Central BBQ does not pre-sauce!

Thank you very much for the review you gave for Central BBQ in Summerville. (“Smokin’ Swine: ‘Cue the band, a new barbecue joint hits Summerville” by Robert Moss, July 22) We appreciate the feedback reviews give, positive or negative.

While I do not mind criticism, I would like to question the following paragraph: “Central BBQ’s chopped pork has a mellow smoky flavor and wonderful chunks of outside brown meat mingled in. There’s just one problem. Despite an early report in the City Paper that the proprietor doesn’t believe in pre-saucing meat, our chopped pork came out with quite a generous load of something red and spicy already mixed in. For those who aren’t big spice fans or are locally-minded and would prefer to use the golden mustard-based sauce, naked pork would be much preferred.”

In this segment you are insinuating the barbecue you received was pre-sauced (with a red and spicy sauce). As of today, Central BBQ has been open for exactly six weeks. In that six weeks I have single-handedly prepared every ounce of barbecue served. I can assure you, and the readers of the City Paper, that not one barbecue plate or sandwich has been served pre-sauced.

Serving “naked” barbecue pork is an essential part of my business. I am attempting to build my reputation around the fact that my barbecue is served sans sauce. Having someone print a review in a widely read newspaper that says the barbecue they received was served to them with sauce already added severely undermines my single most important marketing tool and how I am trying to position myself in the marketplace.

I can assure you that no pork you received had sauce on it before hitting the plate. There are sauces available at the cash register and also on the table. If your barbecue plate had sauce on it, then someone put it on there after receiving it from the steam line.

I cannot stress enough that we have never (and likely will never) serve barbecue that is pre-sauced.

Again, thank you for your review. I simply want to point out an important mistake made in the article.

Jay Lancaster

Central BBQ, Summerville

Robert Moss responds: The issue of saucing versus not saucing barbecue is serious business, and when one passes judgment on pork techniques, vague language and guesswork simply will not do. Let it be known that Central BBQ does NOT pre-sauce its meat. It is, however, strongly seasoned and quite spicy — perhaps a little too spicy for those with mild palates. I personally feel the spice gets in the way of the full smoky flavor of the pulled pork, and it would be better with the heat toned down a little. But, I do want to reiterate that — spice or no spice — I still think Central BBQ is pretty damn good.

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