My friend and I came here for a quick lunch, ended up staying 1.5h and had one of the best meals we've ever had. Pulled pork buns are too good!!!
Pitt Cue Co is really really tiny, so get here early if you don't want to wait long.
The food was delicious. The bone marrow mash absolutely blew my mind. (I considered ordering another portion halfway through.) The caramelized ribs were also amazing but for the price you get very little. Same for the loaded skins... Really good but very overpriced! Pulled pork was solid but I feel it was similar to random BBQ joints I've been to in California.
The waitstaff was lovely and very accommodating. They initially got our bill wrong but were so pleasant about removing the items.
Overall, Pitt Cue Co is delicious but a little pricey for what it is.
I fully endorse a drooling Homer Simpson pose whenever I talk about this place. The food was phenomenal. Sure, it's roasted/ barbecued meats but done OH SO well, but done up in such a way that it's a bit gourmet. And we all need a little luxury in our lives.
Apparently, even on a Tuesday night this place was buzzing. Since I didn't want a late night since, my work hours leave me unable to get anywhere early, we decided to eat at Pitt cue's upstairs bar. Because this place is TEENSY. Started with a cider sour and It was really really refreshing- came with a slice of jazz apple (I think!) with it, so they actually picked a nice apple to go with the crisp cocktail! Some apples may be too sweet or too sour but I think jazz apples are the right choice! (YES, I KNOW ALOT ABOUT APPLES- okay, maybe I'm just a picky eater- what are you going to do about it!)
We ordered the jowl starter which blew me away, it was compacted jowl (pork cheek meat) deep fried in breadcrumbs, but not so compacted because when you sink your fork into it, the meat just fell away, and it was so tender and so flavourful, it was just so good. A few conversations later, our mains arrived- onglet beef and pork head sausage. Although my pork head sausage looked like a small portions- 2 medallions, it was incredibly dense and flavourful, maybe a bit salty at times, but it was deceptively filling. Together with the mini side coleslaw on it, it reminded me or the mortadar and celeriac coleslaw I had the other night at polpo, but what polpo should have tasted since the sausage was much more softer. I really enjoyed it, but maybe I would have preferred something sweet with it, maybe more beets.
The onglet, well that was perfection. Let's just leave it at that.
We also ordered 2 sides, bone marrow mash, because they're famous for it, and who am to argue with a crazy number of yelp reviews. You don't. But yeah, it was rich, creamy and really good-you can't really complain about amazing mash covered in meaty gravy. FACT. We also had the Kale side which was REALLY Buttery but we both felt it was SUPER salty and maybe overload on flavour and salty tastes on one palate? Which is why I felt that the food was great and the meat- so many layers of taste but the sides just overloaded on the saltiness, so which is why I give it a less than perfect 4 stars.
Pricewise- it's for payday. Good Meat does not come without a price.
Probably the best pulled pork that I have ever had - succulent, tasty, and like heaven. Even the side that I chose - green chili slaw, was great, a creative twist to a common side dish.
Service is efficient - got my food within 10 minutes, as you would expect from a no-frills place like this.
A pity though, that the dining environment is one of the worst in London - hence 4 stars instead of 5. You sit in a dingy small basement no bigger than a living room, elbow to elbow with other diners, and really unable to sustain a proper conversation with your dining partners. Very much a place to get in and out as quick as possible.
Simply love this place. Visited early lunch (only way to get in) and tried the pulled pork, pigs head in a bun, beef beans, chilli coleslaw. All simply marvellous. I love the tins that the food comes in, the only problem with the place is that it's TOO popular!
Top draw food, good whisky selection.
Have been here several times now and I've loved it every time. Their pulled pork is better than any I've had - lots of people are on the BBQ tip but these guys are top of the pile for me. Keep it simple, have the pulled pork which comes with gherkins, slaw an bread. Take some marrow mash as a side and wash it down with an old fashioned cocktail. Perfect.
So incredibly awesome!!!! A meat overload in the best way possible.
A few reviews mentioned that 1715 is the magical time to be guaranteed a first seating, so we were aiming for that. Got there at 1720 on a Friday and we were first in line. By 1723 there were about 10 people in line. Given that it opens at 1730, and the kitchen at 1800, you can easily miss the first 18 even getting there at 1745, and if you do, that's automatically a wait till 1845 at the earliest.
We were in the bar area from 1730 to 1800. Ordered the pork scratchings and the beef on toast. Scratchings were average. Came with a dipping sauce (apple based maybe? Not sure) which didn't do much either. That being said, it was a nice nibble over drinks. The beef on toast was a completely different proposition. Absolutely divine. Really tender pieces of beef in a nice sauce laid out on toast with some sort of vegetable garnish which also made it the prettiest dish of the night.
Decent cocktail and beer selection. Tried the 'Pitt Cue Whatever lager', love the name, and it was actually a really really good beer as well. Also had the kernel pale ale which is one of my favourites generally. Cocktail wise, we tried the Indian summer which was a nice gin, kahlua, lemony drink and some picklebacks - created in ny, this is a shot of whiskey (typically jameson) chased with a shot of pickle juice. It shouldn't work but the smokiness of the whiskey combined with the pickle juice means it tastes like a pastrami sandwich in your mouth. Their pickle juice here was a bit sweeter than usual so it wasn't as pastrami ish, still it's one of my favourite drinks in the world (alongside whiskey-green tea), and I love that you can get it in London.
