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CC's Barbecue Pit


zhelder
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While our friends at Bourbon BBQ have been getting most of the attention lately, another barbecue place has also opened in Haledon. It's called CC's Barbecue Pit, and it's located at 527 Belmont Ave. in Haledon. They're located in a working-class section of Haledon, kind of off the beaten path. But they're worth seeking out.

The place is very old school. They're in an old building which was probably a house at one time. Inside, the place looks like a neighborhood 'cue joint you'd find in the South in the 1950s. Definitely a blast from the past. There are a few small tables with bar-like chairs in the restaurant, but the place is definitely geared more for takeout.

Their menu is comparable to Bourbon's. They offer the staples: brisket, pulled pork, barbecue wings, etc., and the usual sides: slaw, beans, mac & cheese, fries, and mashed potatoes.

For a first visit, I kept it simple: I ordered a brisket platter. The platter comes with two sides and a corn muffin. I got beans and mac & cheese for sides. The cost was $12.95, which was fair for the amount of food.

The brisket was delicious. Very tender. It actually reminded me more of a smoked pot roast, but it was absolutely yummy. The beef was covered with a very good barbecue sauce.

The beans were very good also. No frills, but the sauce was thick and flavorful. No chunks of meat like at Bourbon, but they were still very good.

And now for the highlight: the mac and cheese was absolutely delicious, the best I've had from a restaurant in a while. Baked, nice and dry, with nice cheese flavor and perfectly cooked pasta all the way through. I would come back to this place just to get the macaroni and cheese, that's how good it was.

So overall, it was an excellent meal, and I am DEFINITELY returning here. I can't wait to try the pork and some other interesting things, such as BBQ nachos made with the pork.

Parking can be a bit tricky, because the road forks in front of the place, and there are only a few space in front of the place, but there was parking on the next street. It's a steep street though, so put your emergency brake on.

I can't wait to return!

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Are they packed, or is it possible to get a meal quickly. I'm thinking if they're open for lunch tomorrow I'll grab some on the way to my lake house.

When I went in the afternoon, there were only two other customers there, but it took about 15 minutes to prepare the food. I think he prepares the food to order, at least as much as he can. They have bar chairs at tables and a small bench for waiting. It was worth the wait for me!

Edited by zhelder (log)
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  • 1 month later...

Finally made the pilgrimage to CC's in Haledon. It's tucked away just off the main drag by the municipal complex. Was DEFINITELY worth the trip!

It was an immaculate and charming store-front shop with 2 or 3 tables (inside) and was empty at about 5PM on a Saturday. I called in my order of a full rack spare ribs platter with beans and cole slaw and corn muffin on the side ($15.95- full rack of baby backs just a buck more), an an order of BBQ Nachos smothered with the pulled pork($6.25 - also avail with turkey chili). Both were just completed to order as I walked thru the door 20 mins later. Chris and Caroline, (CC's, get it?) were behind the counter. Unfortunately, I was pressed for time go get home, so I didn't ask about rubs or other recipe details or to see the smoker and other equipment that prepared this BBQ ambrosia that was quaintly hidden behind a 6 foot backyard fence.

I mentioned the Herald article and the previous eGullet posts and Caroline was quick to point out that Chris, but not she, was not from Tennessee. OK.

First lemme say that I've never, and I do mean NEVER, actually gotten a full rack of ribs when I've ordered same until this day. Certainly not at this price. The rack was packaged in two slabs- country style/untrimmed. It had a beautiful outer smoky char with just enough crunch and tangy sauce, that protected an inner core of moist, smoky goodness. There was a barely discernable smoke ring - mostly at the ends- but the smokey flavor went to the bone. It was cooked just short of fall-off-the-bone with the right amount of 'tooth', as they say. I only wish I asked for more sauce on the side as I like it sticky and sloppy. Or maybe ask for the ribs cut up individually and re-slathered with sauce before the trip home.

The pulled pork on the nachos had the perfect balance of sweet, tangy, with a hint of vinegar. It was in a generous layer over creamy melted jack cheese and crispy salty nachos, and drizzled with the BBQ sauce. Talk about balance. My son, a picky eater gobbled up about a dozen nacho rounds topped with the pork, cheese and sauce and gave it a thumb's up. This dish should serve 4 as an app, or one as an entre for a glutton like me. Even the leftovers were moist and tasty when reheated the next day.

The muffin was small but flavorful and was just the right size as a desert after the huge portions of ribs/Nachos. No, I finished less than half of each before giving up.

The beans were quite tasty and I agree could use an element of bacon and possibly BBQ sauce, but that's my preference.

Alas, I didn't care for the cole slaw. It was a dry style (no mayo) and was more too sharp, savory and peppery for my liking. I prefer a creamy piquant style to keep up with the ribs. Again, my preference - your results may vary.

UNEXPECTED BONUS!!!!:

CC's is next door to a fantastic looking pub called "The Shepherd and the Knucklehead" that is well rated on pubcrawler. There is a whiteboard outside with the list of current brews on tap that looked terrific. Alas, owing to time and no designated driver, I couldn't drag my 'cue next door and wash it down while piping hot.

This place has definitely risen to the ranks of where our next "Daddys' night out" may be held. 'Cue and brew, what could be better?

My fear in seeing this place empty on a Saturday night, albeit early, is that Chris and Caroline may not see enough ROI to keep it open. Please, let me be wrong. Hopefully the William Paterson U. crowd and word of mouth will help keep them afloat. If you're a 'cue lover, drop by and give them a try. Their "summer hours" were M-F 11:30-9 and Sat 4-9. Don't know how that's going to change come Fall.

I'd recommend they get a menu on line- even if it's something simple like Myspace or the like.

I did take pictures, but haven't yet figured out how to post them yet.

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Gastrognome, do you have any connection to CC's? Just curious.

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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I live near CC's and was hoping that it would be my new regular stop for bbq. We ordered ribs, pulled pork & various sides & I hate to say we didn't love or even like one dish.

I don't like to flame a new restaurant & I guess I'd be willing to try again someday, but I'm just going on record saying I wanted to love it & was totally disappointed.

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Nope, no connection.

I had a great experience and shared my point of view. I also tried to be detailed enough to describe WHAT exactly made it enjoyable for me - which may or may not match the preferences of some others- like age-old Southern style vs KC style rib debate. For my tastes, the ribs and pork were spot-on that day. I'll probably try different sides next time.

Having said that, I've sometimes returned to an establishment after a first good experience and been disappointed the next time and wondered, "What the heck was I thinking last time?". I'm sure we've all been there.

I'll be go there again some time soon and will report back in any case.

Pics to follow, tnx again for the instructions.

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