One simmering-hot Tuesday evening a couple of weeks ago, we had a hankering for some pit beef and barbeque. And while our gut instinct usually directs us up York Road to Andy Nelson’s, we decided that we should mix it up a little and see how the other local favorite compares. And so we made the hike across town to Chap’s Pit Beef.
Located off of Pulaski Highway on the east edge of the city, Chap’s physical environment offers a unique contrast to that of its Cockeysville competitor. The joint operates out a small shack-like building located in the parking lot of a gentleman’s club, and across the street from an adult video store. Perhaps its modest digs is how it can keep its prices so low – but we’ll get to that in a bit.
When we arrived at about 6:00 p.m. we were pleasantly surprised to find a short line to order, and plenty of indoor seating. Don’t get me wrong, the dining area is not huge; but it was more than adequate at the time of our visit. The one thing that caught us off guard was the menu – there was a lot more on it than we were expecting! I was planning on getting the sandwich that Duff Goldman and Guy Fieri ate on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives – the one with several types of meat on it – but when we reviewed the menu it became apparent that there were a whole bunch of sandwiches with several types of meat on them. Pretty much, anything you dream up with their ingredients, they had.
As a result of my aforementioned confusion, I went with a rare pit beef sandwich, at the low price of $6.25. We also ordered a medium pit beef sandwich, and a barbeque pork sandwich ($6.70). The beef sandwiches were stuffed with generous portions of beef on a kaiser roll. The beef was very juice and was cooked to perfect doneness for both sandwiches. The barbeque pork sandwich involved pieces of pulled pork simmered in their house barbeque sauce and generously portioned within the kaiser roll. The pork was very tender, and the sauce was very sweet and well received by the group. The most significant way this sandwich differed from the famous Andy Nelson’s version, is that the sauce was already cooked into the meat. While this seems to be, based on my experience, the way barbeque is usually prepared in the south, Andy Nelson’s allows one to dress it with the sauce of his or her choosing, allowing for ultimate customization. So, which of the restaurant’s sandwich one would enjoy more is completely dependent on how much decision-making one feels like making at the time.
To supplement our sandwiches, we got large sides of macaroni and cheese ($1.75), baked beans ($2.55), and cheese fries ($4.50). The cheese fries were delicious, though there was nothing profound about them. Just a generous portion of fresh cut fries topped with a whole lot of cheese sauce. The macaroni and cheese was very cheesy, and was enjoyed by all. The most unique side was the baked beans, which were sweet and had a nice background flavor of the green peppers that were cooked into them.
Though there is no table service at Chap’s, we found the staff behind the counter to be friendly, hospitable, and quick. This was exceptionally noteable given the establishment’s low prices, and, well, the more rugged nature of this particular business district.
Overall, we really enjoyed our experience at Chap’s. Admittedly, being such strong fans of Andy Nelson’s, we were a bit skeptical; but we were proven wrong. We definitely plan to go back. On the other hand, Shawn had a similar meal at chain restaurant Famous Dave’s a few days prior, and he said after this meal, he definitely won’t go back there!
Greetings from Bob Ganoosh, the Baltimore Restaurant Enthusiast!
Welcome to the blog of Team Bob Ganoosh. Named after co-founder Shawn Eccleston (whose nickname is Bob Ganoosh), we provide a young and modern perspective of the blossoming food and drink scene in and around Baltimore. Please check in regularly for our reviews of local spots as well as industry news and updates. And, we are always accepting ideas for new places to visit!
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