Pulled Pork at Pitt Cue Co

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Was it worth waiting in line for 90 minutes to eat at Pitt Cue Co? In a word: yes. Yes. Yes yes yes. A thousand times: yes. I’m tempted to actually type ‘yes’ a thousand times. I don’t mean writing it once, copying and pasting until I have ten, then copying and pasting till I have a block of one hundred, then copying and pasting that till I’ve written it a thousand times. I mean actually typing it a thousand times. And probably with ‘Shift’ held down – nope, no Caps Lock.

“A sauce that was no doubt bad for you, but had such a wholesome, homely taste that you couldn’t really believe it”

This place is just fun. I admit that I’m a bit behind the curve. I’ve wanted to go for ages, but this was my first visit. Yes, on plenty of occasions the mammoth wait has put me off. And whilst a lot of that is down to the (justified) buzz about the place, it’s also a lot to do with the fact they really don’t have many covers.

To be fair, we only waited about 45 minutes outside, and once inside we started on the Picklebacks – PCC’s signature ‘cocktails’, which is, in fact, a shot of bourbon chased by a shot of pickle juice. Yes, you read that right – the juices they use to pickle their gherkins. I know you’ll roll your eyes and not believe it but, honestly, it’s surprisingly good. We got through nine. Outrageously good and horribly messy rib tips kept us going, until, finally, we got a table.

And it was worth it. Boy was it worth it. The pulled pork was look-no-teeth tender, with a sauce that was no doubt bad for you, but had such a wholesome, homely taste that you couldn’t really believe it. And you know what? It actually tasted of meat. There was actually animal, rather than blasted-out-of-existence mush, in spite of the best efforts of cooking for no doubt hours and hours. Perfect.

“Virgin Picklebacks all round!”

I’m glad there were a few of us, because we got a chance to share sides, every one of which was delivered exactly right. Bone marrow mash had a richness that ended forever debate about how to make a proper mash. Baked beans proved that, yup, Beanz don’t (necessarily) Meanz Heinz. Chilli Slaw was spicy and crunchy, rather than limp and wet. And sprout tops were green but tasted naughty while definitely one of our five-a-day.

And yes, those pickles – brined in that juice – crunchy, sweet, sharp. Virgin Picklebacks all round!

5/10 of Time Out’s top 100 dishes

Pulled pork, burger, chips, fried pickles at The Sir Garnet

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The recently refurbished Sir Garnet pub on Norwich’s Market Square (formally the Sir Garnet Wollesley) is home of @thebaronofbeef, purveyor of locally-sourced culinary goodness, in the form of the best burgers in Norwich, thin chips, deep fried pickles and daily specials.

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I was just about to go for the umami burger (a new addition to the menu), in fact going as far as to order one, then deciding the time for the fifth taste could wait, since pulled pork graced the specials board and it’s a favourite of mine. This fabled burger features miso infused into the meat and kim chi garnish. Next time!

I made the right choice. The fluffy, eggy homemade bun was filled with meltingly tender smoked pork bathed in Carolina-style sweetly sour (or sourly sweet) barbecue sauce, along with the Baron’s classic slaw. Delicious!

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The thin chips were, as ever, superb, crispy, moreish and (bar the coming heart attack) the perfect accompaniment. The table next to us nearly abandoned their dinner reservation elsewhere on seeing these chips – they’re that good. They eventually settled on the pork scratchings (yes, homemade), and a promise to return.

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I’ve ordered the deep fried pickles twice before. The first time was on the Garnet’s opening night, when “they’re not on the menu yet”. The second, they were off the menu. So these have been a long time coming.

For those who’ve not yet had the delight, the concept is the battering and then deep-frying of still-crunchy pickles. The Baron of Beef pairs his with blue cheese dip. Perhaps the whole concept sounds wrong to you? But they are delicious – crisp, comforting, acid, smooth, mmm…

I’ll confess, when chef asked how these were, he also said he’d been working on them for weeks now. They were an awesome take on the dish, with almost fritter batter. I think they could be even better with a thinner, crisper tempura-style batter, but that would make a very different side.

Okay, this food isn’t perfectly balanced nor five-a-day, but, then, we all go out for dirty American food every so often. You might as well make it to-die-for delicious food every once in a while when you do!