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Midtown BBQ and Brew

Photo: Lee Gardner, License: N/A

Lee Gardner

Midtown BBQ and Brew

15 E. Centre St., (443) 835-2472,

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Barbecue in Mount Vernon? This we had to try. So off we went to the former Midtown Yacht Club space to investigate. Fortunately, the new proprietors didn’t go “whole hog” and throw up a bunch of corny blues posters and beer signs; even more fortunately, the ’cue shows evidence of actual contact with wood smoke, unlike so many other local varieties. The exemplar pulled-pork sandwich ($7.99) was served up with the requested Memphis-style “red” sauce on a good grill-striped bun (mustard-based South Carolina-style “yellow” sauce is also available; Thai peanut sauce runs an extra buck). The sauce was a bit on the sweet side for personal taste, but the meat was juicy and flavorful. The hand-cut fries that came with it were decent, though the creamy, caraway-flecked house-made cole slaw side ($2.49) outshone them. The same red sauce was rather over-generously applied (its consumer thought) to a pulled-chicken sandwich ($7.99), tender if otherwise a bit bland. An ample order of house-made smoked sausage ($8.99) arrived sliced lengthwise and grilled but otherwise unadorned and offered a slightly sweet and ever-so-slightly smoky flavor. The mac ‘n’ cheese side, served in a charming metal cup, was also ample but disappointingly bland—no sharp edge to it, and none of the gooey goodness one expects from the stuff. Still, decent ’cue remains a precious commodity around Baltimore, most especially smack in the center of town, and if Midtown didn’t announce itself as a drive-for-miles rival to Andy Nelson’s just yet, it should more than suffice for a belly-buster lunch on a break from the office.

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