This Little Piggy Went to Northeast Philly

Here at blogalicious, we’ve been missing good barbeque since our April excursion to Savannah and the South Carolina lowcountry. In the South, hickory ‘que pits and cinderblock smoke shacks line the backwoods roads; good barbeque is as pervasive there as roast pork sandwiches and carnitas tacos are in Philly. The locals might show poor judgment in liking NASCAR, but they sure do know their way around a pork butt.

Bummer our barbeque scene is limited. We pretty much need to take what we can get, and there are some fine choices, but none that compare to what I had down South. Till now. Sweet Lucy’s has been around a few years, but it’s rare that we venture into the Great Northeast, so the off-Cottman smokehouse never really registered on our radar. Then we heard about their Monday Night BBQ Buffet, an $18.95 per person spread available only on Monday nights. So we piled into the car, shot up 95 to the Rhawn Street exit and engaged in some seriously piggish barbeque face-stuffing.

The high-ceilinged warehouse-like space and massive, high-spirited crowd make Sweet Lucy’s feel like a barbeque rave. Pay first at the register, grab a picket fence-backed booth and start eating. The L-shaped buffet runs the front of the restaurant, packed with vinegary pulled pork, house-smoked salmon and kielbasa, sweet and tangy brisket, falling-apart ribs, killer chili and crisp-skinned chicken legs, breast and thighs tinted a faint rosy pink from hickory smoke. All the fixings are present: crumbly cornbread, gooey mac ‘n’ cheese, tender collards, cream spinach, gravy-drenched mashed potatoes, baked beans brimming with shredded pieces of pork and the best mashed sweet potatoes on earth. Some pics here. Bonus: Sweet Lucy’s brew their own sweet tea, but feel free to bring a long a six-pack or three and kick back with Monday Night Football unfolding on the wall-mounted plasma. The buffet ends at 8:30, just shy of kick-off, so we suggest piling a platter high around 8:15 and staging a sit-in. Just eat slowly, though with barbeque as great as this, that’s easier said than done.

Photo: blogalicious


Cheesesteak the Impaler said...

OK, I won't give you any grief on this one, cuz I've been honestly curious about this joint since I first heard about it. I hear on Weds they have a sandwich special where basically all sandwiches come with "extra meat" and I'm planning on checking that one out.

My question is, while it would be "extreme" biking from South Philly, do you think it's bike-able? I figure I can justify the pig out if I burn mega-cals riding in and out.

adam said...

Hey Cheesesteak-

Don't know anything about the extra meat deal, though judging from the regular menu, there's plenty of meat to be had. The platters average around $9 and include protein, two sides (get the mashed sweets and collards), coleslaw and cornbread or a roll.

Re: biking, God bless you if you want to try it. It's about half an hour in the car door to door. Biking from South Philly I'm guessing maybe an hour and a half. Best way would probably be to shoot right up Delaware Ave. and pick up Cottman? Good luck.

E said...

I'm a big fan of Sweet Lucy's. In my own unofficial review of all the BBQ offered in Philly, Sweet Lucy's is my favorite. I went on a Monday night one time and felt the food wasn't as good at the buffet as it is when you order a platter or a sandwich.

Cheesesteak the Impaler said...

Just read this off their menu pdf:

"Tuesday and Wednesday special: The BIG sandwich: extra meaty + choice of two sides". I'm guessing it's the reg. platter with a lil' extra on it.

I may be the one serious 'cue guy out there who just does not like collards. Still, the meats and the rest of the sides sounds like it may be worth the suicide expedition. 11.8 miles door to door, definitely around an hour and twenty both ways. Maybe next week or the week after if I got the time, I'll let you know how it goes. Won't feel guilty about that meal at least.

adam said...

Interesting, e. I'll have to check it out on another night and compare.