Linkdown: 11/25/15

– CNN calls the combination of barbecue and  football a “rapturous experience” and calls out places in some rivalry games this coming weekend including Allen & Son, Stamey’s, and Raleigh’s The Pit

– “Dipped” chicken is available at some some barbecue restaurants

– Missed this a few weeks back but Southern Foodways weighed in on Calvin Trillin’s New Yorker article on NC barbecue

– We’ll lay off him since the Panthers are 10-0 and he only joined the team in week 4, but Jared Allen favors KC barbecue over NC

CM: You played in Kansas City for a while. Let’s talk barbecue.
JA: I know Charlotte’s probably going to hate me for this, hands down I think Kansas City has the best barbecue in the world. They have a variety. You can go to Arthur Bryant’s up there and get kind of the Carolina style, the more vinegar-y, and I’m not huge on the vinegar. Although it is nice because it’s not as smoky, but for some reason when I think I’m going to get barbecue, I plan on being really miserably full at the end of it. You know? [Editor’s note: The Panthers are 9-0. Nobody here can hate you. Unless you talk smack about Price’s.]

The good part out here is that I’m not miserably full. It’s not that heavy; it’s a lighter barbecue. But yeah, barbecue is great.

– In “so what” news, eastern NC barbecue is ruled healthier than its Lexington counterpart

– Making the South Carolina specialty


Southside Market & Barbeque – Elgin, TX

: Southside Market & Barbeque
Date: 10/24/15
Address: 1212 Hwy 290 E, Elgin, TX 78621
Order: Southside Combo Plate (Brisket & Sausage with Slaw and Mac & Cheese), 1 Slammer, Drink (link to menu)
Price: $17.00

The calendar said it was October and the car seat in the back said I was a dad, so I was required to take the obligatory trip to a pumpkin patch. Mrs. Rudy said buying a pumpkin at the grocery store was completely out of the question and that we must drive out to the country to get one. However she sold me with the idea of being able to go to Southside Market & Barbeque in Elgin, which is right outside of Austin.  

Southside markets themselves as the oldest barbecue joint in Texas. It has a tremendous amount of history and has a great reputation. They ship sausages and other meats all over the country, so I was excited to try their barbecue. In my opinion, the reputation far exceeded what I actually experienced.

When you walk in, it feels very much like they are trying to get as many people through as possible. While that may mean more profit and more people eat their food, it also probably means that they do not have a huge focus on quality. There are two lines for barbecue and two enormous dining rooms for eating.  Southside also feels very commercialized, with lots of options to buy their shirts, hats, sauces, rubs, and really anything you want with “Southside Market & Barbeque” printed on it. The two positives for their atmosphere, and why I rated it highly, was because of pallets of wood outside (showing that they are cooking over wood) and they have a very nice meat market/butcher there where you can go and get your own meat to cook at home. If I were wanting to cook my own brisket, ribs, or sausage, this is absolutely the place that I would go.

I ordered the Southside Combo Plate, which came with brisket and sausage, plus 2 sides. The brisket had almost no seasoning, there was a little bit of a smoke ring, but no bark and no flavor. The fat was not well rendered, which led me to believe it had been cooked much earlier and had just been sitting there staying warm for a while. Very disappointing. The sausage was better, but not by much. I believe they make their sausage in house, so there are some points for that. It had flavor from the meat, but was nothing great.  

As far as sides, I got the slaw (non-mayo based for Speedy) and mac and cheese. They were probably the best part of the meal, but it was an easy hurdle to cover. I thought the mac and cheese was the best, but it’s hard to mess that up.  

The last thing I tried was a special that they were advertising on the menu called “the Slammer”. It was a sausage, stuffed with cheese and a jalapeno, wrapped in bacon and smoked. They clearly had my attention. When it came, it was much like the brisket – room temperature and uninspiring. The cheese was hard and not melted while the bacon was not crisp at all, as if it had been cooked many hours earlier and left to sit. I am shocked that someone could mess up something that’s only ingredients are bacon, sausage, cheese, and jalapeno, but Southside Market managed to do just that.  

I was completely looking forward to getting out to Elgin and trying Southside Market & Barbeque, however when you eat barbecue and the pumpkin patch is the highlight of the day, that’s not a good sign for the barbecue joint. Overall I’m glad I tried it and can mark it off the list, but I’m more happy that I didn’t make a special trip out just for it.


Atmosphere – 3.5 hogs
Brisket – 2 hogs
Sausage – 3 hogs
Slammer – 2 hogs
Sides – 3 hogs
Overall – 2.5 hogs
Southside Market & Barbeque Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Linkdown: 11/18/15

– Congrats to Sam Jones on the opening of his new barbecue joint in Greenville, NC last week and continuing the tradition of wood-cooked barbecue

A decade back, those of us who make a living writing about and documenting barbecue were worried. Honest, wood-cooked barbecue was imperiled, we said. Pitmasters who dedicated their lives to firing pits and flipping hogs were atavistic, we worried, wheezing their way toward foregone retirement.

