It’s not yet 11:30 in the morning and people are already waiting by the back door of Kendall Square’s Hungry Mother restaurant. It may be the scent of wood smoke that draws them or maybe they just heard about it. Those who arrive early enough score a succulent pulled pork sandwich ($9), Lexington, N.C., style. The restaurant started Backdoor BBQ on Thursdays and Fridays and sells the takeout specialty “as a way we can offer lunch on our own terms,” says chef and owner Barry Maiden.
Pork shoulder is smoked in hickory and apple wood for eight hours and then roasted in the oven for another 10. The meat is chopped, not shredded, piled high between slices of a house-made Pullman loaf, drizzled with vinegary barbecue sauce, and topped with pickled slaw. The interplay between smoke and brine makes this a standout. Grab and go with a bag of chips ($1), cola ($1.50), sweet tea ($2), or a homemade cookie ($2). There’s nothing else on the menu. You could inhale this sandwich, but best to eat it slowly and savor it. Hungry Mother Backdoor BBQ, 233 Cardinal Medeiros Ave. (Kendall Square), Cambridge, 617-499-0090. Thu-Fri 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. or until sandwiches run out.
ANN TRIEGER KURLAND