Fire Pit BBQ Opens in Wake Forest

If a friend had told me about a new BBQ joint in Wake Forest that cooks over wood coals and is run by Keith Allen’s next door neighbor, I’d have replied one of two ways:  “Hmm, that is a weird dream” or “Have you been drinking again?”  But when I read about such a restaurant in the News & Observer recently, I took it more seriously.

Evidently, there really is a new barbecue joint in Wake Forest that cooks with hickory and oak (gas-free, thank you very much).  And it really is run by a neighbor of legendary pitmaster Keith Allen of Chapel Hill’s Allen & Son, which is one of the best ‘cue spots on the planet.  I’m not sure that photosynthesis works with pitmasters, so I can’t figure out if Keith Allen’s special BBQ sunshine will help grow a neighbor into a great pitman, but I’m willing to test that theory.  I’ll be headed to Fire Pit BBQ soon, and I hope you do the same.

Got Wood?

I received an email from a BBQJew.com reader with the following problem. I’m hoping someone out there in the Internets can provide some specific advice. If you’d rather not share the full contact info here, drop me a line at BBQJew at gmail.com and I’ll pass it along.

“Greetings,

We are planning to resurrect a very old brick cookpit on our property.  Would you be able to share a source for wood in the general Raleigh area?  We live in Wake Forest. Thanks for any info. you may have.  : )

 Sincerely, Diane
P.S.  I found you by way of a search I’d describe as nearly exhaustive!”
Diane’s exhaustive search probably would have been more productive had in been focused on Craigslist, the yellow pages, or even wandering around the streets of Wake Forest rather than trying to find a BBQ-eating fool like me.  But I appreciate her effort and want to help her out. Anybody out there know of good sources of cooking wood in the Raleigh area. Though she doesn’t specify, I assume Diane would prefer hickory but oak may do too.

There is plenty of wood at Grady's in Dudley...

Rumor Mill: Giorgios Bakatsias Entering the BBQ Business?

Recently I received an anonymous tip from a source I will refer to as “Deep Snout.”  Deep Snout reports that serial upscale dining entrepreneur Giorgios Bakatsias–affiliated with over 30 restaurants and similar enterprises during his long career, including several high profile places in Durham past and present–is about the enter the world of barbecue. 

Giorgios has long been a polarizing figure in the Triangle-area dining scene, hailed by some for helping popularize fine dining in places like Durham and dismissed by others who are less than impressed by his culinary credentials. Regardless of your opinion of his restaurants, Giorgios opening a barbecue place is big news.  It is also fairly hard to imagine given his past forays into French food, pan-Asian cuisine, and many other Internationally-inspired menus. I suppose this is a sign that barbecue is becoming more cosmopolitan, for better or worse, or that Giorgos has run out of other countries whose food he likes. 

Another source (Deeper Snout? Trotter?) told me Giorgios has spent a small fortune on a smoker for the new restaurant and is installing a chef from the former Durham institution George’s Garage at the helm; whether this chef has ever worked in the barbecue world is unclear. 

Stay tuned, I am sure there is more to this story…


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