The North End Barbeque and Moonshine
This is without a doubt the fanciest BBQ joint I have ever been to. Everything was new and bright and quite attractive. For a moment I thought we might have stumbled into the wrong place.
The light fixtures were really cool. You can see one in the above picture. You can tell that pros set this joint up. From the table placement to the bar every thing was on point. After we were seated the Hostess let me check out the smokers in the kitchen.
The exhaust fans are located right behind the outside wall. Also it appears as though it has a digital temp readout. Really nice units. Back in the day I thought an Alto Shaam was high tech. Well enough of the HGTV. Our server was Laura. Delightful and very knowledgeable. I ordered a cup of chili; a cup of red to start.
I thought it was very good. A little spicy, no beans and no pasta; which is unusual in the Midwest. They used cubes of smoked brisket and a touch of house bacon. It had the consistency of Texas red; as I remember it. They also threw in a few cubes of fat. I like to think it was done intentionally not accidentally. Fat adds flavor. Of course my Cardiologist might disagree; but I don’t take him to lunch.
As you can see from the menu the food choices are very solid and the prices are quite reasonable.
Pat decided on a brisket entree with a choice of two sides for $12. When he discovered that the slaw had no onion he picked that with cornbread. After we ordered Laura brought out the Sauce caddy, all made in house.
The sauce options are pretty basic. A Kansas City molasses sweet, a Carolina mustard vinegar, a “Standard”, a little sweet and savory and a Texas spicy. Laura suggested a mix of KC and Carolina. Which worked like a charm for me. The other two were a little non descript. I really like a Carolina sauce sometimes and I definitely have a thing for molasses. Well back to Pat.
As you can see Pat’s coleslaw was a side with some assembly required. I guess he didn’t want to assemble. Since he ordered the brisket I ordered the pulled pork with Collards and Mac& cheese for $10.
The pork was straight up good. Nice flavor and good smoke. My first thought was the dry rub wasn’t as assertive as I would like,but upon a bit of reflection I thought with the 4 sauces maybe an assertive rub might not be the best. I am still pondering. One thing for sure Laura hit the pig on the head with her sauce mix suggestion. The KC and the Carolina together was a great taste. As for the sides I had mixed feelings. The greens were quite good not as much pot liquor as I would like but good none the less. Now for the mac & cheese. I believe they used a Cellentani, a spiral pasta that holds sauce well. As for the sauce it was pretty good it just isn’t what I had anticipated.They added a “jam” which I believe is a mix of KC sauce and spices which did add another layer of flavor but I prefer my mac a bit thicker with a cheesy roux and a buttery brown top. No harm no foul I’ll just keep that in mind next time.
Even though I had to get a go box for some of my pig I thought we should share a slice of Sugar Cream pie. It was unlike any other Sugar Cream pies I’ve had. It appeared that the crust was a crumb crust, not a pastry. Also the filling had almost a carmelized top to it. The pie was rather hard to cut; me thinks it was over cooked. No matter, the filling was delicious. I forgot to take a shot until it was almost done. Here is the ravaged result.
So don’t think that this place is too cool for Que. It isn’t. I read one reviewer who thought they took BBQ too seriously. Well it is BBQ. I really don’t know how anyone can be too serious about BBQ. After all it is All American. Seriously if you want some good Q you should give this joint a try. I’m not saying this is the best Q in the city. I am saying it is really good and it is run by pros. Also everyone that works here is really nice and it is a really pretty place.