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Brentwood's Rowdy BBQ a perfect fit for sports-loving region

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009

It's hard to miss the white steam billowing from the 5,000-pound smoker behind Rowdy BBQ Takeout and Catering along Saw Mill Run Boulevard.

This Brentwood establishment slow-cooks barbecue ribs, chicken, wings and more.

Look for the big chicken in front holding a humorous sign.

If you have an idea for some words of wisdom for the sign, enter a contest to create a message. If chosen, you will win a $25 gift certificate, a T-shirt and a chance to see your message on the board.

Steve Kingsland, 41, of Bethel Park and a former partner bought the abandoned building -- which had been an ice cream shop at one time -- almost six years ago. Kingsland and his wife, Wendy, 40, now own the business.

Smoking is what sets Rowdy BBQ apart because things cook in indirect heat, Kingsland says.

"The fire is separate from what you are cooking," he says. "It is what gives our food its great taste. We also use good-quality ingredients for an authentic smoked barbecue."

Pittsburgh sports and Rowdy BBQ seem like a perfect match. Penguins forward Bill Guerin stopped by this spring for a knuckle sandwich ($5.50), a hot dog that is butterflied on top of a burger, two days before Game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. A photo of him near the sign, which read "Obama can't bail you out this time Detroit," made its way to the Internet and across the country.

The most recent Super Bowl Sunday was Rowdy BBQ's best day in sales. They went through 100 pounds of pulled pork, 65 racks of ribs and 250 pounds of wings.

Maybe it helped having what they claim is the first "Roethlis-Burger," a 1/3-pound beef patty with bacon, provolone and cheddar cheese, ranch and barbecue sauce for $4.50. Add a small order of fresh-cut fries or Moe's Rowdy Mac & Cheese for $1.95.

A full rack of ribs is $19.95, and a whole chicken is $13.95. There are five cheesesteaks including a deluxe with steak or chicken and provolone, green peppers, onions and mushrooms; and Cajun, that has Cajun seasoning, hot pepper rings and "Horse-rowdy" sauce, each for $5.95.

The famous pulled-pork sandwich is $4.95.

"This place is great," says Mark Sokolowski of Baldwin, who stopped by last week. "The food is excellent. I love the pulled-pork sandwich and the fresh-cut fries. The meat is so tasty. It's so juicy."

On a nice day, you will find the outdoor tables full. In winter, most people take food to go. Kingsland recently expanded the cooking and storage area and hopes to open another location with an indoor dining room. He wants to make sure the timing is right, however. Having left a career at a bank to cook out for a living, he says you have to be patient when you own a business.

These days, he could cook ribs and chicken in his sleep. Employees make all the wing sauces, from buffalo mild to Creeping Death Habanero, and original mild barbecue and rowdier barbecue rib sauces. The smoker is on wheels and is used for many catering jobs from tailgates to birthday parties.

Kingsland says he believes this kind of business has been successful because the type of food appeals to a broad range of people. He says there often are times when he sees a line that includes families, businessmen, elderly couples and groups of young people.

Additional Information:

Rowdy BBQ Takeout and Catering

Location: 3900 Saw Mill Run Blvd., Brentwood

Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Sundays

Details: 412-882-6788 or Web site

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