Like the bar, the downstairs area is certainly a bit cramped. Fortunately as a group of 3, we got our own table of 4. The table of 4 next to us was shared by 2 groups of 2s which would have been a bit annoying. Food wise we ordered:
Pulled pork - their star dish and it lives up to all the hype. Melt in your mouth good, so so flavourful, and just wow...
Beef brisket - My beef brisket expectations are specifically based off one restaurant, hill country bbq in ny. This was right up there. At hill country they have a fatty brisket (the only one to order) and a lean one. The one at pitt cue cut a definite middle line and it was perfect. It wasn't heart attack fatty but had just the right amount to make it really tender. Again, pretty incredible.
Ribs - probably the only non melt in your mouth dish but I don't think they were aiming for that. The ribs were weirdly buttery but still amazing. (Though I wouldn't have minded if they were a tiny bit more tender)
bone marrow mash - Creamy and the marrow goes well.
Chili slaw - as described. Very average though.
A certain grilled vegetable (I forget which) with anchovies and something... - basically i don't remember exactly what it was but it was my favourite side! (so look for the one with anchovies)
Price - 34 pounds each for all the food and 3 drinks each (mostly beers though so cheaper because of that). Incredibly reasonable for what it is imo.
Cannot rave about it enough. Now that I've already been once, I'm not sure I'd queue an hour since there isn't that same desire to try it, but if you ever find you're free for an early dinner and hungry at that time, pitt cue is the place to go.
Oh my, oh my, oh my. Three bites into my pulled pork and bone marrow mash, I said, "This is one of the best meals I've had in London." Which says loads because I've had many, many, many bad meals and few good meals while living in London for the past 2.5 years.
Though the ambiance at Bodean's is more to my liking, the food at Pitt Cue Co is far superior to Bodean's. In fact, the food really doesn't compare aside from the fact they are in the same genre, BBQ.
My plate of pulled pork was super juicy and had no chunks of fat which is always a plus (not while cooking but definitely while eating). The bone marrow mash was delectable in its little bowl settled on my plate. The pickle relish was a bit strange but that didn't stop me from chowing down and the tiny bit of coleslaw was gone pretty much after my plate arrived in front of my googly eyes.
As a side note, we arrived at 2:59pm on Sunday afternoon and were told that we needed to place our order straight away because they were closing in 1 minute which meant they closed at 3pm on Sundays which is contradictory to the opening hours on their door and website. A couple arrived at 3:00pm and though the door was still open, they were turned away. What a shame because if I were part of that couple, I'd never return and never know how delicious the food is.
As Americans living away from the States, we get cravings for all things American. The huge majority of time, American food is disappointing overseas. You simply can't get a decent burger outside of an American restaurant chain. When my American coworkers raved about this place, we had to try it out. The recommendation was solid. Many try, most fail, Pitt Cue succeeds.
After so many bad burgers, bad pizza, and bad BBQ it can be a bit depressing and leave one longing for Homeland. We came to Pitt Cue cautiously optimistic and we were not disappointed. I think it is the biggest compliment I can give to say that this is American food in a foreign country that didn't make us homesick for the real thing, because this is the real thing. The menu changes often so I won't dwell on what we had. I had some tasty brisket, and she had pulled pork. Tasty meats, but the highlight was the lemon posset dessert. Is it the best Cue we've ever had? No, not even close, really. But it's damn fine, if overpriced, and well worth the trip.
Get here early. This is a popular but small joint; there was a line before they opened (we were at the front!).
As an American, I salute my friends at Pitt Cue Co. You've done beautiful work and have created a lofty standard by which all barbecues should be measured.
The sauce is good. Really good. And even the ancillary characters (the slaw, the mash, the beans) deserve to be applauded as heroes. That bone marrow mash, Christ, that's beautiful stuff. You'll find the stuffiest of steakhouses struggling to produce potatoes half that tasty. What art.
This, of course, is without even touching the heavyweights. Ribs? Ouch. Sausages? Ouch, ouch. Even the pulled pork pulls no punches. This is food that will hurt very badly and, like the masochists we are, leave us sulking in weepy, snotty tears, waiting for the night we can return for the sweet pain, the sweet tang.
And this is England. Well done, chaps.
I came with a friend who recommended it for lunch. It was a Thursday at 1.30 but I was warned there can be queues so turned up early and waited outside on the street for my mate. It didn't look busy at all just a few people in the bar but don't be caught out, this is a waiting area too. Came in, signed names, then waited up tight and close by the bar. A bit awkward but no different to most popular bars in Soho.
No ribs available today unfortunately but the specials were explained fully to us and the jowl side dish was really well presented and tasted great. The loaded skins were cooked to a perfect crisp with a smooth mash holding it together underneath, simply fantastic but I wish I had known they would have pulled pork on them as I ordered that for my main too. Pork overload.
In all the dishes we ordered, the meat was cooked so well and was very flavoursome. There was enough to eat without being a sloppy mess like most BBQ places too. I would definitely give this place another try if only to get a shot at the ribs.
I never actually made it here in the last ...what seems like decade.. due to all the queueing but a sporadic lunchtime stopover and a free seat at the bar was finally my ticket to the brick and mortar version of my favorite place ever (the Pitt Cue trailer, RIP).
Loaded skins with pulled pork, pulled pork bun, bone marrow mash, pickles, all I needed was some whisky (but it was lunch so I had a sensible half pint) to put me over the euphoria edge.
