Don't have much experience with northern bbq. I will say we took a little trip to up near Pittsburgh the other month, and drove all the way taking about a week to go there and back and now that you mention it, I can't recall seeing a single BBQ shack up north. Drive 15 hours southeast, south (without hitting the ocean), or southwest and you can't go an exit without seeing something (except Florida).
Pittsburgh's food scene is its own particular brand of weird. All the meals are comically large. You could do a fun Wheel of Fortune/make your own Pittsburgh meal wheel that has slaw on an already too big sandwich, way too many fries on a sandwich, pierogies, ketchup, and Iron City beer. Spin until you get 3 of those things.