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Eat Feature

Barbecue and Pit

Jefferson Jackson Steele
Big Bad Wolf's House Of Barbeque

Eat Special Issue 2009

Cool Comfort EAT: City Paper's annual dining guide

Barbecue and Pit Andy Nelson's Barbecue 11007 York Road, Cockeysville, (410) 527-1226, andynelsonsbbq.com, $-$$ Whe...

Breakfast Blue Moon Café 1621 Aliceanna St., (410) 522-3940, $ For years, Blue Moon has been saving t...

Cafés Atwater's Belvedere Square Market, 529 E. Belvedere Ave., (410) 323-2396; 1425 Clarkview Road, Suit...

Caribbean Judy's Island Grill and Bake Shop 5216 Park Heights Ave., (410) 367-0272, judysislandgrill.com, $-$...

Chinese Grace Garden Chinese Restaurant 1690 Annapolis Road, Odenton, (410) 672-3581, gracegardenchinese.co...

Classic American Burke's Restaurant and Café 36 Light St., (410) 752-4189, burkescafe.com, $$-$$$ Burke's is n...

Contemporary American Abacrombie Fine Food and Accommodations 58 W. Biddle St., (410) 837-3630, abacrombie.net, $$$ Cork...

Delis Attman's Authentic New York Delicatessen 1019 E. Lombard St., (410) 563-2666, attmansdeli.com, $ N...

Diners Jimmy's Restaurant 801 S. Broadway, (410) 327-3273, $ A cornerstone of Fells Point, Jimmy's slings ...

Eclectic Golden West Café 1105 W. 36th St., (410) 889-8891, goldenwestcafe.com, $-$$ Baltimore has ple...

Ethiopian Dukem #2 1100 Maryland Ave., (410) 385-0318, dukemrestaurant.com, $-$$ Luckily, pretty much the on...

French Bonaparte Breads 903 S. Ann St., (410) 342-4000, $ This Fells Point bakery boasts a surprisingly e...

Hawaiian Roy's 720 Aliceanna St., (410) 659-0099, roysrestaurant.com, $$$ With so many fabulous local resta...

Indian and Nepalese Akbar 823 N. Charles St., (410) 539-0944, akbar-restaurant.com, $$ Akbar has the feel of a secret ...

Irish James Joyce Irish Pub and Restaurant 616 S. President St., (410) 727-5107, thejamesjoycepub.com, $$...

Italian Aldo's 306 S. High St., (410) 727-0700, aldositaly.com, $$$ "Sophisticated" and Little Italy don't...

Japanese Aloha Sushi 1218 N. Charles St., (443) 759-8531, $-$$ Everything about Aloha Sushi is just right...

Korean Joung Kak 18 W. 20th St., (410) 837-5231, $$ Its partisans will tell you this is the best Korean r...

Latin Arcos Restaurant and Bar 129 S. Broadway, (410) 522-4777, arcosrestaurante.com, $$ Because there's...

Mediterranean Black Olive 814 S. Bond St., (410) 276-7141, theblackolive.com, $$-$$$ Fells Point Greek restauran...

Middle Eastern Amer's Café 7624 Belair Road, Belair Beltway Plaza, Nottingham, (410) 668-5100, amerscafe.com,...

Pizza Angelo's Carry-Out 3600 Keswick Road, (410) 235-2595, angeloshampden.com, $ Best pizza in Hampden ...

Pub Grub Curb Shoppe Bar and Grill 5736 Falls Road, (410) 433-8299, curbshoppe.com, $ This neighborhood pub...

Russian Vernisage 1004 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, (410) 484-7701, $$-$$$ With its glass chandeliers an...

Seafood Blue Sea Grill 614 Water St., (410) 837-7300, blueseagrill.com, $$$ A daily selection of "Fresh ...

Southern Charleston 1000 Lancaster St., (410) 332-7373, charlestonrestaurant.com, $$$ Somewhere along the l...

Spanish Pazo 1425 Aliceanna St., (410) 534-7296, pazorestaurant.com, $$$ If you don't leave Pazo a little ...

Thai Ban Thai 340 N. Charles St., (410) 727-7971, banthai.us, $$ Ban Thai is our favorite place to eave...

Upscale Comfort Food Ale Mary's 1939 Fleet St., (410) 276-2044, alemarys.com, $$ Kudos to Ale Mary's for celebrating th...

Vegetarian Liquid Earth 1626 Aliceanna St., (410) 276-6606, liquidearth.com, $$ We've appreciated the vegetar...

Vietnamese Baltimore Pho 1114 Hollins St., (410) 752-4746, baltimorepho.com, $$ Despite the downtrodden local...

Eat 2009

Posted 3/4/2009

Andy Nelson's Barbecue

11007 York Road, Cockeysville, (410) 527-1226, andynelsonsbbq.com, $-$$

When you spot the pink pig on the roof looming over busy York Road, you know you're only moments away from the best barbecue the Baltimore area has to offer: succulent Memphis-style pulled pork and ribs; three varieties of beef, including regional pit style; even smoked turkey and chicken. Ample portions and worthy traditional sides are likely to take care of any spare room under your belt, but the house-made desserts aren't an afterthought.

Big Bad Wolf's House of Barbeque

5713 Harford Road, (410) 444-6422, bigbadwolfbarbeque.com, $$

Baltimore is always in need of barbecue options, and since opening on Harford Road, Big Bad Wolf's has steadily amassed a following and improved the consistency of its offerings. An array of carefully conceived, well-balanced sauces greatly enhance the meat, which is light on rub and perhaps not as smoky as some barbecue devotees might expect. Texture and moistness are generally good, though the beef (both brisket and short ribs) can be hit or miss, while the undercover star is the truly outstanding grilled chicken sandwich.

Chaps Pit Beef

5801 Pulaski Highway, (410) 483-2379, chapspitbeef.com, $

Probably the largest and most restaurant-like pit beef operation in town, Chaps achieves impressive tenderness in the bottom round, smokily perfuming a rather ribald stretch of Pulaski Highway in the process. The beef is unseasoned, however, and the crappy barbecue sauce doesn't help (available hot sauce and fresh horseradish do). Chaps does, however, excel at sandwich construction, covering nearly every possible permutation of pit-style beef, bird, and pork. The Bulldog, grilled sausage topped with pit beef and cheese, kicks ass. Skip the subpar ribs and fries.

Pioneer Pit Beef

1602 N. Rolling Road, (410) 455-0015, $

Regarded by many pit-beef freaks to be the current best of the best, Pioneer distinguishes itself by delivering a product that consistently incorporates all of the factors one desires in pit beef: a well-charred and seasoned crust and thin, against-the-grain slices cooked to proper temperature over charcoal. It may sound simple, but such pit beef is, in fact, quite rare. The usual accoutrements are present, including an above-average barbecue sauce, and receiving samples while in line is standard practice. You can even buy lump hardwood charcoal here if you care to dabble in DIY pit beef.

Rub

1843 Light St., (410) 244-5667, rubbbqbaltimore.com, $-$$

Most of the smoked meat in Baltimore is done in the regional pit-beef style, and the vast majority of the places that do offer more exotic barbecue stick to the smoky/sweet Memphis approach, all of which makes Rub a serious minority. Its Texas `cue relies less on heavy smoke and sauce and more on dry spice rubs (hence the name) and low, slow heat for a less showy flavor. The vibe is about as roadhouse-y as you can make a rowhouse, and the rich go-withs compete favorably with the main courses. In fact, though the beef brisket is supposed to be the big deal here, try the Brownsville hot wings.

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