Podnah's Pit - NE Portland

Last week we wanted to go to a restaurant to get something new, but didn't want anything fancy. It was a Wednesday night and we picked out Al Forno Ferruzza, but it was not to be. We found a place to park and thought it was weird when we walked in and the place was empty... Apparently their oven had broken. That meant we needed a backup plan.

First though, how does a wood burning stone oven break? Seriously - it's a stone oven. There are no moving parts. Seems to me any kind of break would be kind of crippling, but the guy said it would be back up the next day. Haven't been back yet, so I'll take his word for it.

The backup plan was Podnah's Pit, a BBQ joint only a few blocks away. It's a small place, long and narrow, but actually a little cozy. Podnah's does Texas style BBQ, so we ordered a couple different things to go.

Wifey ordered the pulled pork sandwich with a side of coleslaw. The slaw was fine, but the sandwich was excellent (and putting slaw on the sandwich is good too). The very moist pork a great flavor, almost sweet. The slaw by itself was a little bland.

I ordered the beef brisket plate with sides of potato salad and collared greens. (In both cases the sides came with the main course - they weren't extra.) The potato salad was a little hard for my tastes, but not horrible. I had never had collared greens before, so this was an experiment. It was okay - a little bitter, but I think that's expected. What surprised me was little bits of pulled pork in with the greens; definitely a good surprise, but still a bit odd.

The brisket was excellent. The meat was very well cooked, with a good "crust" and moist insides. Both dishes came with a bit of Texas BBQ sauce that had a mild kick, but not too much so you couldn't just enjoy the flavor. The spiciness complemented the meat - something I enjoy, though I know Texans probably prefer more kick (in my very limited experience).

My dish also came with a pie-slice-sized piece of corn bread that we shared, but it was a little dry for our tastes.

Overall, the main dishes were very good but the sides left something to be desired. Wifey asked if we go back can we just get the main dishes and pass on the sides? I agree...loved the meat.

If we go back it will probably be for breakfast - their biscuits get rave reviews, and we definitely like a good breakfast. Would I recommend this place? I'm torn...as long as your focus is the meat and not the sides, why not. If you want the entire meal to be top notch? Maybe not so much.


  1. Now son, any good southern knows that your best collard greens are the ones cooked with some fat back or a ham hock or somethin. And they CAN be a tad on the bitter side which is why some cooks cook them until they're basically mush. I'm not a big collard fan myself though my mother loves them.
    Slaw on pulled pork is awesome
    The brisket sounds good too. Have you tried Russell Street BBQ? their Pit Master is from Austin, but I won't hold that against them :)

  2. I have not tried Russell Street yet...but it's on the list. :) Also a big fan of Reo's Ribs on TV Highway between Beaverton and Hillsboro. Yummm....