I can see how this place wouldn't be for everyone, you have to be a bit patient... which is a hard emotion to fake if you're about to gnaw off someone's arm in anticipation of food... but it's worth a stop.
Maybe someday I'll actually make it downstairs to the real tables... but in the meantime, I'll stick to takeaway and wishing and hoping that the trailer will make a triumphant return.
This place is SO GOOD.
This restaurant is itty bitty so the wait tends to be a bit bad, but there is also a teeny tiny bar when you walk in so you can have a drink (or three) while you think about the delicious barbeque you are about to eat. A line actually starts to form outside the restaurant about 15 minutes before it opens for dinner, and if you can make it there around then, I recommend doing so. Makes it so you get seated right away, rather than having to wait around, suffering as you smell all the wonderful food from the kitchen. They hang the daily menu in the window so you can decide what you want to get while you're waiting.
Everything I've had here has been spectacular, but the bone marrow mash as a side is my absolute favorite. So rich and creamy, and it's really good if you dip the piece of bread they give you in it. The ribs are also really good, as is the pulled pork. I tend to go for whatever special they have that night since it's always amazing. Sometimes they run out of certain dishes so it helps to be one of the first people seated so you can have first pick!
The drinks at Pitt Cue are also great. I've had several of their special cocktails -- I can't remember the name of the last one I tried but the bartender said he had just made it up and was anxious to hear what I thought of it (IT WAS DELICIOUS) -- and done their pickle back shots, which are always good. Their pickle juice is, like, really really yummy.
The staff is also super friendly and always offer recommendations, which I appreciate. It's a shame this place isn't bigger, but the cramped space doesn't matter so much when the food is this good.
Let me just first say, a damn fine improvement from the pop-up establishment under the foot bridge down on the Thames. I am happy to report that barbecue is headed in the right direction here in The Big Smoke. Of course, there are a few things that I'm not particularly keen on (i.e. waiting 15 minutes in the cold just for a chance to stand at the bar to wait another half-hour for a table; the door guy telling us if we were going to eat pulled pork to go to Bodean's; the additional, 45-minute wait for ribs after the hour of waiting just for a chance at eating). But overall, I would definitely give this place another try.
I know that may not seem like the best measuring device for a restaurant, but you might be surprised at the number of places in London I will absolutely not give a second chance...
The food and libations (mostly) made up for all the waiting. I did really enjoy the bar's Campari-bourbon concoction and the kitchen's deep-fried chicken appetizers--I could eat about three dozen of those little things alone. My friend and I did both opt for the pulled pork, because of the wait time on the ribs, and I just couldn't bring myself to order lamb at a barbecue joint. I also ordered a side of the black pudding mash. Holy lord, amazing! So good, in fact, I'll let it slide that you'll never find mashed potatoes alongside traditional barbecue. That said, my dining companion's slaw was just sad--bland, warm, nasty.
My biggest, hugest gripe of all was with the pickles. I do not understand why no one has figured out American-style dill pickles here. The pickles on the sandwich were too thin, overly sweet, and lacked vinegar. Dill pickles should be thick, crisp, crunchy disks of vinegar and dill goodness. Someone please make this happen, so I can stop buying jars of Vlasic's in Partridge's American section.
We ended the meal off with some lovely lemon curd doughnuts. There's nothing better than a good doughnut. Well, maybe some really good dill pickles.
Oh, and there's also a star removal (not really) for the staff not knowing what hush puppies are or where Beale Street is. You can't be in the barbecue business--anywhere in the world!--and not know these things. Otherwise, good start, PCC!
Pitt Cue might have the best damned pulled pork bun I've tasted in my life, but there is never any reason for music to be turned up quite as loud as it was in such a confined dining space, particularly when people are trying to talk to their companions whom they waited with for ages outside in sub-zero temperatures in order to sit down in said confined dining space and eat said pulled pork bun.
Plus, they forgot to bring the wings I ordered before the main meal, and when I asked after them after I'd nearly finished my pulled pork bun, the waitress just asked if I still wanted them and said they were delicious. I consented. For the record, they were not delicious; they were merely OK.
Friday night you basically need to be here by 6 to avoid standing in the freezing cold for an hour. Luckily, my friend is super organized and punctual so when I rocked up he'd already saved us a place and we basically went straight in.
The restaurant is tiny and the upstairs bar area very cramped, but one of the bartenders waded over to us with a menu and explained the specials: a bourborini, a bourbon fueled take on the negroni and the charmingly named subourbon, a bourbon based version of the cosmopolitan. I was initially horrified at the unholy idea of bourbon mixed with campari, but then curiosity got the better of me and I have to say I actually far preferred this to any negroni I have ever had - the bourbon mellows out the bitter kick of the campari. It was a really well made cocktail and you could see the bartender cared about the quality of his drinks, which was awesome.
After the cocktail I moved on to root beer which is the ideal soft drink to wash down any BBQ feast, although it's sad nowhere in London seems to have American root beer in bottles (I'm aware that there are greater problems in the world though, so I'll let that one slide).
We ended up eating upstairs at the window counter which I think is actually preferable to the tiny downstairs dining room. Very friendly server helped us narrow down our selection - she suggested the house sausage which was indeed the delicious. The highlight was definitely the pulled pork, which was excellent. I was a bit disappointed by the brisket because I've had a truly incredible homemade version but it was not bad. I'd definitely get the pulled pork instead next time though. The chipotle coleslaw was great and bone marrow mash didn't quite live up to the hype but was perfectly decent.
