Mary’s Pit Bar-B-Que [4/5]
4 (80%) 1 vote

Mary's Pitt BBQ
I received a reader request from Doug for a review of Mary’s Pit Bar-B-Que about the time the tornadoes whipped through town. With a schedule full of one thing after another, the hubby and I finally seized upon a free Saturday and headed out to Gurley to try the ribs and chicken he had raved about. The drive out was a little tricky as we went sailing by our turnoff (Ryland Pike) without realizing it. If you aren’t familiar with the area, spend a little time with a map or plan on using your GPS. Once we managed to get pointed in the right direction, we found it without too much trouble.

The small building looks like something straight out of a movie. A hand lettered sign hangs on the front of the building while the sign facing the road is topped with the “Enjoy Coca-Cola” slogan. We stepped inside to find a short eat-in counter with small barstools. At the far end of the counter was a small window into the kitchen where we placed our order and paid.

I selected a rib plate, which, since they were out of the country style ribs, I upgraded to a rack of ribs. The hubby opted for a chicken stuffed potato. During a short wait for our meal we amused ourselves by reading the scrawled messages which wrapped around the order window and up onto the ceiling.

We decided to sit outside at one of several picnic tables by a small stream. Unfortunately, this being June in Alabama, we were joined by a couple of ants and a few tenacious flies. If bugs bother you, plan to eat indoors or take it to go.

Mary's Pitt BBQ
My rack of ribs came with pre-set sides–potato salad, baked beans, coleslaw, and two yeast rolls. It was enough food that I made two meals of it. The potato salad was alarmingly yellow but surprisingly tasty. The yellow was due not to a mustard overdose, as I had feared, but to eggs which lent a subtle flavor and contrasted nicely with the sweet pickles sprinkled throughout. The potatoes were slightly undercooked which provided a nice crunch.

The baked beans were of the sweet, brown sugar style. This is a style of baked bean I enjoy to begin with and they executed it very cleanly. The beans stayed firm and the sauce had a sweet tang. The coleslaw was a simple vinegar based slaw which was primarily, if not only, a mix of vinegar and cabbage. The cabbage was fresh, crunchy, and crisp with a presence that cabbage rarely has in coleslaw. The yeast rolls were thick and chewy, brushed with melted butter and infused with a lovely yeast-y flavor.

The ribs were falling off the bone tender with a tougher “skin” created by the barbeque sauce. The sauce had a bit of tartness and gave the meat a nice punch. There was enough coverage that every bite had both sauce and meat. My only complaint was that they left the brisket portion on the ribs which meant that while half the rack was meaty and easy to eat, the other was riddled with tiny pieces of cartilage which were nearly impossible to eat around.

The hubby greatly enjoyed his chicken stuffed potato (shown at the top of the post), the potato came stuffed only with meat and cheddar cheese, greatly upping the typical meat to potato ratio. Sour cream and white sauce were provided for him to add to taste, but there was no butter in sight–something he was perfectly happy about but I would have missed. He greatly enjoyed the lean chicken.

We enjoyed eating at Mary’s. The food is straightforward and well executed with an unparalleled nostalgic feel. We will absolutely be back, but next time? I’m bringing some wet wipes. As with all good ribs, there was no neat way to eat these.

Total for the meal: $18.76 (includes a rack of ribs, stuffed potato, and two drinks)

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