Baseball season is in full swing and the biggest news is from the concession stand. Since Dillard’s BBQ, long-time Bulls game concessionaire, met its demise (well, mostly) in the offseason, my hometown Durham Bulls have brought in some new ‘cue. Does the BBQ come from long-time Durham Bullock’s? Nope, they are only AA BBQ. Relative newcomer Backyard BBQ Pit? No again. The Bulls have made the barbecue equivalent of signing a big name, albeit overhyped, free agent. “Now introducing, for your hometown Durham Bulls, our new barbecue vendor: The Pit restaurant from Raleigh, North Carolina!” (Of course, soon enough The Pit will be from Durham too.)
I must say, at $6 for a sandwich The Pit’s ballpark barbecue is annoyingly overpriced like all ballpark concessions, but the ‘cue is a significant upgrade from Dillard’s. To put it in baseball terms, the Dillard’s barbecue was like veteran pitcher Jamie Moyer: okay for five or six innings but not too special and likely to give you some heartburn before the game ended. The Pit ain’t exactly Phillies ace Roy Halladay–maybe it’s Cole HAMels?–but it’s a big step up from Moyer: wood-cooked, good texture and generally capable of filling mealtime needs well into the late innings. (For the record, I’m not a Phillies fan and I’m not sure why I am using a convoluted Phils-centric analogy… deal with it.)
A picture of my too small, overpriced but fairly tasty The Pit barbecue sandwich is above. Note the crappy, from-a-plastic-container coleslaw, which is unforgivable. Still, better than an shriveled hot dog and a more than adequate representation of North Carolina barbecue; something we can be comfortable with the many out of town visitors to Bulls’ games tasting if it happens to be their first exposure to North Carolina barbecue.
Take me out to the DBAP,
Take me out with the crowd/
Buy me some peanuts and bar-b-q,
I’ll eat ’em both ’cause I’m the BBQ Jew/
Let me root, root, root for the D-Bulls,
If they don’t win it’s a shame/
For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out,
At the old ball game!