All in all, a great fun restaurant and a must if you're craving BBQ!
So I was wrong, there is good barbecue in London.
There's not much to say really. I found out about Pitt Cue a few weeks ago, and after some procrastination and deliberation due to money woes I ultimately decided to bite the bullet, skip the queues, and go for lunch.
The brisket and pulled pork were both exceptional. As was the bone marrow mash and grilled gem lettuce with kimchi. While it's not quite the same as the BBQ I've eaten in the states, as far as London goes it's pretty excellent.
Single star taken away for the price... London (sigh).
Thanks Yelp for leading me Pitt Cue!
I started out with the spicy chicken wings. It was so moan worthy. Something about the taste and texture reminded me of being in a sports bar back in the states.
Pork ribs - I didn't moan as much as I did for the wings but it was pretty damn good. Definitely the best I had in London. I had this with the bone marrow mash - which was delicious but the bone marrow was a bit much for me and scooped it out to the side.
It is a tiny place and quite a long wait so would definitely advise to go in smaller groups. They don't take ressies so go there a bit early if you don't want to eat too late. if you wait at the bar and start a tab, they give you a numbered plastic miniature cow! Hilarious! mooo!
Note: This review is entirely based on a takeaway from here. I have not eaten in here yet.
Interesting little place. Very limited takeaway menu. Was expecting a lot of stuff on the menu. Only pulled pork bun and house sausage bun and both for £7. They were tiny.
So I may revisit this place simply because they have such great reviews and I want to see what everyone is raving about. But on the face of it I felt very saddened by the quality of the stuff I got. The house sausage bun had some kind of coleslaw on it which I didn't like and I really expect something akin to the 7.50 quid burgers from Meat Liquor for that price. And I eat in there for that price.
I think they should remove all takeaway or have them at a lower price point for whats served.
Going to Pitt Cue was not a planned event. We basically stumbled upon it. Being farely new to London, I really had no idea what it was. I knew nothing about their reputation for food. What I did know: that there was a cue wrapping around the entire building and the aroma spread for blocks. This immediately sparked my interest. We found out it was a 2 hr wait, added our name to the list, and joined the line. I sill had no clue what we were waiting for, but any place with this amount of loyal customers had to be a good sign, right?
Our time in the cue went by quite quickly. We made acquaintances with the people in front and back of us and all shared drinks from the pub across the street. Everyone explained to us that we were about to have the "best BBQ ever." Before we knew it, we were allowed inside. We decided to grab more drinks from the bar, which has an outstanding whiskey menu (the whiskey and pickle juice shot is a must!), and we ate at a counter upstairs so we could eat sooner.
I am from the US and have eaten BBQ from Texas to the Carolina's and everywhere in between. Is Pitt Cue the best I have ever had? No. But it is delicious. Everything was cooked well, using quality ingredients, and I left feeling very satisfied. For a BBQ restaurant to be outstanding, they need to be original. The Bone Marrow Mash....that's what I'm talking about! I've actually had dreams about it multiple times since our visit. Other than that, the pulled pork, beef ribs, pork ribs and slaw were all delicious, but pretty standard. The service was exceptional.
Would I go back? Absolutely. There is no other place like this in London (that I am aware of), the food is good, and we had a great time!
It's not the fact that they didn't serve chips, or that I had to share a table, or the flies on the wall, it was the simple fact that the food was lousy!
So I went to Pitt Cue on Saturday and missed the place twice as I couldn't tell it was a restaurant. Walked up to the door and was told they were shut. OK so what time do you open? I was told 5:30. We thought of getting a drink across the road but in no time, there was already a queue.We waited out and were finally let in at 20 to 6 where we had a drink and let the anticipation get the better of me. I was hungry blud.
We were taken to the basement seating area which was very small and intimate, a bit too intimate for me. We were greeted with the Pitt Cue concept and told about the pork and pigs reared on peaches (did I hear that right?) All great so far. Ordered the ribs, mash and slaw and continued drinking my rather sour draught beer. My mate ordered the same but with beans instead of slaw. I really liked the sound of the beans but didn't want to risk it (had some horrible beans in the past).
The food came and this is where it went downhill. There were 3 large ribs on the plate with a drizzle of BBQ sauce. The ribs were meaty but barely warm. It's obvious they cook them way before but for f's sake heat them up properly. BBQ to me means BBQ, and I didn't taste any BBQ at all apart from the sauce. I wonder how they heat them up, I shudder to think it could be a microwave. I tried the mash which was served in a little pot with some gravy on top and a dollop of butter (at least I think it was butter).
The slaw was tasteless and as it turned out, the beans were delicious. The meal came with a lump of home cooked style bread which was ok. I don't know if it was just a bit unlucky, but we were the first sitting so no pressure. I would have been really upset if I waited an hour plus. On the plus side the chicken fried ribeye steak sounded great but I'll never get to try that as I'll doubt I'll be going back. Also a good selection of American whisky's with some notable rye's.
I showed up right when they opened on a Saturday and waited an hour to get inside. I figured it must be good if people were waiting since there are so many places to eat nearby. The restaurant had been on my list after seeing it reviewed in the New York Times. My friend (who hails from Memphis, Tennessee) and I were not disappointed.
