YinzBurgh BBQ serves y'all some real Southern food
Pittsburghers who want a taste of authentic Southern barbecue straight from a Georgia kitchen need not travel the 700 miles it would take to get there. YinzBurgh BBQ in Shadyside has made Southern home cooking and hospitality its specialty.
“It's another style of barbecue,” says owner Richard Coursey, a Georgia native who came to Pittsburgh 16 years ago. He fell in love with the town, but couldn't find a restaurant that served the kind of barbecue he grew up with: smoked with a dry rub and with sauce on the side.
Having spent his youth learning to cook from family, Coursey knew he had the skills to provide Pittsburghers with a true sense of the South. He opened his shop in February 2012 and already has gained a loyal following.
A warm welcome awaits all customers when Coursey's sister, Debbie Gorman, is behind the counter. She's ready with spoons so customers can sample the five available sauces and hear what she calls “Deb's Barbecue Sauce 101.”
Sauces are unique to specific regions of the South, she explains. The Signature Red has a tomato base and hails from parts of the Carolinas and Tennessee. The Honey Gold, with a tangy mustard base, is popular in mid-South Carolina and Georgia. Carolina Vinegar is sweet with a pop of pepper. Spicy options include the amped-up version of Signature Red called Afterburner, which grows in intensity as you eat it, and Hot Honey, with hints of black pepper.
Sauces can be poured on a variety of choices ordered either a la carte, as a sandwich, salad or combination meal. Pulled pork, beef brisket, baby-back ribs and chicken dishes range in price depending on what size is ordered, small to extra large. Costs start at the least expensive quarter chicken for $3.50 and go up to $26.75 for a pork, brisket, ribs and quarter chicken combo with two sides.
And delicious sides they are — all based on Coursey's family recipes. The creamy coleslaw is full of purple cabbage. Mac and cheese and cornbread would be at home on any Georgia table.
In attempts to offer something for everyone, Coursey's menu also includes vegan options, such as the collard greens, made with extra virgin olive oil instead of any animal products. The black-eyed peas also are vegan-friendly. Smoked tofu is a popular options as well.
Coursey carries Red Ribbon sodas in flavors like almond, cherry, grape and ginger beer.
YinzBurgh BBQ's decor plays with fire, with its red and yellow walls. Red benches and two four-tops provide seating. Parking is on the street, but after 2:30 p.m., the Einstein's Bagels across Baum lets customers use their spots.
After much deliberation, Coursey came up with the name for his business at the last minute, just moments before he had to fill out the necessary paperwork.
“I wanted something that says Pittsburgh,” he says. “I like yinz. It's like how the South has y'all. Yinz is Pittsburgh's version of y'all.”
YinzBurgh BBQ also caters and has provided spreads for businesses, graduation parties and birthdays. But perhaps the most exciting gig came when their ribs were featured in the film “Out of the Furnace,” filmed in Pittsburgh last year. The movie, with an all-star cast including Christian Bale, Zoe Saldana, Woody Harrelson, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker and Casey Affleck, is set to come out in October, according to IMDB.
The production manager contacted Coursey and asked him to supply ribs for a pivotal scene in the film. After that went well, he asked YinzBurgh BBQ to cater to the cast. Affleck, a vegan, was so impressed with the choices, he asked to know each ingredient.
“That was a really interesting experience for me,” Coursey says.
He warns 'Burghers to not be surprised when they're watching the movie in theaters if someone in the crowd leaps to their feet the second the ribs appear on-screen.
“I'm going to be the one yelling, ‘I made those ribs at YinzBurgh!” Coursey says with a laugh.
YinzBurgh BBQ, 4903 Baum Blvd., Shadyside. Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays; 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 to 9:30 p.m. Fridays; 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturdays; noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Details: 412-621-9469 or www.YinzBurghBBQ.com .