Make a pig of yourself at Merle's

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I finally got a chance to try Merle's, the new American restaurant made out of that most American of businesses, an old shock-alignment place.

Merle's managers pimped their vinegar-based Carolina barbecue when I first talked to them, so
I felt obligated to try the pork sandwich, topped with a traditional creamy coleslaw. 

Instead of swimming in goo, this barbecue focused on the meat, whose strong pork flavor was bolstered, not overshadowed, by the delicious taste of smoke and a light, vinegary sauce. The coleslaw complemented those tastes, and the fries were damn near stunning -- russet potatoes puffed up with plenty of salt and pepper. 

I also tried the yam chips with guac, which weren't nearly as spectacular, and maybe even a little bland.

If you go to Merle's, I'd strongly suggest getting a half rack of ribs for an app, then the pork sandwich as an entree, then another half rack for dessert. And make a note to return in the summer, because with the rooftop patio and "garage doors" that open up to the street, this should be a pretty awesome spot.

Merle's is located at 2609 West Main Street in Littleton; call the restaurant at 303-797-6008.

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