We both ordered the pulled pork, but I had mine on a bun. The portion was very large and next time I would order the plate instead of the sandwich to forgo the extra bread. The mashed potatoes were divine, but my friend and I were not huge fans of the baked beans. Although close to the real American barbeque deal, there was something missing in the legumes. The sauce selection on the table (spicy and regular) was nice since I like my meat oozing with tasty goodness.
Dessert was the rhubarb and custard filled doughnuts (they were okay), and a huge piece of sticky toffee pudding (also okay). We both had a local beer (cannot remember what brewery), and PBR was available for £4/bottle for those craving a hipster beverage. They also had A&W cream soda and root beer by the can (£2.50), which is getting easier to find in this metropolis.
When we left, there were only two people in line outside at 7:45 pm. When I return, I will skip the opening rush and wait until the initial wave settles down. This restaurant is a must-go for any expat craving some down-home American cuisine.
This place is fabulous.
A pork lover's dream not only come true but wrapped in a soft bun, dripping with delectable juices, served by ever-jovial staff. Lovely.
If you eat in, you pay a couple of quid more for the delight, but have the benefit of a succulent side adjoining your feast included. For take-away, pay a mere £6.50 for the mighty pulled pork sandwich and smack those lips! No longer must one have to be trans-atlantic to enjoy this favoured morsel.
***Warning, once you pick it up, you will not be able to put it back down - prizing those greasy fingers away and risking collapse is just not an option.***
I must say the BBQ ribs and brisket look incredible, but the bun is just too temping. If you can cheat on yourself, go for it.
Hello loverrrr, I've missed you!
Oh, I could have wept when I was told the Pitt Cue van under Hungerford Bridge had closed. Sure, people had told me that the pulled pork at Bodeans was good but I couldn't imagine it being as fantastic and great value as my beloved Pitt Cue.
Oh, I could have wept when I found out they had opened permanent residence in Soho. Sexy sexy Soho. I grabbed my partner in crime, JB, and headed on down for lunch opening at 12pm. Even before 12 there were a couple of people waiting outside - always a good sign! We could smell the 'cue and were salivating at the door.
In we spilled to the tiniest bar ever and were greeted by smiling staff. We grabbed a drink at the bar (I went for the delicious ginger beer I'd had at their van previously) and were escorted down the stairs to the teeniest little seating area. We counted space for about 18 people but they told us there is seating at the bar and at the windows upstairs which altogether is about 30 people.
I had the pulled pork again (how could I not?) with the slaw. Sweet baby Jesus! It was just as I remembered. Tender strings of pork in a BBQ sauce with pickles and a vinegar slaw giving it a good crunch. It also comes with a hunk of chargrilled bread to soak up all the sauces. I inhaled my food and was finished in record time.
We followed our mains by sharing a Snickers Mess dessert which consisted of, as I remember, peanut meringue, cream, ice cream and brownie. It was a bit too sickly for me, even as such a small portion shared between 2 people. We didn't finish it.
My only regret is a guy who arrived as we were paying the bill ordered 'scratchings' which were not the pre-packed and be-haired snack we all know and love - they were fresh pieces of crackling served in a glass. Oh I was so jealous hearing him munch his way through those. I'm getting them next time!
It was absolutely rammed by the time we left - people were queuing outside and we had to do some very odd maneuvering to get out the door in the tiny bar space! This is not a place to linger after your food - eat and get the hell out so someone else can eat!
They also do takeaway and I'll soon be back to get in on that action... I have no idea why but I enjoy it more when it comes in a box!
I'm doing an annoying thing that people do which is to rate a restaurant 1 star before they've actually eaten there. I know, I know. Hear me out.
I was very excited to try Pitt Cue the day after they opened. I had read about it in Daily Candy and Thrillist and all the other foodie blogs, and was desperate for a bit of good ol' BBQ. I made a date with my partner and a friend.
Knowing there was potential for a queue, I arrived quite early. I walked into the packed bar and sought out the person with the clipboard. She took my name, wrote it on her list, and told me it would be about 45 minutes. No big deal.
She then explained that I would have to wait outside because the bar was full. Totally understandable.
I asked if she'd be willing to take my mobile number and give a call when it was my turn (as some restaurants do), but she explained that the system was that I'd just have to wait outside, and that I better be sure to keep my ears open, because if I wasn't there when she called my name, I'd go to the end of the list. Again, understandable.
At this point, I stepped outside, away from the lovely smokey BBQ smell and the sweating taps. My boyfriend walked up a moment later, and I informed him of our 45 minute wait, and that we'd be banished to the end of the list if we missed the shout.
There was a lovely pub five paces away from Pitt Cue that we decided to have a quick drink at, knowing we would be able to down a pint with plenty of time to spare.
After about 20 minutes, we strolled back to Pitt Cue just as the lovely clipboard wielding hostess stepped out into the cold. She added another couple to the list, and then looked at me and said, "Oh! You're already on the list, right?" I told her I was.
This is when things got ugly.
As she glanced for my name on the list, I visibly saw an internal battle waging in her head. She finally looked up and said, "Listen, I saw you left the pavement and came from that pub. Unfortunately I must now move you to the bottom of the list."
I objected, "Did you call my name? It's clearly not even close to our turn to be seated!"
"No," she admitted, "I didn't call you yet, but the rule is that you have to wait outside here for your name to be called. The entire time. It's the only fair way we knew to do it."
I said, "You didn't properly explain that to me inside. You suggested that only if I were to miss my name being called would you move us to the bottom of the queue. Surely you can make an exception."
