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Side Dishes: Meteorologist opens Plattsburgh barbecue pit

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Dickey’s Barbecue Pit may not be a household name up north, but it’s America’s largest barbecue chain. Soon Plattsburgh will join more than 170 locations of the smoked-meat purveyor.

The face behind the pork may be familiar to locals and Vermonters alike. WPTZ morning meteorologist Jim Moore left his reporting job in August to attend “Barbecue University,” the intensive three-week training course required of Dickey’s franchisees. “I’d been doing the morning shift for more than 10 years, getting up at about 1:45 in the morning. It was starting to wear me out,” says Moore. “My hours will probably be longer now, but at least I can sleep when it’s dark out.” He says he’ll still fill in on WPTZ, but for now his heart belongs to ’cue.

The new restaurant owner says the hickory-smoked meat he prepares “melts in your mouth.” He’s especially proud of the pulled pork and brisket, which are smoked for 14 hours at 225 degrees, but several less common meats are on the menu, too. Both Polish and spicy cheddar sausages are available. There’s turkey breast every day and whole birds for Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. Fried okra makes a rare northeastern appearance, but most of Dickey’s sides are classics, such as potato salad and baked beans.

The Texas-themed restaurant will celebrate its 70th birthday the day the Plattsburgh location opens, but diners receive a birthday-worthy treat every day: vanilla ice cream comes with each meal. Most diners stop at one serving, says Moore, then adds, “If you’re sitting down and you want 10 cones, go for it.”

The more fans his franchise gains, the better for barbecue lovers across the lake. Moore hints that he’d like to open a Dickey’s in the Burlington area in the next few years.

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