Linkdown: 10/29/14

- Creative Loafing: Is there an Atlanta barbecue? With quotes from our friend Grant from Marie, Let’s Eat (via)

But is there an “Atlanta style” of barbecue? Arguably the unofficial capital of the South, Atlanta should be known as a barbecue mecca the way Memphis is, right? Or Austin? Hell, even Lexington, N.C. — with a population of fewer than 20,000 — is more of a bona fide barbecue destination than we’ve ever been. Atlanta is situated in the heart of barbecue country, but when you ask some of the area’s best barbecue bloggers and chefs to explain the city’s place in the wider world of ‘cue, you get more hemming and hawing than from a pitmaster being grilled on what’s in his top-secret rub.

- Speaking of Atlanta, the latest barbecue stops for Marie, Let’s Eat are Poole’s Bar-B-Q, Joe’s BBQ, and Sam’s BBQ-1 West

- In this past weekend’s third annual Tempeh Challenge in Asheville. a tempeh from The Bom Bus captured the People’s Choice Award with “its black bean tempeh and North Carolina-style barbecue sauce served with sweet potato mash and sweet potato chips”

- Eight years in, southern Californian Carolina Panther Ryan Kalil knows the difference in barbecue between the two areas…kinda

Q. What has become your favorite Southern tradition?

A. Barbecuing’s a big deal in southern California and it is here, too.

Q. Different styles though, right?

A. Different style, different lingo. Like back home you say, ‘Are you going to a barbecue?’ Here you say, go to grill out. I’m like, ‘Grill out?’

Q. What’s the food at a California barbecue?

A. Different kinds of burgers, steaks. Here it’s like pulled pork.

- A video feature on The Great NC BBQ Map from High Point’s Fox 8

- WRAL’s pick for favorite entree at this year’s NC State Fair was a barbecue sundae

Carthage’s own Pik-N-Pig offers the best entree option at the N.C. State Fair – The Barbecue Sundae. Now, it isn’t a traditional ice cream sundae. It is more like a barbecue parfait with layers and layers of goodness. The barbecued pork is topped with a layer of baked beans, then a layer of coleslaw. Just add your favorite sauce on top (we like a mix of both sauces), and you are all set. Served in a convenient 20 oz. plastic cup, you are able to walk and eat quite easily with this blend of sides and meat. Don’t be surprised if you end up finishing it, because it is not nearly as heavy as it sounds.

- WRAL also reviews The Fire Pit, a new barbecue restaurant in Wake Forest

- On Sunday, Sam Jones hits Dallas with his brand of North Carolina whole hog awesomeness for Dia de los Puercos

- More info on Dia de los Puercos from TMBBQ themselves, noting that the “hogs that Samuel Jones will be cooking are a Texas-raised heritage breed,” plus this cool photos

- Lexington is #4 on this list of the 12 meat cities in the US, and for good reason:

Of the many “barbecue capitals of the world,” Lexington is by far the smallest. There’s a barbecue restaurant (19) for every thousand people, and most are world class.

- Finally:

Photo Gallery: The Mallard Creek Church Barbecue, 10/23/14

This past Thursday marked the 85th Annual Mallard Creek Church Barbecue. While the lunchtime rush was too long, I ended up checking it out later afternoon before the lines got long again for dinner. If I had to pass along a pro tip, it would be to go mid-afternoon like I happened to do last year. The lines won’t be too long, the politicians will be mostly gone, and the barbecue will be in better shape than it is towards the end of the day. Still, a worthwhile even that I hope to continue attending for years to come.


Photo Gallery: 2014 Q-City Charlotte BBQ Championship, 10/18/14

A few photos from last weekend’s Q-City Charlotte BBQ Championship, now a NC BBQ Association sanctioned event. Whether it was due to the change in sanctioning bodies or different organizers, I enjoyed the changes to this year’s version of the festival a lot. The barbecue competitors were more front and center, lined up on S. Tryon Street instead of being an afterthought to a street festival. There were also several more professional barbecue vendor options to choose from to eat. All in all, not a bad way to spend a few hours on a beautiful autumn Saturday morning.


