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Brick Pit

5456 Old Shell Rd., Mobile, AL - (251) 343-0001
Posted By Michael Stern on 10/26/2015 6:31:00 AM
In the back of a solid old house on the west side of Mobile, Bill Armbrecht built a room-size cooker into which get piled hickory and pecan logs to smoke meats at the lowest possible temperature for the longest possible time: thirty hours for pork shoulder, twelve hours for ribs, six hours for chicken. During the slow process, the meats' natural fat becomes their basting juices; and by the time they are done, each piece of pork and chicken is virtually fatless, yet dripping moist.

Brick Pit pork shoulder is what we like best, expertly pulled by hand. It is presented as a pile of motley chunks and shreds – some as soft as warm butter, others with crunchy crust. It comes under a film of house-made sauce that is thick and tomato-based, either laid-back mild with character that barely tickles the fineness of the smoky meat or a hotter version that adds a spicy glow (but does not burn). Ribs are blackened on the outside and extravagantly tender, but still buff enough that chewing the meat is a sensual delight.

Banana pudding, made daily, is interesting stuff, Bauhaus-simple. A duet of bananas and custard without cookies or meringue or whipped topping. According to my waitress, it does contain whipped cream, but that is mixed in to thin out the custard, so it is not a discernible separate presence.

The low-slung dining room at The Brick Pit is painted white and completely covered in signatures, tributes, and other assorted happy graffiti. Orders are taken at a back window; once you've said what you want, you find a seat and in no time, a waitress brings the meal in a partitioned plate that holds the meat of choice separate from the beans and cole slaw or potato salad that come with it. Above the breezeway that leads to the parking lot outside, a sign announces, "Welcome to the Best Damn Smoked Bar-B-Que in the Great State of Alabama". I would not disagree!

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
smoked pulled pork
BBQ Beans
barbecued ribs
potato salad
Pulled Pork Sandwich
banana pudding
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Ribs are very tender, but substantial enough that there is great satisfaction in pulling meat from the bone and chewing it.
"Ribs are very tender, but substantial enough that there is great satisfaction in pulling meat from the bone and chewing it."
Michael Stern





A great Deep South, two-meat, barbecue meal: ribs and pulled pork, beans, and potato salad. Plus a thick slice of white bread to sop up every last drop.
"A great Deep South, two-meat, barbecue meal: ribs and pulled pork, beans, and potato salad. Plus a thick slice of white bread to sop up every last drop."
Michael Stern


Most of the pulled pork is velvet soft, but among the tenderness are succulent shards of bark that deliver crunch and chew.
"Most of the pulled pork is velvet soft, but among the tenderness are succulent shards of bark that deliver crunch and chew."
Michael Stern


A sandwich is nothing but pulled pork and bread. Add sauce as you like: regular, which is nicely spiced and a little bit sweet; or spicy, with is darker and more intense.
"A sandwich is nothing but pulled pork and bread. Add sauce as you like: regular, which is nicely spiced and a little bit sweet; or spicy, with is darker and more intense."
Michael Stern


Beans are soft, sweet, and porky.
"Beans are soft, sweet, and porky."
Michael Stern


Pitmaster Jerry stands by the order window. Note the graffiti that covers every available spot on the wall.
"Pitmaster Jerry stands by the order window. Note the graffiti that covers every available spot on the wall."
Michael Stern


Inconspicuous and out-of-the-way, the Brick Pit lets you know it is the real deal as soon as you step from the car and inhale the smell of hickory and pecan-wood smoke and the meat it flavors.
"Inconspicuous and out-of-the-way, the Brick Pit lets you know it is the real deal as soon as you step from the car and inhale the smell of hickory and pecan-wood smoke and the meat it flavors."
Michael Stern


Wood ready to become charcoal for the 30+ hour smoke pit.
"Wood ready to become charcoal for the 30+ hour smoke pit."
Michael Stern


You can really taste the smoke in The Brick Pit's ribs.  They are as good as you will find anywhere!  The BBQ beans are a side dish highlight.
"You can really taste the smoke in The Brick Pit's ribs. They are as good as you will find anywhere! The BBQ beans are a side dish highlight."
Cliff Strutz


The pulled pork sandwich comes between two slices of white bread, sauce on the side.  With meat this tender and flavorful, the sauce is completely unnecessary!
"The pulled pork sandwich comes between two slices of white bread, sauce on the side. With meat this tender and flavorful, the sauce is completely unnecessary!"
Cliff Strutz


This sign is an obvious put-down of another barbecue parlor just down the road.  The graffiti you see behind the sign covers every wall all over the restaurant.
"This sign is an obvious put-down of another barbecue parlor just down the road. The graffiti you see behind the sign covers every wall all over the restaurant."
Cliff Strutz


Potato salad, made with mayonnaise, is a good companion to spicy-sauced barbecue.
"Potato salad, made with mayonnaise, is a good companion to spicy-sauced barbecue."
Michael Stern


The Brick Pit is housed in a small, low-slung building.  In other words, exactly what you want in a Southern BBQ parlor.
"The Brick Pit is housed in a small, low-slung building. In other words, exactly what you want in a Southern BBQ parlor."
Cliff Strutz


The small bucket-like device next to the sign puts out a strong smoky aroma to lure in passing motorists on busy Old Shell Road.
"The small bucket-like device next to the sign puts out a strong smoky aroma to lure in passing motorists on busy Old Shell Road."
Cliff Strutz


On a Par with Arthur Bryants, But Bill's sauce is better! Add a plateful of Pulled Pork and you more than one person's dinner!
"On a Par with Arthur Bryants, But Bill's sauce is better! Add a plateful of Pulled Pork and you more than one person's dinner!"
Al & Janet Bowen



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