The tantalizing smells of barbecue drifting out onto the Sixth Street sidewalk can only mean one thing: Pork & Beans is (finally) open and a lot of BBQ lovers will be very happy.
The latest downtown culinary venture from Chefs Richard DeShantz (Meat & Potatoes, Butcher and the Rye, Tako) and Keith Fuller (Root 174) is serving up an irresistible menu of smoked meats and ribs and a full arsenal of beers, cocktails and side plates to go with them.
Pulled pork, ribs, brisket and all kinds of meat arrive right from the smoker on cafeteria-style trays. You can order by the pound as is, build your own sandwich, or order one already put together. There’s a full array of house-made BBQ sauces for dipping and slathering, along with huge rolls of paper towels to handle the drips.
Of course, there’s a Pork & Beans dish, this one featuring braised shoulder, pork belly, duck liver, and house sausage mingling with heirloom beans, collards, turnips and grilled bread. There’s even a Beer Can Chicken that will make backyard barbecue masters feel right at home.
Classic sides like mac-n-cheese, collard greens and marinated cucumber salad are just a few of the perfect tag along options rounding out the menu. Starter options include: Catfish sliders with jalapeño tartar sauce and sweet & spicy apple slaw, and a Pimento Cheese plate served with house pickles, green tomato mustard and an entire sleeve of ritz crackers for spreading around all the deliciousness.
It’s “straightforward Texas style BBQ with a lot of the classics that we are reinventing slightly,” says Chef Fuller. “We want to keep it fun but appeal to the masses by letting the meat do the talking,” he adds. As for vegetarian BBQ options, they are “on the horizon.”
The large, open and comfortable space has a roadhouse feel featuring a big welcoming bar, long communal tables and a back room area with cozier options. Fun visual elements give the place a warm and happy vibe.
The bar has 36 taps along with a huge list of bottle and can selections to guarantee beer lovers’ cravings are satisfied. They even offer Miller High Life in 40-ounce bottles just to keep it extra real. The cocktail choices are bold and creative with twists on the classics that fit right in with the restaurant’s feel: the Tennessee Ninja Mint Julep, for example, and the Squeal Mountain (Mountain Dew Slushie with surprises), which might be the breakout hit here.
Pork & Beans is located at 136 6th Street, Downtown. They take reservations and offer take-out. Hours are 4 to 11 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 4 p.m to 12 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and closed Mondays.