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Eats and Drinks

Best Pit Beef

Feb. 26, Approximately 3 p.m.

Chaps Pit Beef 5801 Pulaski Highway, (410) 483-2379

Posted 9/18/2002

It was an unusually warm winter afternoon, the kind of unusually warm winter afternoon that leads one to invent important work-related errands, which involve getting one's ass out of the office on an unusually warm winter afternoon. And we were hungry. The paper went out late (again), and as we motored east on the Highway of Pulaski our stomachs reminded us that it was way past lunch o'clock. So we pulled over at Chaps, our favorite pit beefatorium, right next to the strip joint, right across the street from the check-cashing place and the porno-video store. We were just looking for a little mid-work-related-errand sustenance, nothing fancy. So we skipped the side dishes and went straight for the $4 pit on a kaiser roll, medium rare. We ritualistically dressed it with onion, horseradish, a little barbecue sauce, and several lashes of salt and pepper. We sat at one of the communal-dining picnic benches and dug in. Then we froze, stunned, and began chewing in slow motion. We had stumbled into a date with pit-beef destiny. Unfuckingpitbeeflievable. Even the finest pit-beef sandwiches have some defect: a little knot of tooth-defying gristle, a too-large stray fragment of carbonized material from the pit, a stringy bit that compels pulling more meat out of the sandwich than you'd planned for a particular bite. And, unavoidably, the bun is disappointing. But this was perfection. Expertly turned slices of buttery-soft flesh yielded to our incisors again and again, each bite a placid communion of meat, bread, and condiment. It wasn't this year's model of the Best Pit Beef in Baltimore. It was the Best Pit Beef Sandwich We Ever Ate. We still think about it. We'll never be the same. Even the bun was perfect. Sigh.

Read more

Other Awards for Best Pit Beef:

Maria Kaimakis' Pit Beef Cart, 9/16/2009

Pioneer Pit Beef, 9/17/2008

Chaps Pit Beef, 9/19/2007

Jerry D's Seafood, 9/20/2006

Bull on the Run, 9/21/2005

Chaps Pit Beef, 9/17/2003

Chaps Pit Beef, 9/19/2001

Big Al's, 9/13/2000

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