Ray Ray's Hog Pit Roadside Barbeque (aka Smackie's)
Location and Contact Info
|Address||3168 N High St|
Available on the internet
Columbus Best Dish Nominations
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I grew up in the south, so BBQ was a weekly staple for me. For years I would go to Georgetown, SC in the summer, where Low Country BBQ serves the world's best Carolina pulled pork. Carolina style 'cue is the kind with the vinegar and pepper flake sauce, as opposed to the red sauce.
So when I heard that RayRay's served real-deal Carolina 'cue, I had to check it out.
My first two attempts were failures - I couldn't find him. Finally I figured out that he is only open Thursday through Sunday's, locating his street-side smoker trailer in a convenience store parking lot at the corner of High and Pacemont in Clintonville.
Climbing out of the car, you quickly get attacked by the wonderful smoke coming from the trailer. I was there in the middle of the afternoon, so I had the place to myself. I got in line and ordered a pound of the brisket, and a pound of the Carolina BBQ. The owner kindly offered to throw in a few freebies, like some slaw.
Then we got to talking about sauces. I asked for some extra sauce, and he also offered some of his "hot" sauce that he makes from grilled habañeros. When I mentioned that my wife really liked the hot stuff, he reached for a mason jar that he said contained his "super" sauce. This was clearly his secret stash, and I was honored to be offered some.
Whew! If you like hot sauce, this is your place. The stuff made from habañeros was thermonuclear hot, the wonderful kind that stings your lips and makes the top of your head start to sweat. It's been 20 minutes since I last had some, and I am still sweating, even around my eyes. Holy s!@$, this stuff is great!
The super sauce didn't have the traditional tomatoey base - it was more like a really thick chili salsa. I couldn't really tell if it was as hot or hotter than the "hot" because my taste buds were totally blown by then.
I've been eating BBQ for 60 years and these are two of my most favorite sauces, ever.
The meat was also excellent. The pork melted in my mouth, and had probably been on the grill for 10-12 hours, but was moist, succulent, and very tasty. The brisket was also excellent - great bark, smoke ring, and soft, moist, delicious meat.
RayRay's is a great find, and worth seeking out. Their cult-like status among foodies is well deserved. The guys that run it are great, and both the food and street-cart style beats the pants off the competition. If you like BBQ, you're gonna love RayRay's. Only open Thursday-Sunday.
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