Down 'n' Dirty Bar-B-Q in Manchester is a few side streets off the main drag, with little parking. Inside, there's a counter behind which you can see the guys prepping meats, and a sparse dining area. There's no beer or table service. The ownership changed hands just a few months before my first visit. Two twenty-something culinary students bought the place from the original pitmaster Rick Brickman.
There's one kind of rib at Down 'n' Dirty Bar-B-Q, a smallish version of St Louis, served grilled and unsauced, with a mop sauce already basted in. These were somewhat moist and pink from smoking but had no smoke flavor and were a little tough, probably needing another hour in the smoker. There was plenty of char from grilling and a very pronounced liquid smoke flavor. And greasy too, without any of the natural pork juiciness and flavor.
Pulled pork was pink and had better flavor but was very dry. There was a decent amount of bark, though dark. It really needed sauce, which was the highlight of the meal.
Mild, sweet and hot sauces were available at the table, all with good flavor and good consistency (not ketchupy).
Collard greens were flavorful and had a good amount of meat, as did the baked beans, though the beans were a little chalky. Cole slaw was crisp and light with a good celery seed flavor.
Service was friendly and helpful. We were offered an additional white vinegar sauce as well as samples of brisket which were pretty good.
The bottom line: Down 'n' Dirty Bar-B-Q offers serviceable barbecue but nothing worth a special trip. I really want to like this place, but even if you're close, the superior KC's Rib Shack is just 2 miles away.