I’m pleased to report that we seers of ‘cue were wrong. We lacked vision. We lacked heart. Evidence of our errors of belief is seemingly everywhere. Traditional barbecue is now in renaissance.

More on Sam Jones and his role as fire chief in Ayden from the Southern Foodways Alliance and Chicago Tribune writer Kevin Pang

– Food Republic has a guide on where to eat in Columbia, SC that includes a couple of barbecue joints including Hite’s BBQ, True BBQ, and Big Boy’s Original Smokehouse

– Pork ribs in Mississippi changed Adam Perry Lang’s life

– Charlotte Agenda thinks Midwood Smokehouse has one of the best non-traditional tacos in the city

-On so-called “nouveau ‘cue” and the supersizing of barbecue

– Thanksgiving is coming, so here’s a homemade mac and cheese recipe from Midwood Smokehouse

The Smoke Pit – Concord, NC

: The Smoke Pit
Date: 11/12/15
Address: 796 Concord Pkwy N, Concord, NC 28027
Order: Pork and brisket bbq combo with bbq slaw, mac and cheese, cornbread, and Sun Drop (link)
Price: $15.95

By far, one of the most suggested spots in the Charlotte-area was The Smoke Pit in Concord. Naturally, I added it to the list and gave the website a cursory look, figuring that it was a local favorite that might have a loyal following but pumped out average barbecue. Well, after finally making it there I can legitimately say that its a top 5 Charlotte-area joint that I’d really like to revisit with Speedy so he can check out as well. It’s legitimately that good.

First off, the barbecue restaurant is attached to a butcher shop (The Stock Market – also owned by the same folks), so obviously that’s a great sign. It was also packed at lunchtime, with people (like myself) having to spill out onto the patio on a brisk but sunny day. Finally, the dining room itself smelled of smoke. All very encouraging signs but ultimately it comes down to the meat…which I can happily report was extremely solid.

Tempted to go with a 3 meat combo, I instead opted for just pork and brisket after seeing the large portions of the trays of seated customers. As for the trays themselves, The Smoke Pit goes for a Texas-style presentation of the meats and sides on top of brown butcher paper. The pork was piled in a healthy portion and was smokey, had a nice bark, and was fairly moist even without the dashes of a thin, vinegar barbecue on top (which I believe was a Lexington-style sauce, or at least Lexington-ish). The large, maybe ¾ inch slices of brisket had some of the same qualities of the pork – good smoke, nice peppery bark, and mostly moist – cut from the point. I was quite impressed and one would hope that the other meats would be just as good.

I was pleased to see that they offered a barbecue slaw in addition to a mayo-based slaw, though I prefer mine chopped instead of shredded – a minor nitpick. The mac and cheese was a little dried out and could have used some reheating before being served. Each platter comes with a choice of either Texas toast or cornbread, and the cornbread was decent and of the sweeter variety that I like. While they don’t have Cheerwine they do have Sun Drop at the fountain.

I didn’t get a chance to investigate what kind of smoker they use but whatever the case the end result is very good. Like I mentioned above, I want to go back with Speedy and try more meats – they also have wings, ribs, sausage, and chicken on the menu. At The Smoke Pit the restaurant is nice and clean, the meat is smoky, and the portions are huge (I got another full lunch out of my order). Finally, I’ve found some very good barbecue in Concord that matches up favorably to the best in Charlotte. Will revisit again very soon.


Atmosphere – 3.5 hogs
Pork – 3.5
Brisket – 3.5 hogs
Sides – 3 hogs
Overall – 3.5 hogs
The Smoke Pit Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Friday Find: How to Build the Perfect Tray of Meat

Eater brings you a video of La Barbecue building the quintessential Texas barbecue and sides tray against  a background of classical music.

Look no further than La Barbecue as a shiny example of Austin’s true love of barbecue. Helmed by pitmasters John Lewis, Francisco Saucedo, and Esaul Ramos, along with owner LeAnn Mueller (yes of the famous barbecue family), the barbecue trailer dishes out tasty smoked meats that are very worthy of the long customer lines. Here, La Barbecue was up for the challenge of creating its version of a “tasting menu,” which in 60 seconds turned into just every item of their current menu, artfully plated for your enjoyment.

La Barbecue’s Menu:
Moist brisket
1.5 lb Beef Rib
Pulled pork with house made tangy sauce
Pork Ribs
El Sancho Loco
House made Texas Hot Guts
Smoked Turkey
House pickled spicy pickles (middle below sandwich)
Red pickled peppers ( right and middle)
Pickled red onions (pink)
House pickled okra (bottom left)
Southwest Black Bean Salad
Chipotle Slaw
Potato Salad

If that makes you hungry and you want to know Rudy’s thoughts on La Barbecue, his #1 in Austin, read his review of it here.


