Pok-e-Jo’s pleases brisket minimalist

When it comes to brisket, if people describe it as “moist,” I hear “fatty.” I suppose that, when I say “lean,” there are those who will hear “dry,” but it needn’t be that way. It’s just plain brisket that this person craves. Forget sauce on the side; forget side dishes generally; forget any hint of tomato anything rubbed on it before it goes into the pit. When I ask for a half pound of lean, I don’t want any portion of anything juicy. Needless to say, I miss the old Pit that usd to be on East Fifth, incorporating the Susanna Dickinson house (now preserved at Brush Square) within its rambling structure and serving classic barbecue at great prices.

I’ll return to Pok-e-Jo’s at Hancock, which we tried today after seeing Marigold. My half-pound order of brisket, “lean, please,” was just as ordered. Of others’ sides that I tried, I liked the beans best: they had a smoky flavor, were of the right texture, weren’t too salty, and were seasoned with plenty of black pepper.

The menu was being enjoyed by a diverse group, including multi-generational families and gangs of students clad in burnt orange. Tea was the predominant beverage, but some were enjoying beer. There are three big-screen televisions, but they were muted, making Pok-e-Jo’s a good place for comfortable conversation, as well as a good value. As I left I talked briefly to a guy seated near the door; he confirmed that he was using WiFi and that it was free.

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