Don't want to queue for 2 hours? Go for lunch! Pitt Cue lives up to the hype.
Pitt Cue Co is one of London’s ‘hype’ restaurants, no reservations and 2+ hour queues, American BBQ ‘man-food’ that’s all the rage right now. But time your visit right and you’ll find a simple, but delicious menu, relaxed atmosphere and better value than you might think.
Pitt Cue Co has been top of my foodie must-try list, consistently mentioned in rave reviews and Urbanspoon’s ‘talk of the town’ top ten. Hours of queuing had never appealed to me, especially with so many other good restaurants in Soho, but Gary and I took advantage of our freelance working status to visit on a Friday lunchtime.
We arrived pretty soon after doors opening, so only had a small wait at the bar, where you can choose from a big range of craft beers, bourbons and whiskys. We were shown to our table downstairs, an area which is cosy but not overly cramped, and seats 20-ish people so you start to understand why the long queues.
The menu was a simple choice of ‘Meats’, which came with house coleslaw and pickle, and an additional larger ‘Side’ – all traditional BBQ sides that Pitt Cue Co had given their own twist. I decided to forgo the Pulled Pork (normally one of my go-to dishes) and try one of the specials, the Beef Brisket, recommended by the waitress as it had been slow-cooked in juices and fat for 10 hours (!!), plus Green Chilli Coleslaw as my side. Gary ordered Beef Ribs, with Bone Marrow Mash as his side, and we got an additional serving of Crumbed Pork Cheeks.
When the meals initially came out, I’ll admit I thought the portion size was small, especially as Gary’s ribs dwarfed my brisket serving. But taking one bite of the brisket, I’d realised it was the perfect choice. The meat was tender and beautifully flavoured, and waitress had been spot-on with her description of ‘melt-in-your-mouth’. The Green Chilli Coleslaw was light and crisp, with slices of fresh radish, fresh chives, a perfect accompaniment against the richness of the beef.
The Beef Ribs I thought were a bit of a disappointment, as they were quite dry and chewy, with not a lot of meat on the bones, the flavour was ok. Maybe I’m just not used to having beef ribs, as I prefer pork which tends to be juicier and more tender. The Bone Marrow Mash came in a cute lidded jar and was rich and creamy, something I would order next time. The Crumbed Pork Cheeks came in a light tangy, bbq-tasting sauce, simliar to like you would get with Japanese crumbed pork. They were flavoursome and tender, although I was left secretly wondering if we should have tried the pulled pork side instead.
Pitt Cue Co does BBQ and it does it really well. Given we didn’t have to wait 3 hours, I’d say it’s definitely worth visiting for a hearty lunch or early dinner. Really good dishes, and a mix-and-match menu means you can try a full range of flavours, most of which are worth the London food scene hype.
Additional images by Paul Winch-Furness www.paulwf.co.uk © Pitt Cue Co.