Linkdown: 10/22/14

- The Charlotte Observer’s Retro Charlotte blog has several old ads for the Mallard Creek Barbecue

- Speaking of the Mallard Creek Barbecue, in its 85th annual edition just as many people come for the brunswick stew as do for the pork writes Charlotte Observer writer Kathleen Purvis

- One last link for it, where they are going above and beyond to prevent health risks

- Mind wanders to Southern rock, baseball, weather – and barbecue

- Some photos and a short recap of this past weekend’s Q-City Charlotte BBQ Championship

- Village Voice: Arrogant Swine Brings the Nuances of Carolina ‘Cue to New York

The region’s other favorite barbecue preparation, Lexington style, marries pork shoulder with a thin but pungent ketchup-based vinegar sauce. On a recent visit, Ho’s thickly chopped pig was aggressively smoky but just slightly undersalted — it still sings when dipped into that sauce.

- Congrats to Johnny!

Fuller’s Old Fashion BBQ – Lumberton, NC

: Fuller’s Old Fashion BBQ
Date: 10/10/14
Address: 3201 Roberts Avenue, Lumberton, NC 28360
Order: Buffet: chopped pork, fried chicken, hush puppies, chow chow, okra, banana pudding, and sweet tea (link to menu)
Price: $10.20

It may surprise you to learn that in four years of heading either to or from the beach for a guys weekend at Ocean Isle Beach, NC, I have not made it to any barbecue joints. Well, this year with my handy NC BBQ Map in hand, I was able to identify several candidates on the way, settling on Fuller’s Barbecue in Lumberton, about 2.5 hours into my trip from Charlotte.

Fuller’s is just a half mile of I-95 in a huge, log cabin-esque structure. And I do mean huge – its main room and buffet line was flanked on either side by even more sizable dining rooms. I actually didn’t realize until I pulled in that it was a buffet but since I was arriving right as they opened at 11 I wasn’t too concerned. It was more of a southern buffet instead of strictly barbecue – they had fried chicken, seafood, and even a salad bar in addition to a number of quintessentially southern sides. In addition to a heaping pile of eastern style chopped pork, I added a fried drumstick, hush puppies, okra, and chow chow (which was available instead of traditional cole slaw). And of course banana pudding to top it all off.

The map noted that Fuller’s was a wood smoked joint, and that was the reason why I ultimately chose it. And the smoke came certainly came through the tender, moist meat. Perhaps it was because I caught it right as they opened but if they are able to maintain this quality of pork throughout the day, they are onto something.

While not barbecue, I had a hankering for fried chicken and the drumstick was fried nicely and not too greasy. The hush puppies were tiny orbs with just the right amount of sweetness. The chow chow and okra were solid and tasted freshly made, though I still would have preferred slaw of some sort. And to top it off, the banana pudding was perfect.

There was a 15-deep line at the door when I arrived, and based on my experience at Fuller’s Old Fashion BBQ it was well earned. I’d be very interested to try it again next time I travel NC-74 heading towards the beach to get a sense of the consistency of the joint, but on this visit I was pleasantly surprised just how good it was.


Atmosphere/Ambiance – 4 hogs
Pork – 4 hogs
Sides – 4 hogs
Overall – 4 Hogs
Fuller's Old Fashion Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon

Friday Find: Serious Eats Guide to SC Barbecue

You may recall I wasn’t a huge fan of the NC barbecue video in this series of videos produced by Serious Eats for Arby’s. And this one’s every bit a mess as the other. In addition to the whole “being a blatant ad for Arby’s”, there’s that Creepy Serious Eats founder again. And while they bring in Tyson Ho (he of the newly-opened Arrogant Swine whole hog joint that I’ve been linking to for months) to talk about whole hog barbecue, hey may as well have been talking about eastern NC whole hog barbecue instead of SC. And I actually do suspect he was discussing NC barbecue when he was interviewed seeing as how he is an Ed Mitchell disciple (though he does serve some SC mustard sauce at his joint). He knows his stuff, but keeps referring to “Carolina whole hog” barbecue and even vinegar-based sauce as opposed to the mustard-based sauce they probably want him to discuss in a South Carolina-style video. If I had to guess, I would put money that this was an editing issue and they didn’t or couldn’t get someone to discuss mustard-style barbecue. In any case, way to go again, Serious Eats.