Linkdown: 11/11/15

-In honor of our veterans, TMBBQ checks out MRE BBQ

– A great article from the Greensboro News & Record, “If traditional barbecue dies, part of North Carolina dies with it”

– Speaking of NC barbecue, Daniel Vaughn tries to play mediator between True ‘Cue and Corey Bringle of Peg Leg Porker with regards to barbecue smoked using “gas assist” rotisserie smokers like Ole Hickory or Southern Pride

In praise of tortillas, the other white bread

– A day in the life with the pitmaster of Stiles Switch BBQ

– Avett Brothers celliist Joe Kwon is a lifelong barbecue fan and will be cooking his second whole hog in Mebane for the Wild Yonder’s Friendship Feast and Cookout on November 21-22

– The latest two reviews from Marie, Let’s Eat!: Zeb’s Bar-B-Q in Danielsville, GA and Smokebelly BBQ in Atanta’s Buckhead neighborhood

– In duh! news, Cheerwine named the official soft drink of the National Barbecue Association

Brother Jimmy’s BBQ – New York City, NY (mini-review)

: Brother Jimmy’s BBQ
Date: 10/4/15
Address: 1485 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10075
Order: All you can eat ribs and Coors Light (link)
Price: $23.95

Being that Speedy, Mrs. Monk, and I are Panthers season ticket holders, I suggested that we find the quote-unquote Panthers bar in New York while we were there and watch the game after coming across an article about NFL team bars in New York. It was only a coincidence that it turned out to be a barbecue restaurant in Brother Jimmy’s BBQ.

Now when I say that Brother Jimmy’s is a quote-unquote Panthers bar, I should now clarify after having been that its a sports bar that will put on the Panthers game if you ask (as well as just about any other NFL game). It doesn’t turn into a true Panthers bar unless there is a playoff game, according to the bartender we spoke with while we waited for the rest of our party to join. Still, he was nice enough to give us a shot when he learned we were with the groom-to-be Boomsauce so thats worth an extra hog when it comes to atmosphere.

Our focus was truly on the game and drinking the pitchers of all you can drink Coors Light so there won’t be much to this review. I certainly didn’t take any photos – the one above was from Mrs Monk and I might have some complaint about the geography. From what I recall, the ribs were decently smokey and average. I didn’t take too much advantage of the all you can eat ribs special and ended up only having one half rack (again, focusing on the beer). Normally I’d let Speedy jump in here with his thoughts but he is abstaining from this review since something he had that day didn’t agree with him and he became sick that night.

For a good value and a decent atmosphere (provided you get there early enough to get a table and request your game), Brother Jimmy’s BBQ isn’t a bad spot for North Carolinians in NYC.


Atmosphere – 4 hogs
RIbs – 2.5 hogs
Sides – 2.5 hogs
Overall – 2.5 hogs
Brother Jimmy's BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Brother Jimmy's BBQ

Friday Find: Pork Chart Print

UPDATE: Use code CTRLZ to get another 10% off until the morning of 11/8

Just in time to start the holiday shopping season, the curated site Huckberry is running a clearance sale of up to 70% and it includes the above 9″ x 12″ pork chart print (sans frame) on sale for $20.98 (down from $35). Would make a good companion piece to the Great NC Barbecue Map poster.

There was a time when if you needed to buy meat you would just head down to your local butcher and see what he had freshly cut up   The man in the white apron could tell you about the local farm where the pig was raised and make a recommendation for what you wanted to prepare. Inspired by an old-fashioned butcher’s chart, this letterpress print reminds us that knowing the different cuts of pork can help determine the best selection for a dish, cooking method or flavor profile.


  • Individually rolled letterpress print
  • Made with custom plates for a deep, crisp imprint
  • Duplexed with a second sheet to create a 220lb finish
  • Original Bearings hand-drawn image
  • Frame not included

Link (Not a member of Huckberry? Feel free to join via my link to get access.)



Linkdown: 11/4/15

– Kathleen Purvis thinks up humorous potential food history landmarks for Charlotte:

13 S. Church St.: Charlotte’s first documented barbecue restaurant. According to a clip in an April 1899 Charlotte Daily Observer, Katie Nunn opened a grocery and barbecue stand, with meat cooked by her husband, Levi, in a pit behind the store. The address no longer exists, but it would have been on the east side of South Church Street just north of Fourth Street.

Marker needed: The last barbecue joint to charge less than $12 for a chopped plate.

– In Monroe County, Kentucky, pork shoulder means something completely different

– Marie, Let’s Eat! checks out Briar Patch Bar-B-Que in Hiram, GA again 4 years after his first visit

– Photos from last Sunday’s TMBBQ Festival

– A couple of sites react to Calvin Trillin’s New Yorker piece on NC barbecue: Triangle Business Journal, TWC News

– Last week, Howard Conyers (originally from Manning, SC) brought whole hog to New Orleans

– Speaking of whole hog, the Whole Hog Championship will be Nov 20-21 in Raleigh