Bay of Pigs


This past weekend, the lady and I headed out for a Saturday drive. We made a bee line for Point Lookout, MD, a sentinel’s post overlooking the conflux of the Potomac and Chesapeake. You can’t see across the Bay there, Cherry Island being the nearest land fifteen miles to the East with the actual Eastern Shore a full twenty-four miles away. The Potomac is nearly as broad, the southern end of the river’s mouth, South Point, a whopping eleven miles distant. We were lucky enough to catch a wild snow falling when we arrived, a truly beautiful sight. Anyway, enough about nature, this article’s supposed to be about our lunch.

We were hungry when we left home. We were excited to hit Point Lookout, but our sights (and stomachs) were set squarely on Bear Creek Open Pit BBQ. I read about this place on Jane and Michael Stern’s greasy spoon bible, Stern’s description of the ten foot by ten foot indoor brick pit left no question of where to stop for lunch. It was in plain view when we walked in the door, ten or fifteen pounds of pork slow-cooking on the massive steel grates. My God, it was beautiful. Details on the food postule-jumpule.

I had to order the pulled-pork sandwich to see what this place is all about. And to round out the review, we also ordered the buffalo wings, smoked turkey sandwich, baked beans, collards, and a piece’a cornbread. Hell yes.

After ordering at the counter, we settled down next to the fireplace in the cozy dining room. The pulled pork was outstanding. Falling out of a fresh sesame bun, the finely chopped pulled pork was served without sauce, and a dining room full of bbq sauce, vinegar, and hot sauce let each customer complement the sandwich with his or her own style. I slathered mine in vinegar, and the bbq was tender and delicious. It left little to be desired, but the flavor could have been a little smokier.

The sides were perfect. The cornbread was dense and semi-sweet, a welcome sponge for a greasy lunch. The greens were perfectly cooked, soft but not slimy, and strongly flavored with bacon, pepper, and vinegar. But the baked beans were our favorite. Flavored with brown sugar and bacon, they simply couldn’t have been any better – fer serious.

The turkey sandwich and buffalo wings were a bit disappointing. I’m not sure that either of them were cooked on the pit. They seemed more bar food than bar-b-que and I’d recommend choosing something else if you go. But hell, there’s plenty else on the menu that is 100% pit cooked, and don’t be shy about asking what’s good when you order.

Bear Creek BBQ is a serious freaking bar-b-que place. This is Grade A road food, and I definitely recommend it. Just remember when it comes to ordering, stick to the pit and you won’t be disappointed.

Bear Creek Open Pit BBQ
21030 Point Lookout Road
Callaway, MD 20620

Bear Creek BBQ is 60 miles south of WDC on Maryland’s Route 5.
Thanks to for the tips and pics.

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  • gansie January 22, 2008  

    don’t yell at me, but i have a question — is there any beef bbq available there?

  • Tim January 22, 2008  

    Yeah, they do. In fact, the Sterns’ pics of the place are excellent – even nabbing a full shot of the menu:

    And, they also have local specials, such as SOMD Stuffed Ham and Oyster Stew.

  • gansie January 22, 2008  


    see, i’m really not into the whole “pulled” texture of food. (clothes is a different story) I know, this doesn’t bode well when dating a southerner. regardless, i would have picked the sliced beef sandwich, side of chili and corn bread.

  • Tim January 22, 2008  

    …not sure how someone can dislike “pulled” foods. Pulled bbq just means chopped bbq. And I happen to know that you do like chopped foods.

  • gansie January 22, 2008  

    no. pulled meat is all stringy and weird.

  • Tim January 22, 2008  

    Ah, gotcha, but… BAD pulled meat is stringy and weird.


  • 80 Proof January 22, 2008  

    You know what’s weird? Salmon and capers on a bagel.

  • gansie January 22, 2008  

    now that’s just low.

  • BS January 22, 2008  

    when all is fails, blame the jews

  • 80 Proof January 22, 2008  

    Them, and the Southerners.

  • JoeHoya January 23, 2008  

    Would it help if the pulled food have some avocado mixed in?

  • gansie January 23, 2008  

    wow joehoya, you really know the way to my heart. and you should have seen me inhale guacamole at La Lomita (Conn Ave, NW – Friendship Heights) the other night. it was served with the most amazing baked tortilla chips ever. they were so buttery and flaky. who knew!

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