Linkdown: 10/15/14

- Deep fried barbecue on a stick at – where else – the NC State Fair in Raleigh

- The 85th annual Mallard Creek BBQ Festival has big plans for 2014

In 2014, we expect to cook 14,600 pounds of pork barbecue, prepare 2,500 gallons of Brunswick stew, shred 2 tons of Cole slaw, brew 400 gallons of coffee, and entertain close to 20,000 people.

- Shots fired at Lexington-style barbecue by Linwood Parker, who owns White Swan Barbecue; isn’t White Swan the gas station barbecue who cooks with gassers?

“Years ago, when people started moving west in their oxen-dawn carts, it took so long they forgot the recipe for barbecue,” he said.

“When they reached their destination, the only kind of hogs they had were piney wood rooters that fed off acorns. So, their hog meat was green. They just added a lot of catsup to it to cover up the green color.”

- Review of Bob Garner’s latest book, “Foods That Make You Say Mmm-mmm”

- The 23rd Annual Hog Happnin‘ returns to the Cleveland County Fairgrounds on Friday, October 31 and Saturday, November 1

- Austin Chronicle story on John Lewis’s upcoming barbecue restaurant in Charleston

- A Notre Dame football blog talks NC barbecue in a post before last weekend’s game against UNC in South Bend

- Sam Jones is heading to Dallas for a whole hog event in November

- Eater story (with some nice photos) on the opening of Arrogant Swine in New York

Located on the border of East Williamsburg and Bushwick near the English Kills Canal, Arrogant Swine is the brainchild of pitmaster Tyson Ho, who studied under perpetual Barbecue Block Party participant Ed Mitchell, sometimes called the Pope of North Carolina barbecue. The hulking 3,000 foot space is a former warehouse, with high ceilings, a full bar, and a counter at the rear where the smoked meat and sides are sold by the plate or by the pound. Place your order and receive a number hoisted on a metal rod; carry it to your table and your meat horde will be delivered by and by. There’s an outside seating area, too, with giant graffiti murals decorating the outside walls of the building, and an L-shaped shack out back where the barbecuing is done.

- Shame about where this photo was taken but the linked article takes a look at barbecue culture in Charlotte

- This weekend you can actually taste some of the pitmasters barbecue at the Q-City Charlotte BBQ Championship ( as opposed to years past); more details here

Press: Interview with the Barbecue Bros by Locally Crafted

Locally Crafted

We did it! We tricked someone into thinking enough of the Barbecue Bros to refer to us as “experts”! Take a read and let us know what you think in the comments. Thanks to the folks from Locally Crafted.

It seems like everyone knows someone who is obsessed with grilling and barbecue – or maybe you are that person. There is no denying that since our caveman days, humans have been fascinated by the delicate interplay between meat and fire. Perhaps most fascinated of all are three lifelong friends from High Point, North Carolina – Tommy, Kenny, and Mark, known as the “Barbecue Bros” – whose love for the cuisine runs so deep that they curate a barbecue blog together. Although Mark has moved to Austin, Texas, the Bros manage to collaborate long-distance to review as many barbecue establishments as they can. We sat down with the Bros to find out how various barbecue scenes compare and learned more than we ever thought possible.  Let’s dig in!


Here & Now – Barbecue, The Perennial Flavor Of North Carolina Politics


In case you missed it from our Wednesday linkdown, Here & Now interviews Bob Garner, and Rufus Edmisten, who lost the election for governor in 1984 because of barbecue.

When running for governor in 1984, Rufus Edmisten was asked if he had enough barbecue to eat. He made a fatal error.

“Something came over me that no one in their right mind would ever do,” Edmisten said. “I said, ‘Yes I certainly have, I’m tired of it. I hope I never see another drop of it as long I live.’ I said that, and I was joking of course!”

The comment created a media storm. Edmisten says the “barbecue faux pas” was a major factor in his loss.

“I never stopped liking barbecue,” Edmisten said. “I have withdrawals at times. I sometimes have to go four, five days on these fancy trips now that I have to make for clients, and I get these distinct barbecue hunger pangs.”