Barbecue is one of the most contentious topics in American cuisine. I find all the arguments about authenticity, and the supremacy of various regional recipes, quite tiresome. To me, to claim that there is one correct way to smoke meat, and one sort of sauce to enjoy on it (or none at all) is just downright obnoxious, bigoted even. I claim to be no expert on the subject; but I trust my senses; and I have a Pavlovian response to the words The Joint. Apparently, they do Carolina barbecue; and the crude distinction I have been able to make is that they use vinegar sauce, as opposed to thick, sweet, ketchup-y sauce. But, I don’t really care; it is comfort food of the highest order. And, to top it all off, the proprietors, Pete And Jenny, are some of the nicest folks you’ll ever want to meet. Mmm. Meat.
If you’ve come with a hearty appetite, and you really should have, get “The W Special ($13.99),” which comes with a little bit of pulled pork, a little bit of beef brisket, and two ribs. You also get a choice of two sides, one of which HAS to be the baked beans (best I ever had), and the other is a toss up between mac and cheese and coleslaw. Enjoy with a sweet tea or Barq’s root beer ($1.39). They have beer, too. They’re open Monday-Saturday, now, from 11:30-9.
Tonight through Sunday, at the Marigny Theatre within the Allways Lounge, a show called “Sometimes at the Allways” (get it?) plays at 9, $10. The theater space and bar retains the gay-friendliness of is Cowpokes days, and seems to have added a layer of street-kidliness. During last year’s Fringe Fest, the Marigny Theatre showcased some interesting local and touring acts, and seems primed to be the epicenter of a burgeoning, underground theater movement in New Orleans. “Sometimes at the Allways” promises to be, well, this is part of the press release:
Bessie award-winning choreographer/performance artist Scott Heron creates an evening of immersive theatre that takes the audience on a trip from dirty St. Claude Avenue to the darkest corner of the Marigny Theatre. The audience experiences a live rock and roll band playing on the roof of Heron’s mini-van in the middle of St. Claude Ave before being escorted into the lounge where they will find a highly eclectic cast of local actors, dancers and choreographers portraying bar patrons engaged in organized, abstract activities that border on the absurd.
Local nightlife rituals erupt throughout the lounge, including sissy bounce dance on the bar, a Cher impersonator, brawling lesbian police officers, off-kilter country line dancing and the infamous Bourbon Street gay bar tradition of “Love is in the Air” napkin toss. The mayhem climaxes in a rowdy box office scene where the patrons finally find themselves inside the dark, silent, empty theatre. Heron then invites the audience to join him on stage where he performs, up close and personal, his indescribable, highly physical solo dance piece. The evening ends when the curtain opens and the ensemble performs a large group dance in the empty house of the Marigny Theatre.
If you’ve got anything left, and I know you do, things should just be getting going over at Vaughn’s, where trumpeter Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers do their thing on Thursdays. Drinks are cheap. And, if you need to sop up some of said drinks, there’s food. Yep, more barbeque, and maybe some red beans and rice. All for $10.