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Back Yard BBQ

Posted by CDB 20 May 2009 24 Comments

I was appalled to read we hadn’t yet been to Back Yard BBQ (5122 NC 55).  And now with Man v Food coming by, I needed no further persuasion.

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I went at an odd time of day, just missing lunch, so the price jump hurt a little but the pain was soon quelled by one hefty plate.  All in all, it was about $13.  So, still not bad, especially since I saved nearly half the meat for later.

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Here they play a fun game called Hide the Ribs.  Neatly packaged above are hush puppies, collards, fried cabbage, and pulled pork.  All of which were good.  I’d place the hush puppies among the better ones I’ve had in the area, even though they were a tad sweet.  The collards were quite nice and had chunks of meat mingling with the greens.  The woman who served me said she had never heard of fried cabbage before she started working there.  She also said it was real good.  I was intrigued by them as well, and I agree with her.  Whatever it means to fry cabbage (in a pan, I suppose), it is the preferred method.  Now, the pork was pulled like crazy.  So much so that it started to loose texture.  I also thought it a little dry, but I probably just didn’t grab enough sauce.  And I don’t take lightly the awkward hour that I showed up.  Most of this stuff was probably hanging around since the peak of lunch and lost some of its luster, though at the time I hardly noticed.

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The ribs were very good.  The smokey meat was nicely complemented with a sweet sauce.  The only thing that could have made it knock my socks off would be some added spice.

I know what I’m about to say is BBQ sin and/or hubris, but I started putting a little of that sweet, tomato based sauce on the pulled pork with the spicy vinegar business on it…it took me there.  Which lead me to think that maybe this whole East-West thing is really overrated, like it was with rap in the 90s.

Lastly, there was one more thing the kind woman at the counter talked me into, a pineapple lemonade.  It really hit the spot on a hot day.  It was pretty big, so I saved half of it in the freezer.  I thawed it in a blender with a little somethin somethin the next hot day–because nothing is sacred, not if its tasty.

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Also of note: they have brisket on Fridays and Saturdays.  Considering their work on the ribs, I would think it would be awesome.

Backyard Barbeque Pit on Urbanspoon

24 Comments »

  • Patrick Morrison said:

    Thanks for this. I live right around the corner and have been meaning to try this place.

    Question…my wife doesnt eat meat. Do their veggies all come cooked in some kind of meat? Having moved here from California we’ve found we have to ask with just about everything. Kind of drag to go to a restaurant and find they’ve porked everything up

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  • Robust McManlyPants said:

    I love this place. For my money, they’re the best BBQ going right now. I stopped in one evening a few months back as they were packing up to go out of town on a catering gig. Rather than shoo me away, they told me they had just finished smoking the meat they were going to take with them and gave me a pint of that instead of the meat they’d had all day. It was bliss. I wanted to climb into their van and go with them.

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  • Lisa B said:

    Where is this place?

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  • georg said:

    On 55, just below 54 (general vicinity of Papa Mojo’s, Sarah’s Empanadas, etc)

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  • Carpe Durham/Reasonably Prudent Person said:

    Oops. I updated the post with the location. Thanks!

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  • Britt said:

    Really? I guess I should try it again. Backyard has always been at least 3rd on my RTP BBQ list behind Smokey’s Shack, and Danny’s. Is their slaw still green and very very finely minced?

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  • Robust McManlyPants said:

    I would say the sides are better at Smokey’s but that the meat is better at Backyard BBQ. Splitting hairs, I know.

    I’m afraid the only time I’ve had food from Danny’s it was, somewhat inexplicably, fried chicken so I don’t have them in my personal rankings.

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  • judas_escargot said:

    A real hassle for sure. But to be fair, they did name the establishment “Backyard BBQ Pit”

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  • Carpe Durham/Reasonably Prudent Person said:

    Slaw is still green and finely minced. I liked it.

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  • Carpe Durham/Reasonably Prudent Person said:

    We ate here tonight. I gotta say, I agree, this is one of the best places in Durham. The cue was very solid, and the ribs were outstanding. I think they are the best ribs I have had in Durham.

