Seriously, there I was at full smoked-food intake capacity, crumbled messy paper towel “napkin” in hand, and I still couldn’t stop eating. It started to make me wonder if Percy Street BBQ infuses its meat with more than just wood smoke. Everything from the thinly sliced fat-layered pork belly to the moist and lean choices of brisket was completely addictive.
It was my first time at Percy. It had opened a back in November of 2009, but with the Holidays, moving, and my warm weather getaways (more on those in the next few posts) I just didn’t get a chance to qualm my Q craving. It actually proved a smart move as Percy has tweaked the menu since opening, adding a killer deal called The Lockhart. For four or more people (on Wednesday there were 6 of us hungry chow hounds) Percy Street will give you a taste of EVERYTHING on the menu for only $24 a person. And someone told me Percy was expensive? You can bet your wanna be Texan butt it ain’t!
I felt like a kid seated at the large picnic style wooden table with wheeled seats (great idea) which was
laden with: Are you ready? All three kinds of Brisket, super large salty and meaty pork Spare Ribs, house-made Sausage made from all the left over trimmings of pork and beef, a half smoked Chicken, and Pork Belly all accompanied by red plastic squirt bottles of Percy’s special barbeque sauce, squares of white bread (sorry no Texas toast here), sliced pickles and rings of raw onion, for your own sandwich making pleasure should you so chose to do so. But wait that wasn’t it! Once the meat was delivered, the sides started slinging at us: Root beer Chili (the root beer is made locally by Yards Brewing Co.), home-made Green Bean Casserole (with crispy fried onions on top), German Potato Salad (which had the wonderful addition of scallions and the slight tartness of vinegar), Pinto Beans (which included hunks of beef), Coleslaw, Collard Greens (ohhh that ham smoked goodness with a kick of hot red pepper is still in the forefront of my taste bud memory) and one of the best Mac and Cheese dishes I had in years. Whew…yeah all that for a mere 24 bucks a person. That must be the deal of the New Year! Oh, and I almost forgot, it comes with dessert. Each diner can chose their own indvidual sugar fix. Now that’s a southern sweet ending to this fine Texan feast.
I was however, lucky enough to taste ALL of the desserts ($6), and the standouts by far were the Pecan Pie (sticky sweet, with a crunchy, flaky crust), the Apple Crisp (served with 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream), and the Root Beer Float. Warning: the rootbeer float is not great for sharing, but it’s so indulgently good you won’t want to share it anyway. I only wish it had a shot of Root liqueur in it, or even a shot of rum- yes I like my alcohol! I’d also love to see Percy expand on their cocktail menu especially as the weather begins to turn warm. Right now they only have five cocktails ($8-$9) and I’d love to see the selection expanded to eight with a winter warmer included for the season now. The wine list is adequate, but beer is really what pairs well with this kind of finger-lickin’ food, and here it’s served by the pint, half-gallon or gallon- again, perfect for sharing. The burnt-end brisket was by far my favorite, but it’s not always available because ends are much harder to come by of course. The lean brisket was second runner-up. I just added a squirt of BBQ sauce and before I knew it I was in meat meltdown mode- so good!
All the meat is here is dry rubbed, and wood smoked, so don’t expect the typical slathered-with-sauce barbeque you’ve been used to getting’ round here in these parts. Of all the meat, my least favorite was the sausage. I felt there wasn’t enough flavor to carry through the chewing of the casing, but I have been told that Executive Chef/Part Owner Erin O’Shea is changing the sausage and will be adding jalapeño to the mix. Jalapeño Home-made sausage? Now we’re talking!
The best thing about Percy besides the food is all the thought that went into making this place feel authentic, homey and fun. The large open space with high ceilings is stunning. From the wooden French doors lining the front of the dining room, to the carved out windows in the back that reveal not only part of the kitchen, but the 4,000-pound fire engine red smokers that Erin O’Shea and her partners had shipped to Philly all the way from big ol’ Texas. Chalkboards with the menu items listed decorate the walls; simple plain light bulbs dangle on wires from the ceiling to provide a soft glow. Over the roomy bar near the entrance, heavy green glass bottle jugs are used as lighting decorations. The all American rock and roll soundtrack with a jukebox to make your own selection is very entertaining. The meats are served in bright red, plastic baskets wrapped in white paper kept closed with animal stickers used to identify which meet is inside (a little pig indicating pork, cow for the beef). Mason jar jugs are used to serve sodas, sweet tea, and tap beer. The tables are set with metal school-like lunch trays, silverware (which is better suited for sides), and a small plate. In fact the plate given for all the food we had, was way too small. I was ready to just use the whole damn metal tray as my plate!
Even after I finally said “mercy”, gave in, and stopped eating, I could smell the lingering of that intense smokiness on my fingers. As I walked home, I couldn’t help but wonder if I had a trail of that smoke wafting off of me. Since Percy Street also does takeout I’ll be sure next time to grab some to go, that way I will surely make anyone walking behind me hungry and jealous. I’m already ready to grab another group of friends, but on my cowboy boots, and order-up Texan style. Oh, and Percy Street, when does Square dancing night start?