgh bbq 2013/07/13 12:43:00 (permalink)
Michael Hoffman

MetroplexJim

BB:
Your mention of Interstate reminds me of Memphis which reminds me of Corky's which reminds me of Red, Hot & Blue, the franchise chain which based itself on Corky's when it first opened in Arlington, VA back in the early '80's.

I'm kind of surprised that their Pittsburgh location failed - as did, evidently, Famous Dave's.  Even though the BBQ purists eschew them, both chains serve up what are, to me, very satisfying meats and sides and are an excellent "intro" to BBQ.

There are five RH&B's here in the brisket-centric Metroplex and all have been thriving for more than a decade which kinda' leads me to believe that the Burgh is not a BBQ town.

BTW:  I tried chip/chop ham down here once.  Ick!  It was so salty I threw it out.

Red Hot & Blue opened in Columbus about 15 or so years ago, and it lasted about a year. It's not that Columbus doesn't love barbeque. Columbus just disliked Red Hot & Blue's barbeque.


True.  And they are franchises which can vary wildly as to quality.  The RH&B that we occasionaly patronize in Plano is pretty good, the one in North Dallas not so much.
 
The Quaker Steak and Lubes here in Dallas are far more like a TGI Friday's than the Sharon, PA "original".  But, they seem to be thriving.
 
As are the many Five Guys.
Ralph Melton
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Re:pittsburgh bbq 2013/07/13 12:48:04 (permalink)
We liked Red Hot, and Blue and were sad when it closed. That location seems to be troubled, and I'm not sure why - several restaurants have come and gone, and the location has now been vacant for years in an apparently thriving development.
 
We tried Famous Dave's once in Pittsburgh and didn't like it - but that says little about whether it would thrive.
Wintahaba
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Re:pittsburgh bbq 2013/07/13 14:47:41 (permalink)
LOVED the Red, Hot, and Blue in Arlington, VA when it opened. We had one in Naperville, IL and it was very weak. 
Cheesy1
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Re:pittsburgh bbq 2013/07/14 08:46:49 (permalink)
I spent about 16 years living in the shady eighty, brother. Life was good there. I'm guessing you hit up the Pork Chop Gypsy a time or 20 as well.
 
Let me tell you, though, there's nothing in this world quite like an Isaly's Chipped Ham BBQ, complete with the Isaly's sauce (Momma always doctored the sauce with a touch of brown sugar and a few squirts of Heinz ketchup).  I
MetroplexJim
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Re:pittsburgh bbq 2013/07/14 09:24:29 (permalink)
Ralph Melton

We liked Red Hot, and Blue and were sad when it closed. That location seems to be troubled, and I'm not sure why - several restaurants have come and gone, and the location has now been vacant for years in an apparently thriving development.


 
You are so right.  For some reason there are some restaurant locations that are just plain "cursed". 
 
In Manassas, VA there is a (to me) a perfectly fine location in a medium-size, active strip center across the main commercial thorofare from the regional hospital.  A number of really decent places - including a RH&B - opened and closed there despite excellent visibility, heavy traffic flow, easy ingress & egress, dense local commercial and 'rooftop' development, etc.
 
Here in McKinney - where hardly anything fails - there is a location where Ruby Tuesdays and Twin Peaks (a Dallas-based, extremely successful "breastaurant" chain now going national: http://www.twinpeaksrestaurant.com/ ) both failed in short order.  Presently, Burger Girl - another "breastaurant" - is on life support despite the fact that beer, sports, greasy fried food, and breasts are "BIG" in Texas.
 
Go figure!  

post edited by MetroplexJim - 2013/07/14 09:29:34
Michael Hoffman
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Re:pittsburgh bbq 2013/07/14 11:58:29 (permalink)
Big? You mean like hair?
Ah, Lone Star, where are you? (And I hope you're doing well.)
Cheesy1
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Re:pittsburgh bbq 2013/07/15 07:37:45 (permalink)
Jim, too new of a member to respond to a PM, but the Pork Chop Gypsy was Eric, son of the folks who owned the Horse Emporium. You used to be able to find him cooking outside the Ginger Hill Inn, among other places, up until 7 or 8 years ago. Ginger Hill Inn, by the way, is now Denny's Roadhouse, and it's a not quite nudie bar now, featuring lingerie bartenders and a stripper pole in the corner. 
MetroplexJim
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Re:pittsburgh bbq 2013/07/15 08:15:15 (permalink)
Cheesy1

Jim, too new of a member to respond to a PM, but the Pork Chop Gypsy was Eric, son of the folks who owned the Horse Emporium. You used to be able to find him cooking outside the Ginger Hill Inn, among other places, up until 7 or 8 years ago. Ginger Hill Inn, by the way, is now Denny's Roadhouse, and it's a not quite nudie bar now, featuring lingerie bartenders and a stripper pole in the corner. 


Wow!  When I lived in Eighty-Four from birth to ninth grade (1948 - 1962) it was anything but "shady"; it was dominated by the Grange, the WCTU, and the Presbyterian Church!  It was a local scandal when a 'beer garden' - the Somerset Inn - opened at the intersection of 136 (then Rt. 31) and 519.  The local WCTU picketed!  Times have changed.
 
BTW, did you know that the 'original' 84 Lumber is not the store they say it is?  It opened and for years operated in a large Quonset Hut by the B&O RR tracks near 519 in Wylandville.  Nearby, Composite Metals opened their first plant to make the blanks for the 'sandwich' coins we use today instead of silver.  Today, they are in Canonsburg and are far better known as the manufacturers of "All-Clad" cookware.
 
Welcome to Roadfood!!!
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Re:pittsburgh bbq 2013/08/30 18:19:14 (permalink)
BBQ sounds so good right now." />
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