Thursday, August 18, 2005

Into The Pit With You!

Someway, somehow, I've been coming down to Baltimore for 4+ years and yesterday was my first taste of Pit Beef, the slow-cooked, BBQ-ed beef that gets thinly sliced (like roast beef) and piled high on a bun or white bread.

And if you're going to have your first time, why not make it with the best? While visiting a client down on Route 40 (Pulaski Highway) just outside the city limits we decided to head out and grab a bite to eat. Initially I suggested Pastore's, an excellent Italian deli and hoagie joint that I've raved about before.

When my client suggested getting some pit beef at a favorite spot of his I had to sheepishly admit that I'd never tried it. His head almost flew off as he snapped around and stared at me with wide eyes and slacked jaw.

And so, that's how we ended up at Chaps (5801 Pulaski Highway, 410-483-2379), which sits across the street from an adult video outlet (Open 24 Hours! Open to the Public!) and in the parking lot of one of the strip's many gentlemen's clubs.

The small, shack-like establishment features a tiny outdoor seating area and an air-conditioned inside where it's all business. Step up to the first window and place your order from the lengthy, hand-painted menu that sits to the left, pay your dough, and step sround to the pick-up window where your heaping sandwich and sides are delivered.

There's lots to choose from on the menu, including other pit meats and even some Mexican-style dishes, but from my one visit I'd recommend the sliced to order pit beef sandwiches and their fries, a hefty side dish featuring ample cuts of skin-on tates seasoned with Old Bay.

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