In today's South Philly Review resident restaurant critic Phyllis Stein-Novack tackles some takeout from Bella Vista's Blue Belly BBQ (600 Catherine St.) and overall she was pretty pleased.
One bite of the slow-roasted pig sandwich and she was hooked, noting "The use of fennel slaw in place of a mayonnaise-based coleslaw was right up my barbecue alley." The not-too-salty fries that accompanied the sandwich were successfully re-crisped in a dry saute pan.
PSN deemed the St. Louis spare ribs "OK" textually but did enjoy the flavor of the dry rub.
Blue Belly's Painted Hills brisket didn't wow. PSN prefers her beef tender and juicy, thinly sliced against the grain. The brisket in question was served in chunks and while it was tasty, it "did not earn merits in the texture department. It would be difficult to make a sandwich with any leftovers."
The majority of the sides on the other hand fared much better. Al dente mac and cheese was another successful reheat. Collards took PSN straight back to North Carolina, "they literally melt in one’s mouth." Only complaint here was an overly heavy hand with the hot sauce. Fingerling potato salad won points: "Sometimes potato salad turns to mush, but this one held up nicely." As did not-too-sweet baked beans simmered with just the right amount of ketchup and spice. Misses included a pep-less slaw, and underwhelming corn cakes.
After a final word one the house-made barbecue sauces ("Both the sweet and hot sauces were thick and rich. I preferred the sweet one because it was not cloyingly sweet.") PSN awards Blue Belly a solid three tips of the toque and tells us that she'll be back for the smoked lamb and Korean beef.
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