April 23, 2008

Big Mama's Pulled Pork is Worth the Trip!

I had to set aside my biases and go against my gut instincts as I walked up to this black and gold hole-in-the-wall. I am fairly certain I am the only Eagles fan who has ever dared to set foot in this Pittsburgh take-out restaurant. I felt like I was crossing a picket line--just look at the building- it's a little too much. But the smell of barbeque overcame me, making me throw all reason out the window. If this wasn't worth the whole trip to Pittsburgh, it was definitely worth the trip downtown in Friday rush hour traffic.

We set out to try Mama's ribs, but they weren't ready, so we sampled pulled pork and chicken with several sides. The pork is to die for- it's juicy and spicy without having to add any hot sauce.

The chicken was delicious, also spicy- we loved the flavors. Most restaurants stick a bottle of hot sauce on the table and leave it up to you. Mama's food comes out already hot, which was a hit with our crowd. The taste of the meat was enhanced by the sauce, and the spice was just enough to give it a good kick, making you crave that next bite!

The sides were all good, but nothing could hold a candle to the pulled pork. This only made me long to try the ribs, which I'll do on my next trip. CBS recently featured Big Mama's on The Early Show as part of the Small Businesses, Big Rescues story. It looks like after a rough first year, Mama and her team got some training and publicity, a little luck, and are here to stay. Mama dreams of making the restaurant a sit-down eatery, and even a restaurant/jazz club.

Mama's cooking does come from the soul, as you'll find out after one bite of any of her dishes. This isn't food that is whipped up without thought and care-- the savory, smoky flavors, secret "Steel City Soppin' Sauce" ingredients and slow cooked barbeque are comforting and deeply soulful. I do pray Mama sees her dream and is able to move to a new location with a sit-down restaurant/jazz club, I just hope that the outside of the building has a better color scheme...and the eggs.

Big Mama's House of Soul in Pittsburgh


nunu said...

You should have worn an Eagles t-shirt! Did you try the seafood cornbread stuffing? Sounds delicious. Its 9 am and I'm already ready for lunch.

Arties32 said...

Ha ha. I value my life too much to wear my Eagles shirt. At the time, cornbread with seafood just did not sound good. I think we were supposed to get regular cornbread with our meals, which we didn't. Next time there is more food I want to try! I'm thinking about dinner already.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for supporting Big Mama's,this is her daughter in law. It's not seafood cornbread (eeww), it's seafood cornbread stuffing. She makes cornbread then crumbles it up and uses it to make a stuffing (dressing), I have not eaten Stove Top since! hope you can come back and visit again regardless of the teams, she loves everyone!

Anonymous said...

First trip to Big Mama's and won't be the last.
Everyone made me feel like I was a regular.
Tried the Ribs dinner with greens, macaroni and cheese and peach cobbler dessert. Brenda insisted I try her sweet potatoes and I'm glad I did.
The ribs were meaty, tender, juicy, and slightly smoky with a wonderful sweet and spicy sauce. Didn't need the extra sauce - they were delicious!
The greens had the right balance of spice and bitterness and were complimented by the outrageous sweet potatoes. These had no resemblence to the typical sweet potatoes in heavy syrup and had as much heart as soul in them.
The corn bread will be my standard to judge all others in the future.
Texture, moisture and flavor (had Jalapino peppers)were perfectly blended.
The dinner was awesome, but the best was saved for last - Brenda's Peach Cobbler! Words cannot do it justice. This Cobbler should be illegal! Wow!!! what else can I say.
Only regret is not eating here sooner.
Friendly service with soul food from the heart. Add some dine in tables and its perfect.
The best

Deavon Hammonds said...

Thanks Jen for the review, I personally love the pulled pork as well as the pr for Big Mama House of Soul, the greens and yams with the pulled pork will have you even more loared into becoming a Steeler fan(lol). We love the support and honesty from all our patrons that came to taste the soul of Big Mama Franklins heart and passion she pours into every bite, til next go round we'll keep a terrible towel around for you.

Deavon Hammonds
Promotional Push

Camille K said...

We will be in Pittsburgh for opening day next week against the Titans....One place on our list is Big Mama's, we can't wait to try it....

Will post another comment after we have stuffed our faces...lol