I really like the bar at Market Barbecue.  It’s an open room, heavy on the wood, and it’s nearly always empty when I’m there.  Hockey on the TV.  I go with a friend who likes single malt Scotch, and the aroma of whatever fine hooch he’s drinking drifts all over.  Potent.

I prefer the Texas Beef Ribs, but the spare ribs are classic.  Pulled pork, well, they do it just right.

And yet, you know, even though I really like this place, like the location on Eat Street, like the beer and ribs, I just think it’s not the right atmosphere for barbecue.  I don’t know why.  It’s almost like the bar is so perfect for drinking that eating there spoils it.  So I end up saying something nice about it only to turn around and shrug, right?

You should eat there if you like barbecue.  You won’t be disappointed in the food at all.  And if you eat in a booth in the back, you won’t bring on the melancholy like I do in the front bar with my friends.  Hell, get it to go and eat at home, even.

Maybe it all comes down to the time of year I go.  I’m never in the mood for barbecue joints in the summer because I like to toss some ribs on the grill out back.  But once I put away the coals for the season, I immediately want more barbecue.  So I head on over when the wind picks up and the sky is gray.  I lose the coat and wait for the room to warm me over, then order an amber beer and sip til the ribs arrive.  And I’m sad.  Happy for the food, but still angsty, existential.  Why do I do this to myself?  And yet, it feels kind of nice, too.

I don’t know.  On second thought, wait until Spring to hit Market.  Leave the colder months to me.