Barbecue is having (another) moment in the Twin Cities.
No fewer than five new spots have opened in the past six months, and St. Paul’s newest is Bark and the Bite in the former Heirloom space on Marshall Avenue.
Ribs at Bark and the Bite on Marshall Avenue in St. Paul, pictured in May 2019. (Jess Fleming / Pioneer Press)
The space hasn’t changed much — the open kitchen is still there, and you order from there. Unlike some counter-service operations that deliver food to your table after you order, here you pick up your own tray when it’s ready.
The menu consists of barbecue platters (pulled pork, smoked turkey or jackfruit), ribs, wings and sides. You pick from four sauces to go with your meats.
We stopped by during a recent lunch hour, and there was a decent crowd for a Tuesday. We ordered at the counter and were surprised by how quickly the food was ready.
We tried the pulled pork, smoked turkey and ribs, along with an array of sides.
The best meat, hands down, was the ribs, which were flavorful and tender, yet still had a little bite. A tasty dry rub meant no sauce was required, and we liked the pile of crunchy slaw the ribs were served on.
The pulled pork was good, if a little dry, and the turkey a nice alternative for the pork-averse. We didn’t really love any of the three sauces we tried, but the best of them was the salsa-like Wildfire, which packed plenty of acid and heat. Both the Vodka Chile and Cherry Bourbon were a little sweet for our taste.
As for the sides, the meaty beans and fresh potato salad were great accompaniments to the meats.
We are excited to go back and try the wings, especially the Tennessee Hot version, and we are happy to know that there’s a new place to get a quick barbecue fix, especially during the lunch hour. It’s also great to see the space that housed Heirloom being used again.
BARK AND THE BITE
Where: 2186 Marshall Ave., St. Paul
Info: 651-528-7928; barkandthebite.com
Prices: Sandwiches, $6.99-$11.49; platters, $11.49-$13.99; ribs, $14.99 for a half rack, $24.99 for a whole