by Alice Levitt
2111 Route 108, Jeffersonville, 777-1540
Where can you find that bad-ass barbecue truck above? Surely, it must be parked somewhere in Burlington's South End. Sorry, hipsters, you'll have to pedal pretty far to try Bottomless Pit BBQ, all the way to the hills of Jeffersonville, near Smugglers' Notch.
Saturday evening around 7 p.m., the elevation had already brought an autumnal chill to the outdoor seating area. Still, packs of kids ran up the green hills and around the fenced-in chickens, giving the place a rural family feel, something like Bread & Butter Farm's burger nights.
Bottomless Pit is theoretically a barbecue spot, but there were only two smoked options on the menu that evening: pulled pork and brisket. The rest of the bill of fare was given over to burgers, hot dogs and seafood specials.
I scoped out a picnic table on the potted-plant-lined porch leading to the take-out window and got to ordering.
For a barbecue place, where the meat is smoked well before it's served, it took surprisingly long to get my food. But when I did, I couldn't argue with the pretty picture the pulled pork made.
The meat was tender, but retained a satisfying chew and several chunks had an admirable bark. Unfortunately, it was all coated in a too-sweet sauce that ruined the effect and overwhelmed any rub that might have spoken for itself beneath the sugar. My No. 1 rule of barbecue is "let the meat speak for itself." This pork was hushed before it had a chance.
I liked the sides better. The sweet potato fries crackled with a blistered exterior, all the better to absorb a light dose of salt. The slaw was slightly creamy but not overwhelmed by mayonnaise. Instead, the crisp cabbage and a heavy shake of black pepper made for a fresh and slightly spicy pairing.
Meats are available as platters or sandwiches, so I tried one of each. The brisket sandwich ended up being not so much something to pick up as to wade through.
The fatty meat had a nice level of smoke and spice but retained its beefy personality. Too bad it was also drowned in the sweet sauce.
I was less taken with the sides on that plate. Crinkle cut fries were... crinkle cut fries. But the baked beans were also overwhelmed by sugar.
Maybe I should have tried a fish and chips platter or waited for a night that the Bottomless Pit was serving ribs. But for the fun ambiance, I think the truck might be worth another look — hold the sauce, please.
Alice Eats is a weekly blog feature devoted to reviewing restaurants where diners can get a meal for two for less than $35. Got a restaurant you'd love to see featured? Send it to email@example.com.