Sunday, 19 August 2012

Pitt Cue Co., Soho, London

We found Pitt Cue Co. in one of my girlfriend's monthly food magazines on where best to eat certain nationality foods during the Olympics. As you can see from some of my previous posts on Pulled Pork and Ribs, American food is definitely one of my favourites. So when we went to London to soak up some of the Olympic fever and watch team GB get humped at Volleyball, we decided we'd sneak a visit to this hotly tipped Soho restaurant.

My girlfriend had previously emailed Pitt Cue Co. to check on gluten free options and they reassuringly and promptly emailed back to say most things were naturally gluten free and that the chef himself was gluten free so he knew what he was doing. We arrived in sunny Soho at about 2pm and was told there'd be about a 20 minute wait for a table so we grabbed a tasty Cornish cider and stood in the street. After 20 minutes we were escorted downstairs to a darkish room which couldn't have sat more than 20 people. If you don't like sharing your table then this probably isn't the place for you. We got our own table for 4 but there were plently sharing and the place had a real buzz. It is tiny, and the very limited website says that they only operate a first come first served basis as it's so small. But it's true what they say good things come in small packages!
Cornish Cider
Our server explained the menu with an enthusiasm that demonstrated how passionate Pitt Cue Co. are about their food, explaining in detail the different cuts of meat on offer and how each is cooked. There were plenty of options for those who are gluten free / coeliac and lots that could be adapted (e.g taking away the bread bun).  I couldn't turn down the Beef ribs which were beautifully tender, the meat falling off the bone and packed with smoky BBQ flavour. There's a good selection of sides. I had mine served with pickles, a green chilli slaw and bone marrow mash which were all extremely tasty. A friend had a lardo dog which received a review as impressive as the dog looked! A hot dog topped with pulled pork, lardo (an Italian pig fat) and american mustard. If you like American food, Pitt Cue Co. does it very well indeed and better than almost any I've tasted State-side.

Beef Ribs and Bone Marrow Mash
Lardo Dog with BBQ beans


  1. Looks amazing! Was the hot dog gluten free too? How did they manage cross contamination? I went to Barbecoa which was lovely, but was sadly denied many of the BBQ options due to the use of the same grill as dishes with soy sauce containing marinades...

  2. The marinades were fine and the hot dog they said was gluten free (minus the bun). Our server said it was something like 70% pork and 30% beef. I went to Barbecoa pre-gluten free days but haven't been since as didn't think there were many options. Would be interested to hear how much you question restaurants re: cross contamination? Maybe I need to be more forceful?

  3. Hmm - I'm perhaps not as careful as I should be, because I find it so embarrassing making a fuss. Plus many people you ask fall back on "well it's a shared kitchen, so there's always a risk" so you aren't sure whether it's a case of them making no effort and liberally sprinkling flour everywhere, or that procedures are in place so it's relatively low risk.

    I only tend to emphasis it if I get the feeling that there might be an issue due to other things on the menu or the 'feel' of the restaurant, or if you see unsafe practices in front of you (like asking my work canteen servers to change gloves/utensils).

    I'm sure my usual timidity has resulted in many glutenings.

    In Barbecoa I mention it because I was impressed that the waiter pointed it out, rather than me having to ask. I think it's always a good sign when a restaurant knows that the fried things aren't safe due to using the same oil etc.!

  4. This place looks great. Hope to give it a try soon.

    Re: Cross Contamination comments - I'm getting more and more confident in asking for full details of how and where the food is prepared and cooked before ordering. I've left places without ordering because I haven't been 100% confident.

    All the best with your blogging and gluten free travels.



  5. It was great! Yep, I'm definitely getting more confident too and abroad I tend to stay clear of chips etc. which could be fried in the same oil. Definitely worth having the conversation in advance with some places, especially if eating in a group.

    Thanks for the comment :)