At MoMo's BBQ and Grill, sauces aren't just a messy byproduct of eating barbecue. Rather, they are spotlight-snatching costars, having pulled in 13 awards of excellence from the National Barbecue Association, highlighted by mango habanero's 2011 distinction as tops in the citrus class. Long before MoMo's gourmet sauces receive a call to action, though, their meaty counterparts are busy getting slow-smoked, in-house, with a combination of applewood and hickory. Seven days per week, finished creations arrive on the tables of diners in the form of Texas beef brisket and "high on the hog" racks of ribs. A selection of more than 100 bottled beers washes over satisfied taste buds, and every Friday, live blues bands infuse meals with passionate riffs and lyrics about the heartbreak of finishing a pulled-pork sandwich.
When mobile eatery The Little Black Truck closed its doors, it left behind a loyal following addicted to its slow-roasted Carolina-style pulled pork, half-pound burgers, and homemade sides. To appease The Little Black Truck's dispirited regulars and lonely frying baskets, the mobile cooks went stationary by opening Official BBQ & Burgers in a building on Lyters Lane. The simple 35-seat restaurant serves up a small menu, which includes smoked chicken wings, creole potato salad, and Grandma's chili, which is crafted from Angus beef and several secret ingredients.
Black Hog BBQ & Bar slow-cooks a saucy menu showcasing succulent beef, pork, chicken, and sausage sidled beside an array of classic Southern sides. Round up a heaping helping of smoked brisket or pulled pork shoulder to fill a bun, plate, or polo shirt pocket before slathering it in one of Black Hog's signature house-made sauces such as zesty Carolina Red or tangy Mike's Mustard Sauce. Sandwiches smother servings of smoked pit ham or Arkansas beef into a pillowy bun, and sides sing harmonious backup to their meaty frontmen, with melty mac 'n' cheese and cool coleslaw draping taste buds in culinary nostalgia. While the protein palace also stocks a full bar, today's Groupon is not good for alcohol, and vice versa, as evidenced by the time it woke up in a strange bathtub folded into inappropriate shapes.
Damon's Grill & Sports Bar has made a name for itself with several winning inventions. Its signature baby back ribs have racked up a slew of awards around the country. Chefs are equally proud of the prime rib, which soaks in flavor in its own specially designed oven.
The rest of the large menu?including grilled salmon, creamy pastas, and a towering "loaf" of fresh-cut onion rings?is equally suited to recouping the energy exerted in cheering on your team. Damon's clubhouse-like dining area makes that easy with another house invention. Known as DTV, the multi-screen entertainment system includes not only big-screen TVs for sports action, but also interactive games and tabletop speakers that can be adjusted depending on whether you like your sports games shouted or whispered at you.
The Midtown Tavern's menu's burger selection invites diners to wrap mitts around a fiery pepper burger kissed with jalapeño peppers and pepper-jack cheese ($8), or a greek burger crowned with tangy cucumber sauce and feta ($7). The towering Fat burger melds two massive ground-beef burgers with melted cheese and hearty slabs of bacon ($10), while the fresh bison burger swaps out a beef patty for a leaner alternative kissed with provolone ($9). Sidekick a meaty meal with mashed potatoes and gravy ($3), a side salad ($2), and coleslaw ($1), and quench parched palates with a sweetened phosphate. Although this Groupon is not valid for alcohol, a broad drink menu tickles the tongues of beer and cocktail connoisseurs.
One glance at the exposed brick and stone that surrounds you at Gas Station Kitchen and Bar?itself a former gas station?and it's clear you're feasting inside a gastropub. But Chef Forest Dunlap's complex flavors don't make that deduction so easy. His Maryland crab-cake sliders and old-bay chips transport you to a classic New England seafood shack, and his wood-fired pizzas conjure up visions of Italy with toppings such as goat cheese and balsamic reduction. He also uses a house smoker to summon Southern comforts, creating dishes such as the pork platter?a medley of smoked pork shoulder, pork belly, and housemade sausage.
To complement the kitchen's eclectic servings, head bartender Gary Weisinger pours a variety of international and domestic brews, including several from Hershey's own Troegs Brewing Company. On the cocktail front, he sticks to the classics, such as daiquiris, singapore slings, and rum runners, which were once the official drink of America's least successful track team. Along with these meals, Gas Station hosts frequent events, such as live music, beer launches, and Irish dances, to entertain patrons until its 2 a.m. closing time.