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Pittsburgh: Boomerang BBQ, Tonic (long)


Restaurants & Bars

Pittsburgh: Boomerang BBQ, Tonic (long)

GreenStreetThrill | Sep 17, 2003 10:45 AM

Boomerang BBQ, self-subtitled "Aussom Aussie," is at 27th and Penn, which I believe is toward the outer edge of The Strip District.

The BBQ plate had generous heaps of pulled pork and beef brisket and 4 meaty ribs, with sides of pineapple-poppy slaw and corn salad.

The pulled pork was moist, with a pleasantly fruity and tangy sauce, but did not taste smoked at all (the menu boasts 12 hours of cherry-wood smoking - none of us could taste it). So it was good, but if you love Carolina-style, you'll find this a bit wanting.

The beef brisket had the same (or similar) sauce, was decently moist and flavorful and was also not smoky at all.

Rib meat was easily tugged from the bone; my only complaint was that the outsides were so crispy as to make it difficult to pull away just a bite's worth of meat (again, maybe this is "good"). The sauce on the ribs had a real sweetness to it - I'm not sure if it was a sweeter sauce than on the other meats or if it's just more evident on the ribs for some reason.

The side of pineapple-poppy seed coleslaw was memorable for its brightness and the poppy seeds. A little too liquidy though.
Tonic Bar and Grill, across from the Westin Convention Center downtown, attempts to be a broad neighborhood bistro. Mixed results, as far as I'm concerned.

Chicken with pesto "sandwich" was dry, boring and somewhat difficult to eat, but the grilled flatbread was perfect.

The duck breast special on linguine with "tomato reduction" (kind of like ratatouille, actually) was surprisingly good. The breast was skinless, so it was very much like a grilled chicken breast dish, only duck, but was grilled to a perfect medium rare. Tomato and eggplant on linquine was an odd complement, but it worked really well. I'm used to grilled/sauteed chicken breast with tomato sauce and pasta from my early bachelor days, and the eggplant and duck bring something really new and good to that basic. Though $17 seems a bit much for that step up.

Looking forward to trying the lamb burger...

Frozen Mango mousse dessert had a weird texture and was too ginormous for me, though the "macaroons" were pretty good, and they pour a real generous cup of coffee.
What is it with serving duck breast, or, in the case of their steak dishes, over *pasta*? Is that a 'Burgh thing?


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