For several years the bright yellow House of Soul in Pittsburgh’s Strip District has screamed BBQ at me. Shame on me for not stopping sooner. On Tuesday I finally did. Big Mama was there, but “Oh honey” she said “ I need a rest on Monday and Tuesday. The ribs will be cooking again tomorrow morning”.
And so yesterday I went back for Big Mama’s ribs all cooked from scratch. The dining table is a big picnic table outside, tented to protect you from rain. Street noise fills in for background music. Ronel, Big Mama’s grandson, helps her out in the kitchen and says she is the sweetest woman alive. No amount of coaxing would get him to divulge his grandma’s secret twenty-seven spice jerk chicken recipe. He tells me that Big Mama’s recipes have been handed down in his family for one hundred years. One hundred years in Pittsburgh.
One hundred delicious years.
I overate. My hands were sticky with BBQ sauce. I’m sure I weigh five pounds more today. Damn, it was worth it.