With a condescending grin, "Really, I'm sorry. There are dozens of people inside waiting for a table. It just wouldn't be fair to them."
Getting agitated, I replied, "Yes, they're inside where it's warm and they're being served drinks. I'm not asking to have their place in queue. I'm simply asking to keep mine while I sought out warmth and a drink as well."
Like a politician: "Sorry. It's the only fair way we could think to do it."
This is when I went over the edge. "Really? You didn't invent going to a restaurant. Or waiting for a table, for that matter. There's decades of precedent for this problem, and it involves either standing in queue with no list (i.e. L'Entrecote), or it involves a written list and an informal queue (i.e. Polpetto). What's the point of doing both other than to confuse? You're really not willing to make an exception for someone who admittedly messed up?"
With palpable condescension, "I really am sorry. It just wouldn't be fair."
At which point my partner and I walked away and enjoyed a lovely meal at Yalla Yalla.
Having spent my summers at uni working in a bar/restaurant, I have an exceptionally high level of tolerance for poor service. For me, it takes even just a small gesture on behalf of the staff to acknowledge the problem or sort it out and all is forgiven on my end. I was just flabbergasted that a brand new establishment would treat a new customer that way, under those circumstances.
I'm sure the BBQ is amazing. And that an establishment like Pitt Cue can afford to treat customers that way, and still have a mile long queue the next day. And that bums me out a bit.
Sweet lord of all that is good and holy, THIS IS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT. The juiciest pork, the tastiest marinade, the sweetest, vinegariest pickle, the creamiest, crunchiest coleslaw . . . all packed into a fluffy bun . . . GET IN MY MOUTH.
I thought I'd died and gone to heaven when I tried the pulled pork from the van under the Hungerford Bridge. Sadly subsequent trips down to the meaty vehicle of joy were shot dead when it upped sticks and left without so much as a by-your-leave. But thanks to Katie B, I discovered that this nondescript corner of Soho houses none other than the estwhile under-bridge-dweller.
And it is nondescript. Annoyingly so. They've gone for the pretentious nameless look, that whole "we don't even need to put our name outside because we're just that good. If you know who we are and what we do, come in, you trendy motherfunkster. If you don't know, f*** off and don't come back until you're cool". Unfortunately the pork is just so good that I allow them to get away with it.
I doubt I'll try going for dinner (no booking, and only 30 seats? Whatevs) but the takeaway option is out of this world. I had been expecting it bridge-style; i.e. a cardboard box with a pile of pork on top of coleslaw and a hunk of charred bread. Instead, I opened the bag to discover a hamburger-style flip-top box (not polystyrene, thank god). I suspiciously prodded the bun within and eyed the multi-coloured coleslaw with intense skepticism . . . but I needn't have worried. No, it wasn't the same experience, but the pork was every bit as mouthwateringly divine as I remembered and the coleslaw - if humanly possible - was actually better.
Goddamnit, now I'm hungry again.
It's not me, it's you Pitt Cue. I did everything I was supposed to. I ate a light breakfast and cycled around for an hour to build up an appetite. I turned up at high noon to avoid the rumoured lines. I even thought ahead at what I wanted to order to get the juices flowing and reduce my wait for some melt in the mouth 'cue. Did you meet expectations? Not even in the slightest.
I've been trying to try out Pitt Cue for months now. First, I tried to find the truck under Hungerford Bridge but each time they were out: be it for guest appearances at another market or roaming the Midwest to gain inspiration and knowledge for some of the legends of Cue. So I was pleased to learn they've settled down and found a home just off Carnaby Street. Still, I was met with obstacles such as a 1hour wait and learning they don't do takeaway in the evenings. I persevered, and one fine sunny day after some egg hunting I made it there for an early lunch.
As debated on a thread before, there are different types of 'cue as argued by various regions of the US. You have your South Caroline 'cue which tends to have a mustard base and leans towards a drier heat - it's open and honest with bold straight forward flavours. Then there is Kansas 'cue with a rich tomato foundation and equal parts sweet and spicy - the type of cue that seductively beckons you in then blindsides you with a fiery roundhouse into 'cue heaven. Memphis 'cue favors the dry rub over the wet saucy stuff and relies on the juices of the meat to keep it tender and flavourful. And of course Texas 'cue which is big, bold, and juicy and trumpets around like a 10 ton elephant.
Sadly, just like the stereotype of British food, I found Pitt Cue's 'cue to be bland and relatively tasteless. I ordered the pulled pork (sorry JB...it just said pulled pork not pulled piggy). It was unabashedly beautiful to look at with a shiny bun, tender meat, and the bright colours of the pickled red cabbage and slightly sweet dill pickles. I was excited as rarely has the look of a sandwich made me salivate so. It went downhill from there. The meat was tender and melt in your mouth but lacked that full rich flavour you'd expect from something smoked for hours. Add that to the fact it was a bit cold and I start to suspect it might have been sitting in a pan for a bit. The sauce didn't step up and barely made an appearance to begin with. In fact, if it wasn't for the slight tart bite of the veggies, I would be hard pressed to describe any flavour at all.
The highlight was the A&W root beer (they are supposed to have the cream soda too but were all out...how you run out when you just opened 5 minutes ago is beyond me) which I've missed from the US.
