Allo! I have returned from Idyllic Southern Italy and friendly (almost hermetically sealed) Germany with a hunger for the distinctly American tradition of Barbecue. Virginia, North Carolina, Kansas City or Memphis barbecue has always held a special place in my um…heart. I never pass an older gentleman with a pig cooker on the side of a country road. My better half knows to ease off the road, find some cash and get ready to eat! The first mention of a “Barbecue” was by George Washington in 1769 in Alexandria, VA so I knew that my three “date” barbecue crawl would uncover at least one pit barbecue prince.
Article by Nadira Serenity Tribal
Photography by Joshua Fitzwater
Feature photo above- Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich by My Mama’s Kitchen
Chow 5103 Colley Ave, Norfolk A trendy Hipster restaurant on the grittier end of Colley Avenue in Norfolk, it has a lovely, casual covered outdoor patio and a sweet engaging staff. I ordered the South Carolina BBQ sandwich and the Macaroni Salad, but first, of course, I will discuss the Barbecue. The sandwich was South Carolina pulled pork, served on a toasted ciabatta roll. This sandwich comes with the coleslaw as a condiment. Now that we got the components out of the way let’s get to the taste. This sandwich was like the per- fect one night stand: tender, nice balance of tangy and sweet with enough crispness from the slaw to make it interesting. The macaroni salad was delicious with a perfect melding of mayo and spice. Definitely leaving my real phone number and making another date.
My Mama’s Kitchen 7943 Shore Dr, Norfolk www.facebook.com/MyMamasKitchen
This is a true hole in the wall BBQ joint. Off of Shore Drive and Little Creek, it’s a convered house. The staff is small. The owner is charismatic and full of deserving pride for this stellar rib joint. I ordered the pulled pork sandwich. It took awhile to appear but was worth the wait. It was served atop of traditional thick pieces of white bread and adorned with thick cuts of decadent bacon. This sandwich is in a category all it’s own. Chow is a stellar hipster cool version of BBQ and Whitner’s is good BBQ for the masses. My Mama’s kitchen is neither, it’s like that guy your friend knows who really knows BBQ and sometimes; out of the goodness of his heart invites everyone over for a BBQ. All you bring is sides, he cooks all the meat. He starts the day before and thru the night he has a watchful eye over his mesquite smoker and as the next day wears into evening the joy of giving the perfect BBQ to friends and loved ones is the gleam in his eye. That is My Mama’s Kitchen BBQ, home cooked, smokey, and tender. If this were a date, this is the down to earth guy you bring home to Mama. While I didn’t have to kiss any frogs to meet my prince, it was nice to see the variety of BBQ options in the 757. From the date night to the weeknight there’s something for everyone here. As I plan to return to Europe in the fall I look forward to putting more places in your local gastro map.
Below South Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich by Chow
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