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  • Britt said:

    ok, just went back to BackYard BBQ for lunch, had a pulled pork sandwich + slaw, brunswick stew, baked beans, and 2 ribs.

    The bbq was fine, but it lacked the wonderful texture and smokiness of Smokey’s. The slaw worked on the sandwich much better than as a side, but I prefer a shredded slaw in general to a diced slaw. Smokey’s pulled pork has a more varied texture, with lots of tasty bark mixed in, Backyard’s was more uniform, and finely shredded/chopped.

    The baked beans were tasty if plain, nice and sweet.

    The ribs were great, definitely better than the ribs at Smokey’s which I have found to be very hit or miss. I though BackYard BBQs ribs were a bit over cooked, they were melt in your mouth done, the bones just fell out of the meat. The flavor was great, the pork flavors mixed nicely with the sauce, which was copious.

    I won’t say they’re the best ribs, as I prefer a drier rib thats a bit less done, but seeing as RedBones (http://www.redbones.com/) is wicked far away, I will call these the best ribs in RTP.

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  • marion said:

    kind of a drag to have california smugness
    here in nc. you will never be happy here.
    Pleeeeease go home.

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  • Gary said:

    That was harsh, marion. It’s just a cultural adjustment. Plenty of Southerners travel outside the region and complain about the food too. And there are lots of “happy” vegetarians in NC.

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  • Patrick Morrison said:

    Nice. I grew up here, so I am home. What a jackass thing to say.

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  • burgeoningfoodie said:

    Smokeys and Danny’s are a disgrace to bbq joints as far as I can tell having been to both when working in the triangle. I’ve not been to Backyard (at either location) but hear good things.

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  • CJK said:

    Okay, what am I missing about this place? I ate there a few months ago and although the food was tastey, it was very, very greasy. I had the ribs which were just laying in a container swimming in grease. Needless to say my digestive system cranked it out pretty fast that night. Also, one other thing…has anyone else noticed how slippery the floor is in there? It’s like the grease is all over the floor. In the ladies bathroom it was even worse and I thought for sure I’d end up killing myself slipping on the floor in the stall and hitting my head on the toilet. Since then I refer to Backyard BBQ as “Slippery’s BBQ” A nice ad line for them would be, “Come on down to Slippery’s BBQ. You’ll slide on in and slide on it (including the food later!)!

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  • CJK said:

    I meant:

    A nice ad line for them would be, “Come on down to Slippery’s BBQ. You’ll slide on in and slide on out (including the food later!)!

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  • CJK said:

    What I meant to say was:

    A nice ad line for them would be, “Come on down to Slippery’s BBQ. You’ll slide on in and slide on out (including the food later!)!

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  • White Hackle said:

    I doubt Backyard BBQ vegetables are vegetarian friendly, as it should be. The first rule of Southern Cooking is pork fat goes everywhere. Keep driving down 54.

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  • White Hackle said:

    …and Backyard BBQ doesn’t even belong in the same sentence, let alone list, as Danny’s. The food at Backyard is sublime and authentic. The candied yams are 100-mile items.

    As for the California smugness, here’s one native Californian who recognizes good Southron food – make mine with extra fatback, please. Discussing vegetarianism in the context of Q-joints is just ridiculous. There’s a picture of a pig on the front of the place for a reason.

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  • rockyhillgal said:

    Another native Californian here who loves the Backyard BBQ Pit! Rockyhillguy and I discovered the Backyard BBQ pit in March 2008 and have been singing its praises ever since. Nothing about its appearance prepares you for the quality of the food. The Backyard BBQ Pit isn’t fancy, but it is clean and welcoming. After having worked our way through Backyard BBQ Pit’s BBQ menu, we’re now starting on its seafood. We love their fried shrimp!

    Backyard BBQ Pit lovers might be interested to know that it offers deep-fried turkeys for Thanksgiving, if you pre-order for pick up on the Wednesday before. You can add any of the sides to your order to create your own catered, Thanksgiving package. We’re doing it this year and couldn’t be happier with the service so far or price.

