The Scoop: McClure’s BBQ
It’s safe to say New Orleans revolves around food. Visitors and locals alike crave Cajun and Creole cuisine, poboys bigger than your head and fresh Gulf seafood. We’re a city known for good restaurants and festivals dedicated to food. We’re known for many things, but barbecue isn’t one of them.
Right after college, I worked for a company headquartered in Memphis, TN. I became so spoiled on Memphis barbecue that I developed into somewhat of a barbecue snob. The thought of getting barbecue when I was in New Orleans just didn’t exist, and my trips to Memphis began to revolve around when and where barbecue would come into play. Cue the nickname: “pork princess”.
As stated above, I never thought to get barbecue in NOLA. That is until McClure’s opened up about a year ago, exactly one block from my office. I was there the week it opened and have frequented many times since. They have great sweet tea, so even when I wasn’t in the mood for barbecue, I would go and grab an afternoon pick-me-up.
The owner and pit master, Neil McClure, is a restaurant veteran here in New Orleans and started McClure’s as a pop-up. The success was swift, and many impatiently awaited the opening of a brick and mortar location. McClure’s is doing traditional, authentic, low-and-slow barbecue. I can appreciate any food product that requires some tender love and care. Neil is doing just that and hardwood smoking his meats anywhere from 6-12 hours.
I always get the pulled pork sandwich, which has an awesome char but is still juicy and succulent. They also offer beef brisket, ribs, whole chickens, pork sausage and chicken thighs. Any of the smoky goodness can be ordered by itself, or as a sandwich in true New Orleans style, on a Dong Phuong roll. Even the sides are getting the gourmet treatment. The mac ‘n’ cheese is made from scratch, and the baked beans take six hours to prepare. They also shred their cabbage for the slaw and mix it with a vinegar-based dressing, which I prefer.
One of my favorite things about McClure’s is the variety of sauces present at each table. Who doesn’t love options? Each style represents a different member of the barbecue belt, including: Memphis, Kansas City, South Carolina, North Carolina, Texas, and Alabama.
McClure’s is my kind of comfort food. When I’ve had a bad day or need my pork fix, it’s just the cure. Give me pulled pork, an array of sauces to dabble with, some homemade mac ‘n’ cheese and sweet tea… yes, hog heaven is real.
McClure’s will be celebrating its one-year anniversary on Saturday July 26th with a whole hog roast! This is definitely a not-to-be-missed event!