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Old 04-17-2012, 06:45 PM
33 posts, read 50,933 times
Reputation: 16


I went to the The Pit when I first moved here from Philly, about 3-4 years ago. I was blown away by the ribs and by the whole experience. When we sat down, the waiter came by with various sauces and had this prepared routine about them and the menu. It was pretty impressive. I got ribs and they were some of the best I've ever had. Some that I had in Memphis might have been a little better.

Recently, when some of my relatives came down to visit from Ohio, I was raving about The Pit and how great the ribs were, so we went there. I couldn't believe how different it was. There was much less professionalism in the way the waitress handled our table. She was real nice, but it just wasn't the same. I didn't even care about that. I just wanted good ribs, and unfortunately, they were terrible. First, they came out completely unseasoned and I mean no seasoning at all. I was never asked if I wanted a dry rub on them like some other rib places I'd been to. But I wasn't expecting to be asked anyway because, the first time I was there, they came out perfectly seasoned and I added some sauce to them. Aside from that, they were extremely fatty. They were very tender, but I couldn't believe how much fat they had on them and the meat itself was greasy. The first time I was there, the fat was completely rendered off, so there was none at all and the meat wasn't greasy at all. Some of my relatives had ribs that didn't have as much fat, but no one was impressed. If others have had better experiences recently, then maybe it was just a bad day for the staff when I was there. I'd like to go back to get the same ribs I had the first time, but I just don't trust it.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:54 PM
Location: Raleigh
1,533 posts, read 5,019,509 times
Reputation: 777
Do they still have those awesome Brussel sprouts they used to have? My sone used to bartend there when Ed was there.
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:08 AM
Location: West Raleigh
1,037 posts, read 1,049,940 times
Reputation: 1236
It seems to me that, after reading this thread that during Ed's time there things were fairly consistantly good. Now in the post-Ed era, reviews are much more mixed as are experiences: Some are saying the ribs are dry and fat-less, others are saying they're all fat. Some are saying the service was merely "good" others are saying the service was bad while still others say it was great.

Perhaps a good middle ground is that while Ed was there, at least things were consistant in both the food and the service and now they're hit-or-miss.
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:39 AM
Location: Carolina Shores NC
5,982 posts, read 7,363,619 times
Reputation: 4590
Ed Mitchell makes good barbecue. I went there at least a half dozen times for a barbecue sandwich only. It was always consistantly good...Not the best I ever had, but good. I never cared anything about all those sides the Pit offered. Barbecue is all about the meat with a little slaw and bread on the side. That's just me anyway

I haven't been since Mitchell left, but I can't imagine the barbecue to be be the same. Maybe I'll give it a try soon.
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Old 04-21-2012, 08:25 AM
1,172 posts, read 1,722,528 times
Reputation: 1306
Originally Posted by bgroesse View Post
The food there is awesome. One of the Pit's former chefs went there, I believe, and it has made a huge difference. Food is better priced than the Pit as well, particularly at dinner.
We had dinner at Aviator Smokehouse in Varina last evening. I agree with bgoesse! Ribs were as good as we ever had at the Pit! We had the wet ribs. Restaurant was very busy but service was excellent. Many familys so it is kids friendly. We dined with another couple, no kids, and had no complaints with the families with kids. Well behaved. Dining area is spacious and tables were not jammed together. In fact I commented that isles were so wide that maybe on some nights they have line dancing! We will return. The Varina downtown area was hopping last night. The brewery was packed! Great little downtown area!
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Old 04-22-2012, 05:30 AM
446 posts, read 1,250,868 times
Reputation: 434
Food is still good and I dig the atmosphere. I go there often for business meetings and love it.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:27 AM
Location: Angier, NC
130 posts, read 416,498 times
Reputation: 74
Well we ended up going there this past weekend. The wife loved her meal. I on the other hand wasn’t crazy about mine. Overall it was a positive experience as we were going out for her birthday and she enjoyed it. I would probably not put it on my list to go back to unless she really wanted it. Atmosphere was still great. Just wish the food was a little better. I’d say it was average.
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:05 PM
Location: North Carolina
1,967 posts, read 819,251 times
Reputation: 3840
Went there with my wife today. We had the brisket and mac and cheese. Although it was very good, it was a bit dry. Not as good as Texas brisket, but what is!!! We will go back very soon as she liked the meatloaf she had the previous time we went and I did like the pulled pork I had last time.
I wasn't crazy about the 3 people they had waiting on us. I would rather have just one person attending to us. As this is more personnel.
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:35 PM
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,356 posts, read 3,468,264 times
Reputation: 955
I went there about 2.5 years ago, and then again last week. I would say it wasn't quite as good last week, though I can't pinpoint why since my last visit was so long ago. The bbq was good (I felt like it was spicier than I remember though?), the mac n cheese left a lot to be desired, the hushpuppies and biscuits were great, my husbands sweet potato fries were like dessert (yum!), the mashed potatoes and gravy were good but sort of room temp. I'd probably go back for the cheap lunch prices.
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:18 AM
Location: Raleigh
542 posts, read 1,333,974 times
Reputation: 757
In my opinion, as a Wilson, NC native and a former employee of Parker's Barbecue, The Pit has never been as good as advertised and has always been overrated and overpriced. The Pit does have a few things over most other barbecue restaurants including location, atmosphere, menu options (even vegetarian), and alcohol. When I do find myself at The Pit, to take up the slack of the mediocre food and poor service, I usually order a beer or two and eat the overpriced barbecue and sides with a smile on my face.

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