I remember when I first got to the Triangle area. There were a lot of restaurants that I seeked out based upon recommendations but as the food scene took off, those old-school classics fell by the wayside. One spot I had enjoyed years ago was the Backyard BBQ Pit. Before the Pit opened up, it was one of the faves in the area along with Bullocks, Q Shack and of course, Allen and Son! But with some time on my hand, I decided it was time for a re-visit. And yeah, some barbeque smothered ribs…
If you’ve never been to the Backyard BBQ Pit, let’s just say it’s a down-home que experience. Small white building with faded signage up front. And inside? It hasn’t changed a bit since my last visit years ago! Formica counters and tables, old-school steam buffet in back. White walls scribbled with customer quotes and signatures, hah! My memory isn’t as good as it used to be but it seems to have stood still in time. Which is exactly what an old-school que shack is about. Up front I order up the rib plate and a barbeque sandwich since I’m not sure when I’ll get back next. Friend goes with the straight que plate and I’ll be sharing of course.
We grab some plastic cutlery up front and some chilled BBQ sauce squeeze containers and plop down with our food. It’s all served in styrofoam and foil and can be eaten in or out. My rib plate looks interesting. Three slathered bones with a nice gooey side of mac n cheese and some nicely fried hush-puppies. I dig into the ribs first which are pretty fatty (= tasty to me) and worth the sloppy effort. What surprises me out of the meal is the mac n cheese which is nicely tender, gooey and cheesy, very good! And the hushpuppies at Backyard BBQ Pit are nearly cake-like with fine-ground meal and well done. The only thing off in my meal was the barbeque. It was served luke-warm and I mentioned it during the meal. Two hours later I wasn’t feeling that good and have a hunch it was the que. I finished up my leftovers the next day, skipping the que and there were no issues.
So I was really glad to get back to this Triangle classic, the Backyard BBQ Pit. Popular with local construction workers in the area, it’s easy to understand why. Hearty smoked meats, stomach-warming sides and crispy hushpuppies always hit the spot for me. If you’re willing to appreciate the humble dining space and environs, you’ll really appreciate this family-run joint. Outside of the slight miss on the barbeque sandwich which I have to believe was an anomaly, I’d definitely recommend this place. Just keep your steam trays hotter, Backyard BBQ Pit and everything will be good.
5122 NC Hwy 55
Durham, NC 27713