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From The Daily Press (2006)

Everything you've heard about Pierce's is true
By Blaire Price

Whenever I tell people that I live in Williamsburg, they immediately say, "You should go to Pierce's Pitt Bar-B-Que." I was eager to find out for myself if it's really that good.

On a Thursday evening, my boyfriend and I walked into the restaurant expecting a hostess; apparently we are way too spoiled. Pierce's has a fast-food-type atmosphere with a menu located behind the row of cash registers and smiling employees eagerly waiting to serve you.

I scanned the menu and decided on Pierce's Grilled BBQ Chicken Dinner with french fries, hush puppies, cole slaw, a roll ($8.15), a small fountain drink ($1.25), and the last piece of lemon pound cake ($2.70). My boyfriend decided on the regular barbecue sandwich with homemade cole slaw on a roll ($3.55), a side of macaroni and cheese ($1.85) and a small fountain drink.

We were given our receipt and order number and we headed to find a seat. It was about 7:30 and it wasn't too busy, being that it closes at 9 p.m.

The dining room was filled with orange and yellow booths, and photos were framed along the wood-paneled walls.

The atmosphere was casual and family-friendly with contemporary music in the background. A neon sign reading "Pierce's Pitt Bar-B-Que" was glowing near the display of Pierce's signature barbecue sauces on sale.

"Guest number 64, your order is now ready."

That's us! I was so excited to try my dinner. We approached the counter and picked up paper bags with our food in plastic containers and plastic silverware.

I ate my barbecue chicken dinner first. The barbecue sauce was very tangy, but not overpowering. I ate one cutlet by itself, and put the other one on my roll to make a chicken sandwich. The french fries were wide and had a great potato flavor, as opposed to the greasy taste you find at other places. The hush puppies were a little too crunchy, as if they had been sitting out too long.

My boyfriend barely spoke the entire time because he was enjoying his barbecue sandwich so much. He said the flavor of the sauce was the perfect fit for the pulled pork.

I have to say my first trip to Pierce's was pretty darn good, but I wanted more. I wanted that famous barbecue sandwich. So we had to go back.

It was a Sunday morning at 11:45, and the place wasn't too crowded, believe it or not. But we figured the crowds were still in church.

I ordered a regular barbecue sandwich with cole slaw on it ($3.55), a side of potato salad ($1.55), green beans ($1.85) and corn bread ($1.45). My boyfriend had been dying to try the ribs he saw on our last visit, so he got a half-rack ($9.85). Once again, we got our order number, found the same booth and waited for our food.

Just then we noticed that Pierce's had become packed! There was a line practically out the door, with kids running around, off-duty firefighters and families entering from all sides of the restaurant. Apparently church was over, and it was time to eat before the football games began.

I was salivating just thinking about this sandwich that everyone raves about. Would it live up to the hype?

Our number was called, and we set up for lunch. My first bite was of the barbecue sandwich and wow, the claims were true. It was so savory, with 4 ounces of pulled pork smothered in a tangy barbecue sauce. The bun was warmed by the pork and didn't get soggy from the sauce. While I was in taste heaven I looked over at my boyfriend eating his ribs. His fingers were covered in sauce, and he had a satisfied smile on his face. He said that the meat was so tender that it just fell right off the bone.

My potato salad was perfect. Just the right amount of mayonnaise, and lots of chunks of potato throughout - just the way I like it. The green beans, on the other hand, tasted less like actual green beans and more like the meat used to flavor them. Plus, they were a little too spicy for my taste.

The cornbread was amazing; one bite and I was 10 years old again in my grandmother's kitchen. It was warm and sweet, and it melted in your mouth. What a great way to end my lunch.

So after two trips to Pierce's Pitt Bar-B-Que and plenty of leftovers, I have to say that the claims are definitely accurate.

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The original "PITT" sign.
Grandson Scott Shelton, at age 10.

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