Overall, it was a pretty face but if I had to wait longer than 5 minutes (say the hour or so others have told me) I would have been furious. Price wise, it cost me around £9 for the pulled pork and soda so a tad expensive for a relatively small lunch. The decor looked good and given the selection of ryes it was tempting to get a sazerac too but I figured whiskey before moving a flat's worth of stuff was a bad idea.
As it is, I'll be unlikely to try it again and opt for a Mooli's burrito or a Kati Roll wrap if I'm in the area and hungry. Sorry Pitt Cue, maybe it was a bad day, but I've travelled a thousand miles for good 'cue and you just broke my heart.
No doubt about it, the best pulled pork I've had the pleasure of having not just in London but in all of Europe. Delicious, rivalling some of the better pulled pork I've had in the American South over my many years seeking out the most succulent of barbeques.
The slaw for the day was chipotle mustard and peanut topped, which was a little non traditional but paired well with the tender, perfectly marinated meat. You can taste the effort they put into a long slow cook for buttery soft meat, something I've never found anyone in London to do properly. The sauce was delicious as well and the peppery/celeriac taste was punchy without being overpowering.
A+. I can't see myself eating BBQ anywhere else in London after this lunch.
These guys have finally opened up a permanent restaurant in Soho!
The same gorgeous food, just a bit more permanent.
There are only 30 seats and they don't take reservations, the Q gets outta control so I have yet to try it out.
Hopefully the queues will die down a bit once it's been going for a while.
There is nothing that I could possibly say in this review that would come close to the detail and love poured in into the review by KB yelp.co.uk/biz/pitt-cue-… The romanced share between the two is like no other, but I will do my best to convey a little of my heart and the well deserved five stars that was born after my Pitt stop!
On recommendation I order the pulled pork with buttery sprouts, slaw and a chunk or door stopper bread. The pig was melt in your mouth tender! Every hour, minute and second of the slow cooked process was evident. Titillating my tastebuds with every mouthful, I left the earth visited heaven gave JC a high five and came home again!
I have to admit that I have a lot of love for Pitt Cue & some much time for pig. To the expats; this may not be as good as home, but it's a pretty good effort so be nice. To the Brits; you may have to queue for a bit as they don't take reservation , but it's worth it!
OK, so it is possible to get great BBQ in London. Pitt Cue recently opened in Soho and boy is the word out on this place. Try a 1.5 hour wait for a spot to eat at the bar on a Monday night. Was it worth it you ask....oh, most definitley. Probably the most authentic tasting bbq food you can get in the entire British Isles. Excellent, and I do mean excellent pulled pork...tender smoky melt in your mouth goodness. I also had the St Louis ribs and they were also ridiculously tasty.
Menu is simple...4 or 5 meats to choose from (they ran out of the beef ribs which looked very very good) along with a collection of sides (spicy slaw, seared cabbage, etc). Prices are good---most in the 10-12 pound range, add 6 pounds for a 2nd meat (highly advised).
This place is tiny...the dining room can't even seat more than 20 people. But Pitt Cue does have a whisky tasting "staging" area...aka an upstairs bar that makes a mean whisky sour. 1.5 hours of waiting though means quite a few whisky sours...so be prepared.
So this is what happened to the three little pigs.
I do not go out of my way to eat BBQ food. Neither do I eat much pork (sausages, bacon, ham and gammon don't count OK). But with a Yelp event round the corner I thought I should try it out.
We arrived just after 6pm on a Thursday. No (pitt) queue, no one in the bar and no tables to be seen - they are all hiding downstairs in the pit (t cue). I had to check the door to make sure we'd come to the right place.
Downstairs is a cosy little space which can't seat more than about 15. We got the last table for 2 and ordered our meat and sides. I have to say the pulled pork was very good and tasty. Two guys next to us were on a tequila mission (15 shots each during our 40 mins stay) and spilled one shot over my friend. Hmmm.
By the time we left, just before 7pm the upstairs bar was properly heaving and people were eating along the sides of the little room and preventing us from exiting. We made it through the throngs and got out.
It is good and not queuing made it even better. So get there early because by 7pm you may not even be able to get through the door.
Purveyors of allegedly the finest BBQ in London (not a great boast given the competition), Pitt Cue Co has built up similar levels of rabid support. Following a period slumming it Meatwagon style in a silver trailer on the Southbank, they've moved into a (slightly) more permanent space in the middle of Soho. Even at 6.30 on a Monday evening the queue is out of the door and round the corner for one of the 30 spaces in the tiny two-floor space. Luckily I'd sent Miss Jones on ahead to bag a spot on the waitlist.
The menu is perfunctory. Two meats, two ribs and a daily special with a few sides on one page, wines, cocktails and beers on the other page. Hipster credentials are established with the imported Pabst Blue Ribbon; PBR is gassily ubiquitous in Lower East Side and Williamsburg skinny-jeaned hangouts, and so very appropriate here given the early adopter clientele. The cocktail getting the airtime is the Pickleback, a shot of bourbon and pickle juice - better than it sounds and enough to give any junior advertising executive a few hairs on their chest...
Onto the meat. They really do know what they're doing here. Short rib of rich, aged, buttery Dexter and a half portion of exemplary moist pulled pork came with pickles and garlicky greens. Miss Jones took in the heavily sauced St Louis pork ribs and a large portion of beef brisket, slow cooked and sliced in thin slivers. Certainly the best BBQ I've had in London; though with the competition consisting of Sir Jamie's pricey and off the mark Barbecoa, the execrable Sticky Fingers and mid market hangover cure Bodeans, they didn't have to do much.
