It was a Saturday, and Nikki was at work. I needed to run some errands and eventually (very deliberately) found myself here for lunch.
The Brick Pit has been a Mobile BBQ staple since it opened in 1994. In its 20 years, the restaurant and owner Bill Armbrecht have been featured in numerous books, magazine articles, and TV shows.
There is limited parking in the front. I park in the back 99% of the time. As you’re walking around to the entrance, you’re greeted by this sign. At this point you know that the owner is confident in his product.
And when you reach the front door, you’re greeted with this. You’re either about to be very impressed or very disappointed.
One of the most noticeable things when you first walk in is the ambiance… or lack thereof, depending on how you look at it. Two things mainly… lots of scribbling on the wall courtesy of past customers and lots and lots of Alabama football memorabilia and newspaper clippings.
Love it or hate it, you can’t say that the Brick Pit lacks character.
All the meat is smoked… not baked, grilled, or sauteed… low and slow for hours, about 12 for ribs and 30 for pulled pork.
This is Jerry. Jerry is what you want your pitmaster / head chef to look like. This guy is not waiting tables through college, he’s not looking for a better opportunity… This is his career, his livelihood. I didn’t ask him any of this, I can just tell.
On this particular day I went with my usual, the pulled pork sandwich. it’s everything you want a pork sandwich to be… smoky, tender, pulled not chopped… complimented perfectly by the Brick Pit’s signature sauce. And no fancy bread either. You have a choice of white Texas toast or, well, nothing.
I usually go for pulled pork rather than ribs just because I don’t feel like making a mess, not in public anyway… but I have to mention that the Brick Pit has some of the best ribs in the area.
So like I said, the Brick Pit has been featured on numerous TV shows, one of which being Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food Nation” with Adam Richman. Here’s a clip if you’re interested.
I keep my gripes about the Brick Pit hushed. I know it’s something Bill Armbrecht is staunchly against, but I do wish they would branch out into serving brisket. Also wish they offered more sides. Mac-n-cheese always goes well with BBQ, but it’s absent from the menu… But the things they do, they do so well. I guess I wouldn’t tell Bob Dylan how to write a song, so I won’t tell the Brick Pit how to do barbecue.
Check out the Brick Pit in Mobile for some real-deal BBQ and see for yourself if it lives up to the hype.
THE BRICK PIT
5456 Old Shell Road
Mobile, AL 36608