The menu is all encompassing, though after being open only a few days a bunch of stuff is already crossed off with a black magic marker including "Our Specialty - Slow Roll Soup." The kitchen is real small and I suspect practicalities of size and perhaps the need to keep food fresh forced them to cut back on the ambition of the original menu.
Their barbecue is varied - St. Louis Style Spare Ribs, KC Style Baby Backs, Texas Brisket Sandwich, Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich and BBQ Chicken Sandwich. Standard sides except for a new one for me, Deep-Fried Macaroni. I went for the brisket, always a good test.
Then I stepped back, pulled out my camera and snapped a shot of the interior, mainly the menu. A few minutes later this guy walked up to me. I'm assuming he was the owner. "Can I ask why you're taking pictures inside my restaurant?"
A common enough question. I get it every few places I visit. "For my website - I do a website on cheap eats - bbq, hot dogs, lobster rolls and stuff like that."
The reaction has always been welcoming.
Not this time. Rather, a perturbed, "Don't you think you should ask for permission to take pictures inside my restaurant."
"No. I figure if someone wants to know he will ask. And if you prefer, I won't put your place up on my site." I understand his point, but from experience know that if I ask first, I won't be treated like a real customer. And they'll think I expect the food for free, which I don't. So I try to stay as low key as possible. Part of the fun for me is when they don't realize I've been there and then discover their page on my site either through a search on their place's name or upon hearing it from customers. I think it's neat when they just happen upon it.
Anyway our discussion went back and forth for a few minutes. Then my brisket was ready. They have outside seating. The owner happened to be standing there, talking with someone. I sat down, opened up the pack and, of course shot a couple of pics. The owner kind of glared. I tried the sandwich. It appears they cook in one of those vertical electric smokers, Phoebe's style. Very tender, but not much flavor. Then I poured on the sauce. Much better. An excellent sauce.
Finished, as I was leaving, I took a couple of exterior pics. Who should appear but the owner. "I need you to erase the picture you took inside my store. And I need you to show it to me, prove that you've erased the picture."
"No. I will not use it for the site, but I will not erase it either."
"If you don't erase it I'll call the police."
Dial 911 he did. On his cell phone. As I was getting into my car, he was behind my car giving the 911 operator my license plate number. "Wherever you are, the police will track you down," he assured me.
Wanting to be helpful I told him I'd be driving down Main Street and would be spending some time at the Vespa dealer. And so I did.
About an hour later, like any good felon, I returned to the scene of the crime. Actually I was just driving back to Center City Philadelphia. There, in Tommy Gunns's parking lot was a police car. And there was the owner, talking to the police officer and gesturing towards Manayunk.
I am giving Tommy Gunns three grease stains. I don't take off for siccing the police on me. I would like to get back and try the deep fried macaroni, but I am going to have to wait until the heat's off and the statute of limitations for aggravated picture taking has expired.
Edited by Holly Moore, 06 May 2004 - 05:28 PM.