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    rockyhillgal replies on November 30th, 2009 at 8:51 am:

    We ended up getting a BBQ’d turkey from Backyard BBQ Pit for Thanksgiving. It was highly seasoned and with the delicious, smoky flavor it was easily the most delicious Thanksgiving turkey I or my guests had ever eaten.

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  • Allison said:

    You are not gonna believe this one. I hardly believe it myself. I have had the singularly WORSE experience on my fifth time at Backyard BBQ Pit. Until today, I would have considered it some of the best BBQ anywhere. Now, it’s left a BAD taste in my mouth. Allow me to share my story.

    If this were a rating system, I’d give them: Zero stars for lack of social grace, let alone any semblance of customer service. Negative ten (10) stars for making patrons feel like the victims of blatant RACISM.

    NEVER going back to that place. EVER. In fact, I’m now going out of my way to AVOID the place and to put them on blast. Not a good thing. They have messed with the WRONG mother.

    After planning to take my son there for his first time, we had a royally AWFUL experience this afternoon. And we didn’t even have a chance to place an order!! While standing at the counter squinting up at the menu (he’d left his glasses home), standing there minding his own business, my son was told by BIG PAULIE to “TAKE YOUR HANDS OUT OF YOUR POCKETS and to BACK AWAY FROM THE COUNTER–THE MENU’S OVER THERE.” seriously? SERIOUSLY??!!

    WHAT?!??!?
    Are you F—ing kidding me?!?

    I doubt white customers will have any reference point on which to appreciate the indignity of this encounter, or the depth of my reaction to it, but I’m going to take a stab at explaining it. Here are my issues with Backyard BBQ Pit and it’s owner (and employee role model), BIG PAULIE, who committed the heinous act:

    1. You treated MY SON like a criminal, not a customer. Maybe you have spent time in lock-down, but not everyone you encounter, and NOT EVERY BLACK MAN has. He’s actually a college student. Try giving your customers the benefit of the doubt. Feel me?

    2. As I told BIG PAULIE, last I checked, customers are entitled to stand/walk/skip/whistle with their hands in said pockets without fear of reprisal. What is your PROBLEM? Are you really that jaded?

    3. Even after I approached BIG PAULIE to have him explain his treating my son like a common criminal and an unwanted customer for attempting to place an order, he stood his ground. YOU STOOD YOUR GROUND. Prideful ignorance. I guess you’re doing SO WELL that you can afford to insult people and send them away with SERIOUS ATTITUDES. Seriously?

    4. The fact of the matter is really that my son and I were subjected to black-on-black racism. You don’t do anything to my son without doing it TO ME. There is NO DOUBT in my mind that if we were WHITE, this would not have occurred. I challenge BIG PAULIE to share feedback from ANY WHITE PATRONS who were asked to take their hands out of their pockets. By all means, please, tell me I’m wrong. I just don’t think those of you who have been maligned in a similar way actually exist.

    5. I hope the reason THE PIT is closed on Sunday has nothing to do with religion. That would be way too ironic and hypocritical.

    6. I am going to tweet and facebook and blog. And so is my son. And so are our friends. And so on. STARTING NOW.

    7. It doesn’t matter how GOOD your food is. If the customer service at Backyard BBQ Pit turns peoples’ stomachs, you’re a LOSER. Your slip is showing.

    8. You are THE PITS and should be ashamed of yourself, BIG PAULIE. Big on pig-headedness, big on self-hatred, big on racism from all outward appearances. Small on sense. PIT-Y.

    9. Never is a LONG TIME. And no, I am not overreacting.

    10. Anyone who is as offended by this encounter should demonstrate in kind and never patronize this establishment again. Salivate elsewhere and spend your money where people are not clueless about how to treat their fellow human beings.

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    judas_escargot replies on September 18th, 2011 at 9:02 am:

    4. The fact of the matter is really that my son and I were subjected to black-on-black racism.

    Heh wait, what? Can someone explain “black-on-black racism” to me? Is it like a dark black vs high yellow kind of thing? Or is this a suggestion that Big Paulie is an Uncle Tom, etc?

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