Here we are with another installment of 365 Things to do in Cincinnati and today we’re featuring a new spot for great BBQ – Pontiac Bourbon and BBQ.
Pontiac is one of the newest spots to open in the Over the Rhine / Vine Street arena of eateries. I always tell people there is not one single restaurant to avoid there – they are truly all THAT good. And I am happy to say that Pontiac is keeping that tradition alive.
Pontiac Bourbon and BBQ comes to us from Dan Wright, owner of nearby Senate and Abigail Street. Like so many other spots on Vine Street, it’s a long stretch of a spot. They did, however, make GREAT use of that narrow space. As you can see from the picture above (taken from the street end of the restaurant), the front of the restaurant has a nice, long bar on one side and a few booths to the right. As you head towards the kitchen (through the open door in the back) you’ll see that the room opens up a bit.
I’d describe the decor as kind of eclectic – a nice mix of rugged, industrial, and sleek. I was glad to see so many booths (versus tables and chairs). They even managed to squeeze in one huge booth that will accommodate a larger party.
But the real star of the show is NOT the decor – it’s the food. Just look at this smoky, meaty goodness…
The chef took me back to see the kitchen and their AMAZING smoker. This thing is HUGE and full of briskets, ribs, and sausages- all of which rotate around and around inside that massive smoker.
The menu features the best in smoked meats and sandwiches including pulled pork, smoked turkey, brisket, hot links, and ribs. Sides (or Fixin’s as they call ’em) are ordered separately and include mac & cheese, baked beans, cole slaw, potato salad, fries, and bacon fat grits.
I don’t even like grits but I ordered them anyway… who can resist trying bacon fat grits? Seriously! If you’ve ever had Poutine at Senate, you know that Dan Wright is the master of porky toppings so I had to try it out. Apparently grits are good if you can top them with bacon and cheese and jalapenos. 🙂
I also had the Texas Style Brisket sandwich. The meat was so tender and full of smoky flavor. It was EXCELLENT and I will have a tough time ordering something else the next time I go…. that is unless they happen to have their “Fred Flintstone Dinosaur Ribs” around next time.
Give Pontiac a try and let me know what you think!
Pontiac Bourbon and BBQ is located at 1403 Vine Street (Over the Rhine)
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