Certainly a deeply satisfying meal, we waddled out 90 minutes later, unrushed by the splendid staff. Stifling a meaty belch as we walked past the crowds waiting for their turn I couldn't help but think that, with the experience they were going to have, over an hour stood in the cold might be bearable again.
Beef ribs were juicy, relatively lean, and absolutely delicious. The accompanying chipotle slaw was equally satisfying. The meat had a nice pink smoke ring and a soft wood taste -- not overdone like some Texas style BBQ.
The brisket was not great at all. A brisket is made up of two pieces; the fat end (the point) and the lean end (the flat). The fat end was like 95% fat with only a few specks of meat dispersed throughout, and the flat end was a bit dry.
The wings were a disaster -- they were over-sauced with a thick tomatoey concoction that lacked heat (they were supposed to be hotwings), and way messy and just gross. Not a buffalo style wing (vinegary hot sauce mixed w butter) which is fine, but if you're gonna branch out make sure the innovative sauce isn't disgusting.
I liked the marrow mash, though I only had 2 bites -- my wife said they were a bit rich and made her feel a bit sick (and she is a butter queen; just last night we had twice baked potatoes filled with cream and butter and goodness).
The service was great, as was the beer (Whatever Ale). My biggest problem was that the room itself is so cramped that you feel inclined to rush through your food to get out. We arrived at 5:45, seated at 6:00, beer came by 6:02, and our meal arrived by 6:08, and we were out of there by 6:30ish? Not really an enjoyable meal-out.
Anyhow -- all of the above COULD be moot if you get food to go. If I had just bought beef ribs with a side of slaw I'd have given them a 5 star as the best BBQ in London.
Not a venue for claustrophobes. Or vegetarians.
The queue out the door and the no-space-to-raise-your-drink-to-your-mouth bar area almost made me turn around and hop back on my bike. But my dutiful wife had got there ahead of me and put our names down at the top of the ever-growing list. Good wife.
Thus I am able to confirm the food is every bit as great as Yelpers are making out. We ordered a selection of ribs and brisket. All were superb and substantial. The sides were fantastic too - crunchy pickles and 'slaw, with some wicked mashed potato. All washed down with delicious, medicinal root beer.
It's a tad on the expensive side. But you get what you pay for. And this kind of scran is in short supply this side of the Atlantic.
After two visits, here are the highlights:
While waiting in line, you can order snacks once you are inside. The "rib ends" are sensational. The beef ends are covered in an excellent, tangy BBQ sauce. The pork ends are in a less messy, extra hot sauce. Also available during the wait are fried, pickled mushrooms. I thought they would have been better if they'd not been pickled....
As far as the mains go, the pulled pork buns shine above the rest. Super soft, stringy, shredded pork in above mentioned tangy BBQ sauce with pickles under a light and airy bun.... YUM!
The beef ribs were smaller and better than their swine brethren.
Sides: beans were a bit too runny; slaw was a winner.
OMG- just as all the reviews/ foodies/ pork lovers have stated before me- this place is YUM! The menu is minimal, but in a way that you know that what they serve up is quality quality quality! Perfectly seasoned, melt in the mouth pulled pork in a bun, garnished with red cabbage and picked cucumber. I tried two of the sides- high grade smokey baked beans with ham hock and bone marrow mash. Both were gorgeous, perfect accompaniments to the pulled pork bun. Anyway I don't need to go on and on about how great this place is because everybody knows already!
My best piece of advice would be go and have lunch at midday. There won't be a queue and you'll be seated. Take aways are also a great idea, but again go at midday! I've walked past Pitt Cue countless times when there has been a queue around the corner and have been sadly disappointed to not have my fix of BBQ style pork. So listen up, have an early breakfast and go early!
Pitt Cue Co is pretty damn good. But I think my fellow Americans who rave about it being just as good as the 'Q back in the states have been abroad too long. It's good, no doubt. But it's not *that* good.
Besides, the portions really don't justify the cost. You can wolf down an entire pulled pork sandwich and not feel satisfied; exactly the opposite feeling BBQ should give you!
I think they should rename it Pitt Queue. I tried to get in a couple weeks ago by showing up at 7:45pm, waiting outside on a queue, and then getting the bad news that they wouldn't be able to feed us as the kitchen takes last orders at 10pm.
So the persistent bugger that I am I decided to go for lunch. 1pm on a Thursday. Had to wait--although this time in the bar. It was a 20 minute wait and we ended up eating at the bar. It is hard to imagine what a 20 seat restaurant (downstairs) look like--but let's just say that I've seen bathrooms in studio apartments that are bigger than the downstairs seating.
So had to wait a while for my pork bun to be served, but it was HEAVEN. I lived in Austin, Texas and I have to say this was DAMN GOOD BBQ. Moist, juicy, flavorful and great sauce. Loved the slaw with chipotle.
Could have done without the pickles upsell and the service was a bit off--but 5+ stars for the pulled pork. And the desserts looked fantastic, although I was too full from the pork bun and beer.
BBQ has arrived. Hallelujah!
got there early on a Friday, got straight in and the four of us ordered up drinks and food with decent service. food came out quick, but didn't seem rushed, and looked
great. the taste was...very very good for London based American food. pulled pork was succulent and aromatic, sausage was delicately spicy and the bone marrow mash...wow, impressive!
in America this joint would get 4 stars, here it deserves 5!
update: been back a couple times and its still good. pork bun is solid.
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