YinzBurgh BBQ's success comes from smoke and sauce | On The Side | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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YinzBurgh BBQ's success comes from smoke and sauce

Despite the Pittsburgh moniker, this is "Southern-style smoke cuisine"

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Richard Coursey, proprietor at YinzBurgh BBQ, abides by three maxims: Barbeque is a cuisine; barbecue sauce is a condiment; and the love is in the rub. Judge for yourself at his Bloomfield venue, which opened in February. (It's mostly set up for take-out, with a couple of tables.) While your order is prepared, the affable Georgia native is eager to talk sauce, smoke and soda pop. 

"Sauce goes on the side," Coursey emphasizes, dismissing pre-slathered meats. For first-timers, he keeps squeezy bottles of his five house-made sauces at the counter, and will talk customers through teaspoon samples. They include: a vinegar-based Carolina-style sauce, and lively and extra-spicy versions of a tomato-based sauce and a honey-mustard.

The menu offers a standard variety of smoked meats — ribs, pulled pork, chicken and brisket — but also tofu (available in a salad, wrap or in a "biggie"-sized block). The sides are also traditional Southern add-ons — mac-and-cheese, greens, black-eyed peas and coleslaw. 

But contrary to the down-home impulse to flavor everything with some piece of the pig, the peas and greens are vegan. Fear not, meat-heads: Both were superb. The greens were brightened considerably with vinegar, and the creamy peas were juiced with tomatoes, bits of greens and pepper.

With my ribs and pulled pork, I used the vinegar sauce and the hot honey-mustard, with different but both pleasing results. But even after all the food was gone, I was still sampling the honey-mustard sauce. It's a winner.

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