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Review: Pierce’s Pitt Bar-B-Que Sauce


Posted September 28, 2007 by

Pierce's Pitt BBQ Sauce
On the outskirts of historic Williamsburg Virginia lies a vast and heavily guarded tract of U.S. Government land know as Camp Peary. Some years ago, following the Cold War, it was revealed that the camp was a training school for the CIA, as it remains to this day. People say that what a person learns here, they will take to their grave.

Less than a mile from the gates of the camp is a place called Pierce’s Pitt Bar-B-Que. The bright orange and yellow neon bands inside the dining room are a beacon for passing truckers and tourists on I-64. Inside this little place, the family of the late Julius C. (Doc) Pierce guards the recipe for his Bar-B-Que sauce with the same zeal as their secretive neighbors. Rightfully so. Doc’s sauce is something special.

It’s all about flavor and balance. It meets my personal test using the following convention for BBQ sauce evaluation; S³ + F + H = N. Translated, you must have complimentary components of Sweet, Sour and Spice (S³) plus a discernable flavor of the predominant fruit or vegetable (F), plus heat (H) to produce Nirvana (N) in a Bar-B-Que sauce.

Now, when you see Ketchup as the predominant ingredient on the label, just hang in there ““ have faith!

Ingredients: “tomato ketchup (tomato concentrate, distilled vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, salt, spice, onion powder, natural flavoring), distilled vinegar, sugar and our own secret spices.”

Pierce's Pitt BBQ Sauce
The secret in Pierce’s lies in a perfect balance between the sweet and sour, a few distinctive spices, and a choice of capsicum that produces a consistent, albeit mild, burn.

The sweetness of the ketchup seems to have been tamed by adding additional vinegar, suggesting this is a Carolina-style sauce, but it’s so much more!

The spice that jumps all over your tongue is cinnamon. Again, have faith and don’t be put off at the thought that this sauce is going to taste like the pecan roll you had for breakfast. In the same way that the flavor of cinnamon put Cincinnati on the world map of chili, Doc’s family recipe puts Williamsburg, VA (and Flat Creek, TN, from whence the original recipe came) on the BBQ sauce map.

Pierce's Pitt BBQ Sauce
Now, to the heat. A close examination of the sauce reveals flecks of black pepper and the flakes and seeds of crushed, dried red peppers. My guess is that it’s an Asian variety. The black pepper produces the instant gratification of a constant tingle on the edges of your tongue, while the red pepper warms your face over time. By the time you finish your cue, you have developed the characteristic line of perspiration along both sides of your nose. All-in-all, if you seek a discernable, but not overpowering burn in your BBQ sauce, Pierce’s should be on your shelf. I give it a 5 on the HSB Heat Scale, but a 10+ on the enjoyment scale.

This is a sauce to be poured without restraint on your cue, or meatloaf, or your beans. And don’t forget to pour a puddle on the side to dip the hushpuppies and fries.

Pierce's Pitt BBQ Sauce
For more information, directions and ordering information, go to www.pierces.com





    Sounds like a nice commercial.

    david mcfarland

    =O I’ve been to that place many times before. I always try to go there whenever I go to virginia. at least once a year


    who is steven me?


    Nice 1st review, very professional indepth analysis. Even made my mouth water. 😛


    That’s an interesting formula you have there for grading BBQ sauces.. lol


    Sounds yummy but the flashbacks of Algebra class did me in! lol


    Welcome aboard SteveM!!!


    Shouldn’t that be S4 (smoke)? And what about A(alcohol)? Oh, sorry that’s my equation for N. Hey, in algebra don’t you have to show proof? Nice job Steve, it sounds tasty.


    [Comment ID #112714 Quote] Smoke! You’re right. S4 it is. Good catch.


    S³ + F + H = N. Translated, you must have complimentary components of Sweet, Sour and Spice (S³) plus a discernable flavor of the predominant fruit or vegetable (F), plus heat (H) to produce Nirvana (N) in a Bar-B-Que sauce.

    Wrong Math S³ + 2F + H³ = N
    Nope S³ would be for Salivate, Sticky and Scrumptious, FF is for French Fries that you use to dip in the bbq sauce, H is indeed meant for Heat, but it is H³ for Heat, Homecooking, and of course the new Hummer, and N most definitely should be for Next, as in next slab of ribs please! 😀

    jack mutty

    hello steve nice blogging sweet review man cant wait to try it


    Yes it sounds like a commercial. Ketchup? Are you kidding me? It was good bbq but not great. You can taste the ketchup in the sauce. Maybe more so, because I knew it was there. Does not compare to Malbon Brothers in Virginia Beach.

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