When the family behind Super-Stuff Super-Licious restaurant fired up their three sidewalk grills in 1985, they began a local BBQ legacy that was strong enough to attract people from forty miles out. Unfortunately, the booming success couldn’t stop an encroaching schism that would soon split up the relatives and choke the growing business. It took nearly 20 years of slow-cooked reconciliation and, according to the restaurant’s website, a spiritual awakening to bring the family and the business back together in 2005. Today, Robbie's Super-Stuff Super-Licious BBQ Restaurant continues the tradition they started more than 35 years ago.
The barbecue mavens stock their kitchen with fresh, local ingredients and meats. They season each of their ribs, chickens, and steaks—sousing some slabs with more than a dozen herbs and spices—before sizzling them atop an open-pit grill. They then slather these flavorful cuts in one of three sauces: hot-, mild-, or mustard-barbecue sauce. They also prepare homestyle sides, such as collard greens and signature cornbread, to accessorize meat-centric entrees or cocktail dresses.
The pitmasters at the Harvard & Highland location of Union Pig & Chicken keep the menu simple, and in fact, very true to their name. Every day, they smoke up St. Louis ribs, barbecued chicken, brisket, and pork shoulder, as well as tofu, sausages, and seafood. The menu of traditional and non-so-traditional barbecue is rounded out with buttermilk fried chicken and sides such as cornbread, mac and cheese, and creamy coleslaw to create meals that emulate Southern picnics without buying a blanket in Scarlett O'Hara's green-and-white dress fabric. Meals can be washed down with a range of sodas, house-made sweet tea, fresh jalape?o-cilantro lemonade, draft beers, or a glass of bourbon.
The Flame BBQ’s two soul-food kitchens sling slow-cooked pulled pork, collard greens, and brisket onto plates and catering trays. Rolls sop up the barbecue sauce that smothers spare ribs, pulled chicken, and beef. Stack a Mac meals, a Flame specialty, fold barbecued meat into creamy mac ‘n’ cheese that is accompanied by a cup of sauce and several high-fives. Other unique offerings include brisket burritos bundled in a tortilla and catered whole-roasted pigs, piglets, or lambs.
Housed inside the Old B&O Train Station, Rust Belt brews nine craft beers, with a handful more scheduled for release early next year. Each Saturday from noon to 5 p.m., fans of yeast and hops can gather 'round head brewer Lee Gidley as he guides them on a tour of the brewery, showing them equipment, explaining the brewing process, and doling out samples of the luscious liquid gold. When the half-hour tour concludes, everyone receives a commemorative Rust Belt Brewery T-shirt, a souvenir pint glass, and a jolly memory to overtake the brain space currently inhabited by knowledge of the Gigli plot. If the tour inspires a powerful thirst for more, Rust Belt sells growlers of their guzzleables to take home, and the neighboring Boxcar Lounge has Rust Belt on tap.
Over the last nine decades, Kennedy's BBQ has been smoking, slicing, and piling turkey, ham, and pork on sandwiches seasoned with top-secret ingredients. This smoke shack's meat masters start with premium protein, pit-smoking the savories in an on-premise smokehouse to infuse succulent juices. Then, soft buns are laden with ham, turkey, beef, or pulled pork ($4.75 each), slathered with barbecue sauce, and generously dolloped with a house-made cabbage relish concocted from a secret recipe. Sociable sandwiches can pal around with a bowl of hearty chili or smoky bean soup, studded with tender chunks of pit ham and cornbread crumbles ($3.50 each). Desserts such as homemade cookies ($0.75), milkshakes ($3.30), and Troyer's Home Pantry pies by the slice ($2.60) finish off a decadent meal more sweetly than a nuzzle from a candied teddy bear.
Though you can grab a sandwich and slaw in mere minutes at the carry-out windows of Pittsburgh Barbecue Company, the meal components are by no means slapped together. The cooking process stretches across 18 aromatic hours, with pit masters slowly cooking Texas-style brisket, North Carolina–style pulled pork, and slabs of ribs over the low heat of cherry- and maple-wood flames. The smoldering logs are what imbue the meats with the majority of their beloved smoky flavors, enhanced by just small splashes of Carolina-style, vinegar-based barbecue sauce or coatings of a 17-ingredient spice rub. To complement meaty main dishes, the staff cooks up homestyle sides such as slaw, baked apples, and mac ‘n’ cheese.